My golf fitness journey
I’ve learned the importance of golf fitness training the hard way – by sitting down at a desk on a computer nearly every day for more than 20yrs! Seriously, doing what researchers now state is a sure way to an early grave (sitting down all day) … and then learning to play golf, lead me into a small world of pain, healthy gains and at times confronting self-discovery.
Here’s a timeline of my golf fitness journey showing the stops and discoveries on the way:
- got seriously interested in learning golf at the local driving range in Lower Hutt.
- not long after visited Physiotherapist for shoulder (infra-spinatus) treatment resulting from a typical beginner problem of using too much of an arms-only swing.
- Glen Muirhead was the Physio who first introduced me to dry-needling (acupuncture) and the wall-slide.
- joined my first golf club.
- joined second golf club, seriously addicted now. Golf Channel on TV 24 hrs.
- main issue with my golf game was lack-of-distance off the tee and accuracy with the irons.
- noticed my body feeling like a “wet-noodle” after a round and noticed how quickly it tightened up sitting in a static position at the 19th hole soon afterwards.
- discovered “Yoga For Athletes”, still in my opinion one of the best no-nonsense, least new-age introductions to yoga. It’s actually written by a Soviet Olympic Coach and contains a comprehensive library of poses and Asana’s specifically for certain injuries, body parts and sports.
- joined “Les Mills” gym, got my first Personal Trainer and took up the “Body For Life Challenge”. The almost unbelievable transformations shown by Bill Phillips proved to have some sound science behind them.
- I learned how body recomposition requires three components to work together over time: cardio, weights and diet.
- as my general fitness improved, so did my stamina, distance and golf game.
- relocated to Australia, sold golf clubs and reluctantly dropped out of the game.
- continued my weights based fitness program for the most part along with regular Physio treatment, mostly for “tight hip-flexors” and neuromuscular headaches.
- found a great Physiotherapist in Martin Krause of Back in Business – who dubbed me ‘floppy jointed’ (also known as hyper-mobile) and introduced me to the wonderful world of fascia, which I’m still learning about through great books like Thomas Meyers Anatomy Trains.
- at some point gradually lost the gym habit…
- got back into golf (Sep 2009) and soon after injured my shoulder and bruised ribs badly again(!).
- rejoined a golf club again.
- took lots of lessons this time
- discovered Sean Cochran’s great range of golf-fitness videos and his book. (Sep 2010)
- discovered the Titleist Performance Institute (Jan 2010) and a local golf specialist Physio (Jan 2010) Matt Green of High Performance Golf
– bruised ribs from an arms only over-swing
– torn shoulder ligaments
– introduction to acupuncture (aka dry-needling)
– ongoing rehabilitation and strength work with great local Physio Martin Krause of Back in Business
– discovering Anatomy Trains and the wonderful world of fascia
– running on the beach to standing in a box of sand
– making the mistake of orthotics and then joining the barefoot revolution
– I’m now an avid fan of Injiji Toe Socks and the Merrell Trail Glove
– finding a Doctor who believes in proprioception and the role of myofascia
– realigning body joints through Rolfing
– proprioception and myofascia
– kVest and kTrainer
– the dangers of quick fix video based lessons & the need to check body-mechanics
– the joys of golf strength training
-the thrill of discovering the Titleist Performance Institute and following their program (I bought both TV series they released on iTunes)
-often when I’m not going straight to the gym I will do this 20 minute TPI morning workout:
-and of finding a coach who plays, has a systematic process for improvement and a few gadgets of his own
– bought a video course by long drive champion Eric Jones – some really great and useful tips here for adding distance
– “No Gain – No Pain” point therapy with electro-acupuncture from Hung Chung : disconcerting to see your muscles twitch involuntarily, but extremely effective
– gained my Personal Training Certification recently and after all those years of sitting down desk jobs am excited about the prospect of getting started in a second career!
What I’m doing now
– continuing to train with HT Tran of Healthy Drive on golf strength conditioning, following precepts laid down by TPI and Jason Glass
– HT works with Jason Laws at his Jason Laws Golf Academy at the Newcastle Golf Club
– I had a lesson with Jason who introduced me to the Golf Gym, and almost got to be on the Fox Sports Golf Show when they filmed there recently 😉
– learning how to walk and move properly with the inspirational Naudi Aguilar and his Functional Patterns
Recommended General & Golf Fitness Books and Tools Mentioned:
- Yoga For Athletes
- Eric Jones
- Thomas Meyers Anatomy Trains
- The Golf Gym
- Naudi Aguilar Functional Patterns Training