PGA Tour: How fitness has changed the game of golf

Professional golf used to be a game of cigars, drinking and caddies. It was hard to notice a golfer because they did not look like the typical athlete. Even in the 90s it was a joke to say golfers worked out and kept in shape.  The game of golf has advanced in many aspects.  It is probably one of the most evolved games. Today’s advances in technology have produced better equipment. In today’s game of golf, fitness plays a much more important role.

Just look at Gary Player or “The Black Knight”. He was one of the top players in the world in the 70s and 80s. Now at the age of 78, he looks and moves like he is 50. He was the pioneer of fitness in the golf world and was responsible for incorporating fitness in the game. However, it was still common to be ridiculed for lifting weights during his time.

Looking at the game today and how much it has improved, I believe fitness has been one on the most important advances has changed. Players have been able to compete longer and harder due to devotion to become stronger. But some people still don’t understand why it is important for golfers to work out.

Besides being mentally strong, golfers need a strong body. The torso is a very important part of the golf swing. Having a solid torso ensures power, stability and good posture. The legs are usually thought of as the most important part of the body used in the golf swing. These two parts of the body work together to provide the power for the swing. Any golfer knows how important distance is in this game. It can be the difference between a birdie and a bogie. Bubba Watson is the longest driver on tour at 320yds and I am sure that his rigorous workout is partly responsible for his power.

The back is also a very important muscle to strengthen, due to the stress the swing puts on it. Imagine how many golf balls professionals hit a day. When the golf club makes contact with the ground, it can put tremendous stress on the back.

Cardio is also great way for golfers to get in shape. Professionals must work on building up stamina so that walking 18 holes, four days a week, is a breeze.

Now, some may wonder specifically what exercises golfers should do. Unlike football, golfers do not need to lift heavy weights during their workout. Instead, a typical golfer workout usually involves elastic bands and free weights. The weights are usually not heavy but mostly act as restrictions to work on mobility.

It is very common for players to not only have a swing coach, but also a personal trainer. Their trainers are usually knowledgeable of the golf swings and muscles that have to be fine-tuned in order to get the most of out the swing. Flexibility is also very important in order to prevent injuries and helps the golf swing feel as effortless as possible.

Working out offers advantages to many golfers but also allows smaller players, like Gary Player to compete. Players that take advantage of staying in shape have an edge on the competition.

A lot of people will agree that the game of golf has evolved into an incredible showing of skill, power and strength. This is due to the adaptation of a focus on fitness in the game of golf. I will be excited to see over the years how fitness changes the game of golf.