Golf is a sport enjoyed by millions of people the world over. Individual skill is measured by what is known as a handicap, which is a numerical score summarizing a golfer's playing ability.
Golfers try many different techniques to improve their handicap, from the simple to the strange. Yet fitness is often overlooked. Being in good physical shape can lead to longer drives, more accurate putts, and, most importantly, an improved handicap.
Players who lack physical endurance may find it difficult to maintain their highest level of performance for an entire round of play. If you find yourself struggling to keep up your shot distance, or your technique gradually declines as the round progresses, you will need to improve your stamina.
Walk the course.
Increasing your fitness level may seem time-consuming at first, but you can actually improve your endurance and flexibility while on the course. Many golfers choose to walk between holes instead of using a golf cart. Not only does this allow them to focus between shots, but it also helps improve their endurance at the same time. If you aren't used to this amount of exercise, consider walking only a few holes for each round. As your fitness level increases, you can increase your walking distance.
Stretching is one of the most overlooked ways of improving fitness, and provides several distinct benefits. First, it stretches your muscles, increasing flexibility. Secondly, it loosens ligaments and tendons, which decreases your chances of sustaining strains, tears, and other soft tissue injuries. Finally, the act of stretching will help you feel relaxed and comfortable, which can help you focus on your game, rather than on any aches and pains you may experience.
As many professional golfers know, shooting an accurate golf shot requires the smooth and flexible coordination of your entire body. A golfer who is out of shape will have muscles that are unevenly distributed over their body, often resulting in a stiff and jerky swinging motion. Incorporating a fitness program that evenly develops all of your muscle groups will help enable your entire body to easily move in a coordinated way, giving you a steady platform from which to build your swing mechanics.
Even though golf is a sport that requires both knowledge and technique, strength is key in creating enough club head speed to drive the ball down the course. Getting too muscular, however, may instead create a body that is too bulky to swing freely, resulting in a loss of club speed and shot accuracy. When choosing a golf fitness program, only select those that focus on balancing both your overall strength and flexibility.
Golfers around the world pride themselves on their skill level, often going to extreme measures to lower their handicap. Although focusing on body mechanics and golfing knowledge is vital, many overlook the importance of fitness. A golfer who lacks strength, flexibility, and endurance will struggle on the course, no matter how good their training.
Not only is fitness important for overall health, but it is also one of the best ways to improve your golf handicap.