T Nation

Calling All Big Guys

Ok here is a question for all the big guys out there, you know who you are. Do any of you play golf and if so, do you feel there is a measurable detriment to playing golf at your current size, versus when you were smaller. I have a friend who was 250-260 last summer and allthough he wasn’t an avid golfer he just looked unnatural swinging a little club. He didn’t look smooth or balanced and his range of motion was nowhere near what mine is.

But, like I said he is a relative newbie at golf so any skinny idiot could have looked just as akward swinging a club.

I am by no means reaching a point where I have to worry about getting to big, I am at least 20-30 lbs of muscle away before it is even a consideration. But I have to believe it will become a factor at some point and was wondering if any of you have noticed when this takes place? It is also possible that it depends on other factors such as flexibility before getting big and height, I am 6 ft 175lbs just as a reference.

Thanks

I hate golf. I doubt I would be good at it. However, I have a frat brother who weighs about 265lbs at about 6’2" who loves the game. He has no problems with it. Golf is about technique. Any size issues can be worked around. Unless you are going pro and your efforts rely on such a small margin of error, I wouldn’t worry about it.

On a side note, any bodybuilder would have the same issues with basketball or sports of that nature if they quit playing for a while. I remember returning to playing years ago after I had put on about 30lbs and I sent the ball flying well over the board unintentionally. It simply took a while to get my handling of the ball back to coincide with my strength level. It means technique may need to be altered, but it is not impossible.

Veg

6’4" 270-280. Love to golf and am actually pretty good. Shoot low 40s at some of the nicer public courses in my area. No, I certainly don’t have a pros flexibility, but look failrly natural with swing. I have been golfing though since high school 20 years ago and 50-60lbs ago. Have golfed with smaller guys who look much less comfortable in the swing groove. You obviously lose some flex. especially if you are strictly lifting to get big But hey, Craig Stadler still makes a damn nice living looking how he does and swinging a club just fine.

Right I was gonna mention stadler if nobody else did, while he isn’t exactly a BB or a powerlifter, his is a pretty thick guy overall. He is more the exception than the rule though, as his swing is definately not ideal, he just has amazing hand eye and has learned to make his swing work for him.

My goal is to get to around 200 lbs in the next 5 years, (actually see cavemans post that is what I aim to look like) but at that size I cannot tell if flexibility would be that hindered. I figured for you guys in the 230 and up range flexibility would be diminished, which I will need to avoid. I do hope to go pro, not sure if it will happen, I have a backup plan now at least, but that is my ultimate goal.

Two guys I know that are over 200 and damned strong use the elasticity of all that muscle to whip the club and drive the ball like nothing I have ever seen.The flight path looks more like a 300yd. line drive rather than the high, long arc you see on t.v. Works prety good except in areas of trees.

I’m one of the big guys 5’11, 255 and no longer play, but hell I sucked when I was 215-220. If it’s summer time outdoor recreation I’d rather do something fun not frustrating and agrivating. Softball, Volleyball, fishing, hiking, dog training, skeet shooting are more my speed.

However, I have seen those “golf ball whacker guys” in the Longest Drive contests on ESPN now and again and those guys are by no means small and wiry. They’re crushing the ball up to 380-400 yards. Hell some of them even look like they might be on the juice. Whats funniest to me is how they celebrate afeter a long drive and how the crowd gets into it. Very Happy-Gilmore-esque.

GAINER

If going pro is your true ambition then adjust your fitness/strength goals around that objective. There is a reason for the way the majority of those golfers look. While fitness is becoming a buzz word around the PGA, you still don’t see muscular body types putting for dough. Good luck. I wish I had the talent to even contemplate that as a profession

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
If going pro is your true ambition then adjust your fitness/strength goals around that objective. There is a reason for the way the majority of those golfers look. While fitness is becoming a buzz word around the PGA, you still don’t see muscular body types putting for dough. Good luck. I wish I had the talent to even contemplate that as a profession[/quote]

While certailny there are no pro BB physiques out on tour as of yet, Tiger woods and adam scott among others are certaimly getting bigger year by year. I can’t substantiate it but I hear tiger benches in the 350 and up range, which considering his sport seems pretty strong. Also he is probably 190-200 lbs, Scott may be more the 180-190 lb guy but just by looking at his forearms and upper arms (this is about the only thing of a pro golfers physique you will ever see) he looks like he puts a fair amount of time into hitting the gym as well.
Back to what Prof X said about learning to adjust into his newfound strength and size, I have a feeling that might be very accurate. If you look at tiger when he was at his very best, he was visibly smaller, he probably weighed a good 20 lbs less maybe more. He bagan lifting and putting on size and his game was not what it used to be for 2 or 3 years in a row, still very good, but not terrorizing like it was. He claims to have found his “zone” again, so to speak and by the looks of the start of this year, he very well could be back to where he was before, just stronger now. Maybe he too was adjusting to his new strength and size and now is satisfied with where he is at and able to adjust to his body again.

It’s funny you brought this up because I was thinking about this just the other day now that the sun is coming back. Like you, I am no where near the point where it would be a problem, but I was wondering how thick pecs and lats would effect the ability to get 2 hands properly on the club and being able to draw the club back and follow through properly. Unlike you, I will NEVER get close to sniffing professional golf with my talent level. I do have a cousin who is a golf pro (as opposed to pro golfer) who is pretty muscular (5’6" and about 185-ish with very low BF) and it definitely doesn’t effect his game. Good Luck.

DB

Actually, like any sport weightlifting greatly helps the golf swing. Contrary to what you said vegita Tiger actually hit his peak after starting to lift and train hard (can’t remember exact year maybe 2000 to 2002 where he had the “tiger” slam and won like 8 out of 11 majors or something like that).

Vijay Singh also credits his 9 win, passing Tiger for #1 ranking to weight lifting and training as well. Evening the gap between Tiger and all the other guys is also credited to weight training.

Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Longest Driving competitions but those guys are all 225+ and very into lifting, and are actually more flexible then a lot of guys. Not only are they bombing the ball 350-400+ yds. most of them are also scratch golfers.

Obviously these guys are paying attention to flexibility as well, but I was once a skinny, scrawny high school golfer playing a whole lot, but since I have been lifting heavy my golf game has possibly improved. Last couple of years I’ve maybe only played 10 times each summer or so, but are still around the same handicap.

The improvement in consistency, and quality in the swing is unmatched. First time out last year in a Father-Son tourney (my dad is a golfaholic so I obliged) I shot an 84 I believe. A few rounds later I started off the first 5 holes hitting every fairway and every green, and was -1 (w/ 2 lip outs… my putting is usually my strength as well… well at least before lifting heavy ;P). Anyways, thunderstorm hits and I am very pissed I can’t have a shot at beating my record on the 9 holes of +1 (keep in mind that was far and away best day I’ve ever had and while I was playing 3+ times a week, also it’s a very challenging private course). Lastly, not trying to brag just telling you what lifting weights can do, I consistently drive 300+, relatively no par 5 is out of reach in 2, and on challenging courses there is usually at least 1 par 4 I can give it a go.

If all this blathering didn’t convince you to keep hitting the weights heavy and not to worry about it I don’t know what will. If you are extremely serious about golf I would add a stretching routine, but for recreational golfers who cares, the only differences I have seen are game changing.

I used to plenty relatively frequently when I was in my 20s. Ironically, as I’ve gotten older, the game has become boring. I always sucked at it, even when skinnier. At 5’8" 240, and a tight back from all that squatting and DLing, the swing is not comfortable for me.

As in many sports, tall guys have the advantage in golf - longer arms = longer backswing = more time to accelerate club, and other principles of physics. Combine tall with lanky and you get flexibility. Ergo, Tiger Woods. Rumor has it that Tiger can bench 300. But he definitely has to train for strength, not size. Big pecs on a golfer is a death sentence.

[quote]Vegita wrote:
Ok here is a question for all the big guys out there, you know who you are. Do any of you play golf and if so, do you feel there is a measurable detriment to playing golf at your current size, versus when you were smaller. I have a friend who was 250-260 last summer and allthough he wasn’t an avid golfer he just looked unnatural swinging a little club. He didn’t look smooth or balanced and his range of motion was nowhere near what mine is.

But, like I said he is a relative newbie at golf so any skinny idiot could have looked just as akward swinging a club.

I am by no means reaching a point where I have to worry about getting to big, I am at least 20-30 lbs of muscle away before it is even a consideration. But I have to believe it will become a factor at some point and was wondering if any of you have noticed when this takes place? It is also possible that it depends on other factors such as flexibility before getting big and height, I am 6 ft 175lbs just as a reference.

Thanks [/quote]

Vegita,

I think your post is teetering on the myth of the “big but inflexible muscle bound guy” that has been perpetuated since the old strongman circus attraction days.

If you get stronger and put on some muscle mass you will invariably be able to swing the club faster. Assuming your technique is good (and you don’t end up looking like Ronnie Coleman or, heaven forbid, you get big and fat to where it affects your technique) strength training will provide trememendous benefits to your golf game.

People that weight train are more flexible on average than the golfer who does not.

I might be the best example on this post so far. I played high-school and a year of college golf at a weight of about 170 pounds (6 feet). At that time I was down to a 5 handicap. I never went lower because at that level the mental aspects of the game become a big part, and I was a mental case (figuratively speaking of course).

Today, I am 235 pounds and I had my club head speed measured at over 140 miles per hour at a Titleist booth at our club awhile ago. I never had it measured in college, but I hit the ball much farther now. And I play just as well.

I think the friend you mentioned simply had no physical coordination when it came to swinging a golf club, but a skinny guy that never played would have the same problem. Your friend just looked funny because of his size.

So hit the gym young man!

Frank shamrock is a keen golfer.

Looks bloody hilarious mind, not that i would ever say that!