T Nation

Golf training?

What exercises can you recommend for a golfer, for both pre-season and in-season.

Golf Training? awooo?

Great question, this is definately a site where people are concerned about training specifically and exclusively for golf… I can’t say that there is much of a correlation between great golfers and t-mag’s audience either.
You may sense some bitterness here and it’s just that being a teaching professional myself, i hang out on T-mag.com to get away from the snobby, fat assed golfers I work and deal with every day. So here’s my two cents: direct your question to a golf pro like myself who tries to make a living at answering the question you just posted, and leave this forum alone. Your lack of distance is not related to strength - or lack there of. Work on your technique, treat yourself to a lesson, and watch your scores plummit. Good luck with that and please try to refrain from anymore golf posts.

Sorry again for the snapshow, it’s just i think we should be reminded every now and again what this site’s about. If you have forgotten, please read ‘The Average Guy’ by Chris Shugart.

check (chek!) out:


A book written specifically for golfers!
hope that helps



I think your criticism is totally unwarranted. I worked at a golf course in college and I know exactly what you mean about fat, snobby golfers who think they can fix their game by buying the latest driver with a shaft made of a patented titanium-plutonium composite metal and costs more than my first car. Guess what - those guys would not for a second think that strength-training would improve their. Figures - guys that need to rent a cart to play 9 holes are probably too lazy to hit the gym. PGA200X came here asking for strength-training advice, which is what this site is all about. Why he wants that advice - whether to improve his golf game or just to look good nekkid - should not be our concern.


Olympic lifts will improve your explosiveness which should help you develop a more explosive swing. You may also want to purchase Mastery of Hand Strength by John Brookfield to read up on everything related to grip work. Many people have also given high praise to Clubbells as a way to improve grip strength as well as shoulder strength.

My My My Hunter shooting off at the mouth are we???

Its nice of you to assume that all I was looking for was raw distance. If you were/are a real teaching pro you should understand that adding strength will not only improve distance but also technique. I remeber hearing Tiger say over and over again how “strength” has helped him “get through rounds.” I remember Tiger saying thar his strength and conditiong helped him hit shots he otherwise could not have if he wasn’t as strong as he is now, the “Stinger”. Stand next to Ernie Els and tell me hes not a big boy.

I won’t get into what my handi is because you already assumed I shoot in the 100’s.

This site isn’t about getting gigantic muscles, its about functional strength and how it can benefit you in your specific sport and everyday life.

Thank you for some of the helpful information that people posted.

CT if you can add anything or offer any more help its much appreciated.

Charles Poliquin states on his website that olympic lifts do not have much effect on the golf swing and that shoulder and lat strength are very important.

I too would suggest Paul Chek’s manual for Golf Biomechanics and the accompanying video. They are both top-notch resources. It kills me that there is the “fat-lazy” golfer stereotype floating around. I guess most don’t realize that the golf swing (EVEN in “fat-lazy” recreational golfers) is so powerful that it is capable of shattering vertebrae and tearing spinal ligaments. To say golfers don’t need strength training is RIDICULOUS. While Poliquin says lat and shoulder strength is important, I would drop down to the other end and say that most of the power comes from a solid foundation. Generating power through the legs and integrating the hips and core is the most iportant factor (NOT that I think the lats and shoulders should be neglected by any stretch.) Good luck with your training endeavors!

I think the entire body plays a great deal in powering a golf ball. I think there are three major power factors in the golf swing, aside from technique. One is hand speed. Its amazing how far you can actually hit a golf ball with just a flick of the wrist and an 8 iron. 2nd is your entire back, ever see a handicaped person who has no use of their legs or the people that can hit it from their knees. They can kill the ball. Third is the lower body, everything below the belly button. This is what powered Jack’s swing and he was one of the longest of his era.

But strength in golf is way more than just about strength. Like you said a golf swing is violent. You swing a club at, lets say 85mph and slam it into the ground halting its speed tremendously, taking a divot. Just the shock from hitting ball after ball after ball like that requires strength. There are many injurys that can come from a golf swing.

Strength in golf, at a high level and recreational level helps us survive a round. Its allows you to swing as strong as you did on your first tee shot as you do on your last shot from the fairway on 18. It allows you to walk the course for 18 holes. It also helps the mental side of golf. Improving your focuse because you have to worry less about not being able to pull of certain shots or worring about fatigue.

Golf is a SPORT plain and simple. Sure there are some fatbastards but they are strong as shit and they DONT dominate like Tiger has and he’s as fit as it gets.

BTW about the fat slob stereotype, there are fat slobs in almost every sport. Warren Sapp and Cecil Feilder come to mind as well as Shawn Kemp.

That’s a curious statement by Poliquin - that lat and shoulder strength are important in golf but Olympic lifts don’t help. The power clean/power snatch are excellent all-around back builders and the push press is excellent for shoulder strength.

I was thinking the same thing. If you do a hang snatch it hits your entire back, good part of your legs and a good part of your shoulders correct? So why would that not be beneficial for a golfer?

From a previous thread from the now destroyed Lair of the Ice Dog (3/5/03)

“First I do have a lot of practical knowledge of golf, having played for over 12 years (even competed at some point, but I just had the worst temper ever). When I started training with the olympic lifts I immediately noticed a vast improvement in my driving distance and even accuracy! Specific strength training for golf is limited. Basically you can work on trunk rotations (my “Abs training for athletes and Babehouds”) is a great place to start. And on the rotator cuffs. However most of the movements you use should be neurally demanding exercises. Even if a movement is not structurally specific, a neurally demanding movement will develop the general capacity of your nervous system to acitvate and coordinate muscle action. In that regard golfers would do well to include: 1. Heavier training, in the 1 to 6 reps range. 2. Mostly multijoint movements with a complex movement structure (the olympic lift variations, overhead squat, romanian deadlift, squats). 3. Explosive/ballistic exercises: throwing a medicine ball, jump squats, plyo work, ballistic bench press, etc. I would also recommend that you include a lot of forearm/grip work as it will solidify your impact position. HOWEVER whatever you do, do not forget to play golf!!! With strength training you basically build a new body for yourself. Having a new body is like getting a new car: If you always drived a Civic and suddenly get a Ferrarri in “theory” you would end up a faster driver. But at first you might choke the engine, loose control and end up slower because you are not used to the machine! If you strength train and vastly improve your strength and power but never learn to use these added capacities in your golf swing, you will throw your timing out of whack! BTW, this gave me the idea of writing a golf training article!”

I think Hyphnz (ala the previous article from the Lair) hit it on the head. While strength training, dont forget to continue working on your swing. I am often not afforded the opportunity to continue swinging weekly and the swing that I once had ‘dialed in’ no longer works if I take a hiatus from swinging while training hard.

I am going to go out on a limb and put words in jon_gotti’s mouth. I think what Polquin (via gotti) was saying is that hopefully olympic lifts dont have as much of a negative effect on swing mechanics as pointed out earlier.

Oh yeah. I forgot to add…“Hunter youre a dick”. Pour the piss out of your cornflakes and get another bowl.

Unfortunately up here in the North East our season doesn’t start until late March/April. There is an indoor place around me but it gave me a lot of problems during the begining of the season this year. very inconsistent ball striking. They have rubber mats and if you’re any type of a golfer you know how much they can hurt your swing. There’s no substitute for real grass. Thats why when I practice I sneak out late on the muni and work on my swing then. During the winter that is not an option. So for this winter I can just swing a club at the gym, not enough height at my house, or use a mini club I have at home.

I was just reading CT’s “Superman Sets” workout. I wonder what type sets a golfer would fall under.

Good find there Hyphnz. Thanks a lot.

My guess is that Poliquin would definately recommend chin ups for improving back strength. It’s just an educated guess, as he is big on chin ups

It’s Hunter again, (aka dick)

I definately owe PGA200X an apology, So sorry about rippin into ya like that, i’ll try putting my own agenda aside and help you out. The reason Tiger hits the ball so far is because of his core strength and flexibility. Abs, obliques, lower back, etc. It’s not because he can now bench 300 lbs. To prove this, look at his stats when he first popped on the scene and even a way back in his amateur hayday. He hit the ball 40 yards further off the tee, and won a heck of a lot more tournaments then he does now. He was also a tooth pick - a very limber toothpick. It’s what that know-it-all Jim Flick on the Golf channel refers to as the ‘X-factor’. Or the amount of shoulder turn in relation to the hips. Tiger has the greatest shoulder turn of all time. And it was best in his late teens and early 20’s. So work on your flexibilty, and core strenth. I read someone talking about explosive lifts being good for the golf swing, that sounds like a good idea.
Lastly, Just remember that 80% of the game is upstairs in our noggins. So you may even shave a few more strokes off your game if you work on the mental side, try the book “Golf is not a Game of Perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella. Absolutely the best book ever written. Even Tiger thinks so.

BTW, I have stood next to Ernie Els at the Canadian open in Oakville and he is big - he’s FAT! My thesis remains, golfers are the laziest, most out of shape athletes in the world.

The earlier post in this thread was not made by me, whoever it was LOG OUT!

The quote was ex CT, not me.

I have commented on the golf swing before, do a search.

PGA, I train a golf university team and we use A LOT of Superman sets, we even do them in circuit! Generally we stick to sets lasting 20-30 seconds. We do tons of rotational trunk training, forearm training, shoulder external/internal rotator work and use a foundation of bench press, romanian deadlifts, squats and clean.

Hunter apology accepted accepted but like I said before its not about distance. Sure an extra yard or 10 won’t hurt but its not about that. I’m 5’7" and can hit it prety far for my short levers, luckily my arms are a bit longer than usual. Gaining strength for my golf game is about improving my ENTIRE game, mental and physical. They go hand in hand. Strength gives you confidence when you know you can hit a certain shot that you otherwise couldn’t, especially match play. Strength adds a lot to your golf game and its not just to bomb it.

CT, thanks for replying. What exercises would you recommend to “Superman” with? Also, should I worry about chest gerth hindering my swing at all??? For forearms I read that crumbling up a newspaper sheet by sheet, one handed, is an amazing workout. I did it one day and it burned like hell but I didn’t get sore. Have you ever suggested this exercise or tried it yourself???

Well, the paper crunching thing is from one of my articles … so yeah, I tried it :slight_smile: