T Nation

Training for golf

I want to be able to generate more clubhead speed for golf. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to train specifically for golf?

hi Larry, this is a tough one, but i might have a suggestion or two. my dad had me hitting balls when i was five. anyway, in my opinion, the most important factors in the swing are a solid base, balance, flexibility, and torque. those are not in any particular order as they are all very closely correlated. okay, a solid base, that means yours legs and hips. in order to generate torque, these have to be very still during the backswing. in order to maintain some semblance of control over the ball, these need to be kept in check on the downswing. therefore, overall strength of the lower body–quads, posterior chain, abductors and adductors is a must. i suggest you try an Ian King lower body 12 week program, e.g. the limping series. This will also strengthen your core muscles, low back and abs. Now, balance. this involves skeletal balance as well as dynamic balance, but skeletal balance will lead to dynamic balance throughout the swing. a quick explanation of skeletal balance: the top position of a heavy squat. the total weight of the body and the load must all be in line and evenly distributed between the balls of the feet and the heels. obviously, squats will help develop this.
what was next, oh yeah, flexibility. sorry, i’m getting really long with this. obviously, stretch, focus a great deal on the hip flexors, as most people don’t ever stretch them at all.
finally, torque. this is the big one for clubhead speed and brings all the others together. the greater the differential between how far your hips turn and how far your shoulders turn, the greater the clubhead speed. flexibility and strong abdominals will help this. there are a bunch of good articles in the back issues about ab training. now, this isn’t the only way to develop clubhead speed, but in my opinion it’s the most reliable. look at Davis Love III and Tiger Woods. both great, sure, but Love gets his clubhead speed from a delayed release of the hands (actually, not so much anymore) whereas Tiger gets his from a greater amount of torque in his body. Of course, Tiger sometimes doesn’t maintain control of his hips on the downswing. what leads to this torque is of course a stable base and quiet lower body on the backswing, tremendous flexibility, and staying in perfect balance. anyway, sorry for rambling on so much, but i really find the golf swing fascinating.

I don’t golf myself, but check out Paul Chek’s site (chekinstitute.com). He has golf related articles and such on there. My guess is he would recommend you concentrate on core conditioning. Whether you’re swinging a club, bat, racquet, or stick, you generate speed from the trunk, ie the “core” of the body.