Strength Training for Golf Strength Training for Golf

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Thread: Strength Training for Golf

  1. #1
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    Default Strength Training for Golf

    by Nick D'Agostino

    If a sportís performance has a strength component, then training for that sport will evolve over time, driven by competition within the sport, to include strength training. This is true regardless of how deeply embedded within the mythology of the sport is the belief that muscles and strength are bad things. Eventually a rogue individual will come along who, unafraid to challenge the status quo, creates a paradigm shift in training for that sport because of his stronger and more powerful performance. For golf this pioneer was Tiger Woods.

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  2. #2
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    Default Strength Training for Golf

    Good article.

    I'll point out that there were others long before Tiger who trained like an athlete, and stupidly nobody learned from it. See e.g. Gary Player, and to an even greater extent, Frank Stranahan.

    I'll respectfully argue that the right golf equipment can make an enormous difference on distance. Try having a handicap golfer hit a driver configured like Brooks Keopka's, and you'd see what I mean.

    As an accomplished player who has been, off and on in my life, a weight lifter including most recently a SS devotee, I can tell you anecdotally the training made little meaningful difference in how far I hit it, and I'm not alone in that experience. This is a secret that Tiger himself has apparently said out loud (who never hit it farther than he did when he was a skinny rookie).

    Like everything else in such matters, big distance is about genetic endowment...explosiveness! Speed! In the same way that you can't make large gains in your SVJ, I don't think you can't make large gains in swing speed by lifting under any protocol (unless you are terribly detrained and weak).

    By all means, get in the gym and do the barbell training, HEAVY. Get STRONG. Just don't expect to fly it three bills as a result, unless you already have "big hops". You are born with it, or you're not. Hell, look at Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas...they could blow away in the wind!

    For me the biggest golf benefit of heavy barbell training is less susceptibility to injury.

  3. #3
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    Default Clarification

    Quick clarification...I mean to say a handicap golfer wouldn't be able to hit Koepkas driver anywhere. Proper fitting equipment is very important for max distance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Threjack View Post
    Good article.

    I can tell you anecdotally the training made little meaningful difference in how far I hit it, and I'm not alone in that experience. This is a secret that Tiger himself has apparently said out loud (who never hit it farther than he did when he was a skinny rookie).

    Like everything else in such matters, big distance is about genetic endowment...explosiveness! Speed! In the same way that you can't make large gains in your SVJ, I don't think you can't make large gains in swing speed by lifting under any protocol (unless you are terribly detrained and weak).

    By all means, get in the gym and do the barbell training, HEAVY. Get STRONG. Just don't expect to fly it three bills as a result, unless you already have "big hops". You are born with it, or you're not. Hell, look at Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas...they could blow away in the wind!

    For me the biggest golf benefit of heavy barbell training is less susceptibility to injury.
    I'm not an accomplished golfer by any means, sporting a mediocre 13 index, but I agree that increased strength has not translated into increased distance in any meaningful way. That's not to say strength training is not valuable for golf as my back can now withstand playing 36 holes a day and walking (and carry my bag) for 27 holes. Years ago, pre-lifting, that would have been a pipe dream.

    One thing I've wondered about, however, is whether there is a strength component to the short game. Just a theory, but the short game of the best men in the world dwarfs that of the best women. On the face of it, one would think there should be no difference whatsoever. The only thing I can come up with is strength somehow translates into better chipping, pitching, and sand shots. Just a theory though.

    Great article.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Jones View Post

    One thing I've wondered about, however, is whether there is a strength component to the short game. Just a theory, but the short game of the best men in the world dwarfs that of the best women. On the face of it, one would think there should be no difference whatsoever. The only thing I can come up with is strength somehow translates into better chipping, pitching, and sand shots. Just a theory though.
    Your observation is true. As big an advantage as PGA Tour pros have over their LPGA counterparts from tee to green (including distance), the talent gap is even wider in the short game and putting. And itís not even close. Check the stats. By orders of magnitude the PGA Tour men are WAY better around the greens than the LPGA.

    My personal opinion is that this is a demonstration of the advantages that men have over women (on average) when it comes to spatial perception and imagination. A better ability to conceptualize how a geometric object would roll over an uneven surface, depth perception, etc. etc.

    See this article: Sex Difference On Spatial Skill Test Linked To Brain Structure -- ScienceDaily

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    No, there is zero strength component to the short game. Short game is all about honing a skill and movement that is timing and touch an mastered through repetition and thousands of hours of practice so that the movements are as natural as breathing. Very little strength is needed.

    That doesn't mean that overall strength and fitness isn't a benefit. But there are diminishing returns.

    As to SS for golf in general I think it has huge benefits. I've read Mark's posts mocking and outright laughing at golf in general. To each his own. The mocking of golf somewhat contradicts the message of SS the way I see it. Individuals who feel their strength is inadequate. He didn't say it was for only those who wish to move iron a meter or two.
    Golf isn't billiards either btw.

  7. #7
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    Speaking of golf an strength training, how the hell could this happen. I mean, he's worth $70M.........

    YouTube

  8. #8
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    Half squats for golf. Excellent.

  9. #9
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    My n=1 experience.

    My 77 year old father, who was naturally just a good athlete, played in the Minors, all county basketball player, can still smash the shit out of a golf ball.

    Not only that, he is naturally left handed batting/golfing but learned to golf right handed because he could only get ahold of a right handed set.


    He never really "lifted" in his life.. just does light machine work now to stay flexible/mobile.

    I noticed no improvement in my distance before and after lifting and getting stronger.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Half squats for golf. Excellent.
    Full squats are hard.

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