As the 2005 US Open began in Pinehurst, NC, the name Michael Campbell wasn’t being touted as likely to finish first. Michael had attempted in four previous Opens and had not survived the weekend. Fortunately his final round of 1 under 69 gave him the two stroke lead he needed to earn a victory over the top ranked player in the world, Tiger Woods. How did Michael keep his composure with Woods making a charge on the back nine? Was it sheer confidence? Skill? Just what was the winning combination for Campbell?
Many traits and abilities go into the makings of a Major champion. Not the least of which is fitness and conditioning for their task at hand. While professional golfers are the envy of many, these people must adhere to a regimen few are willing to take on. As we watch the rounds, it all looks so easy. Yet, behind the scenes today’s professional golfer, more than ever before, must concentrate on something other than simply technique and skill. The new golf technologies claim much of the increased distance, control and power now available to golfers. New technology is really only a small portion of the emerging changes in play.
Almost every professional golfer today spends more time conditioning their body for golf than ever before. They realize the competition is tough and that in order to maintain consistently controlled and powerful golf swings their body must be strengthened and flexible. Their time is well spent on functional strength and flexibility conditioning for the body. The goal of functional exercises for golf is to mimic the actual demands on the body of the golf swing. This approach helps accomplish two things at once 1) improve the targeted muscle group’s strength and flexibility and 2) condition the neuromuscular system with movements exactly like those required on the course.
All golfers would do well to learn from the pros in the area of fitness and conditioning. The golf swing is a complex movement, requiring much from the body. Regularly performing strength and conditioning exercises can produce a more flexible and stronger musculoskeletal system. As higher levels of fitness are accomplished, you can generate more power with less effort. This translates to a smoother swing with greater club head speed, thus lower scores result. Fitness for golf is rapidly becoming the norm; start today to ensure many years of rewarding play on the course.