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Golf Fitness: To Start, or Not To Start?

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Oh boy here we go, another Golf Trainer getting on his soap box about why you need to "START TODAY"!

I know....cringe.

Most of you are probably thinking: Playing golf itself is a great form of exercise. And you're right, especially if you walk. (And if you walk I won't judge whether you carry or push).

Playing golf crosses off so many of the things that we as humans need for good mental and physical health.

Getting outside. Getting together with friends and family. Physical activity. Problem solving and resilience. I mean...the list goes on and on.

So now maybe you're thinking, "Well if golf is physical activity then why would I work out? Playing golf is my workout!"

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your 18 hole round of golf is the hardest thing you do all week....we have a problem. Golf is a game of skill and power. The golf swing is a full body movement.

Legit, full body rotation one way then back the other. Let's run through a scenario.

You work all week. And odds are most of that work time whether you are a doctor, lawyer, tech person, executive assistant...whatever, is done sitting down. When you do stand up and walk around to go about your day, most of the time we're moving forward and backward.

Sure, if you have a dog or small kids you're doing a lot of side-stepping. To avoid knocking them over. Or to avoid stepping on a toy (which always seams to have the sharpest edge facing up or has wheels somehow).

But most of that time is spent moving up and down from a seat, walking forward to a destination (my favorite is walking to my putting green visualizing myself draining a 20-footer for eagle).

Golf is anything but one dimensional. In the swing, you will:

- Flex and extend your spine (think bend forward and bend backwards)

- Side bend your spine left and right

- Rotate your spine right then left (or the opposite if you're a lefty like Duffy...weirdo).

So if you spend 80% of your week moving only forward and backward, then go out and play golf Saturday and Sunday doing all this 3-D movement at high speeds (because let's be serious...we're all trying to hit high, devastating bombs out there), you ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR INJURY.

Injuries happen when you ask your body to do things where the force is more than your muscles are prepared for.

That's why we TRAIN. That's why we lift heavy shit (and yes, it's to come on this soon).

Prepare your body for that 110mph swing speed with driver. And to do it 14 times in a round if the course allows.

Prepare your body to rotate all the way back and through impact...without looking like one of those wacky, wavy inflatable arm guys outside a used car dealership.

Prepare your body to be able to hit the positions you need to hit those buttery iron shots. And do it every damn time.

I'll write more about this in the coming weeks as far as why leg, core and arm strength are important, different ways to train for golf, and lots of other topics. But that's good for now.

If reading this made you think any thoughts or dug up some questions shoot me a message on Instagram at @tim.golfstrong or drop me an email at

Until next time....hit em straight, hit em far, and get after it in the gym!

Tim Rivotto PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

TPI Medical 2 Certified

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