This is probably a burning desire of most every golfer on the planet. The desire to drive the golf ball farther and straighter, allowing us to lower our golf scores on the golf course. One of the keys to driving golf the straighter and longer is a golf fitness program. This type of a training program incorporates exercises to improve your golf swing.
An amateur recently sent me an e-mail describing how he is driving the golf longer and straighter than ever before. He plainly states the reason for the improvement is directly connected to a golf fitness program he implemented 10 weeks ago.
Here is what he had to say;
"Sean, Thought I'd drop you a note to let you know I am still enjoying the BioForce workout exercises and I'm getting closer to the goals I set 10 weeks ago.
I still track my workouts and I am encouraged by the progress I see, not only on the chart, but also with my swing. As a reward for my efforts and progress, I bought a new Ping Tour wedge. Why a wedge? Because I can already see I am hitting my drives consistently much straighter -
This, of course, is giving me more distance and great enjoyment.
And, I am much more consistent with my pitches and chips.
So, a good wedge that will give consistent distance and allow me to try different types of shots to expand my skills seemed like the right reward.
The only thing I am unsure of is "am I pushing myself enough? Could you please have a look at my workouts and advise the best schedule for me to meet my goals.
I know I haven't pushed myself on some the exercises like Side Holds as I should have; the result being no progress with this.
For my initial goals I have 5 weeks to go, if I miss these then Mid-May is the next deadline I have set."
Colin, let me first congratulate you on your progress, determination, and results you are seeing. It is because of your hard work and dedication to the golf fitness programs your golf game is improving.
I always like to say; "I have the easy part, all I have to do is teach you, and the hard part is following through with what I teach you." I tip my hat to you.
Before I answer your question about "pushing yourself", I would like to make a note of your goal setting. Goal setting is extremely important. I know Phil and almost every athlete I work with sets goals. On one hand, it allows you to measure yourself and see how you are progressing.
I think all amateur golfers do this to some extent. Aren't we all trying to lower our handicaps, make more birdies, and overall improve our golf game? The answer is yes, and on some level, we set goals to measure our progress. Additionally goals have another benefit.
It provides a "mark" to achieve, keeps you focused, and provides a sense of accomplishment when met. We as golfers often set goals of lowering our handicap to single digits, drive the golf ball 280 yards, or not make any three putts. These are all "marks" we are trying to hit, and these "marks" are essentially goals.
Once the goals are set, a plan can be put in place to reach those goals. For example, if the desire is to lower your handicap to single digits, part of the plan may be practicing at the range three times per week. On the other hand, if the goal is add an additional 20 yards to your drives, part of the plan may be the implementation of a golf fitness program to increase your flexibility, strength, endurance, and power.
I will also say at times goals are not met, and that is okay. If a goal is not met, it provides us a point to reflect, make adjustments in our current program, and set new goals.
Additionally, Colin you bring up a very good point on how much should you be "pushing yourself" on the exercises. We all probably are aware that in order to improve in any task, golf swing included, we must put forth an effort. How much is very important, and this is of the up most importance in relation to golf fitness exercises.
Let me first say there is a very fine line between the correct amount of exertion and too much exertion. Too much exertion can lead to poor exercise technique and a possible injury. Too little exertion will limit the benefits received from your golf fitness program.
A term I use as a guideline for the correct amount of exertion on each exercise is: "Perform each exercise to your own level of tolerance".
Essentially this states every exercise you perform should be done with the;
1) Correct technique
2) Performed for the number of repetitions in which you can maintain proper exercise technique. This requires you to "push yourself", but in addition maintain an awareness of your exercise technique. For example with the golf fitness exercise Side Holds, once you set yourself up in the correct position, you should "hold" the position for the amount of time you can until your technique falters.
This guideline can be followed for almost every golf fitness exercise. Another golf fitness exercise, the Jack Knife should be performed for as many repetitions with the correct technique. If you find your technique starting to falter this is the point at which you stop.
To summarize, we know a golf fitness program can assist a golfer in driving the golf ball longer and straighter. In the bigger picture longer and straighter drives is a goal. In order to achieve a goal in the sport of golf, a plan must be put in place. The plan can include golf fitness exercises as part of the steps for us to meet that goal. Additionally, when we talk about any golf fitness exercise the correct amount of effort must be exerted, but not exceeded. Following the guideline of "perform every golf fitness exercise to your own level of tolerance" will help you maintain this fine line of effort.
Sean Cochran Copyright, BioForce, Ltd 2006