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  • Mike Hammond, CSCS, TPI

The Professional Golf Approach and How You Can Use It Too

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

With all eyes on golf for The Masters this weekend, I like to look into how professional golfers work to be as great as they are. Golfers on the PGA Tour have a team around them that includes golf, medical, and fitness professionals, each with their own responsibilities to support the player. This may seem excessive to the amateur golfer, but you too can use a team approach to support your golf game.

Start with golf professionals. Tour players hire a swing coach, caddie, potentially a mental coach, and they have equipment manufacturers to build clubs for them. The amateur golfer likely doesn’t have the need to hire a caddie and unfortunately doesn’t have access to an equipment sponsorship, but there’s multiple ways they can utilize golf professionals.

First, take lessons. You may not need a full-time swing coach, but there’s still ways to get instruction that’s better than what you’ll get from your friend who’s a scratch golfer. Sign up for instruction over the winter months when you can’t get outside, get some refresher lessons at the beginning of the season, or set up your instruction schedule to get one or two lessons per month for the entire season.

Second, use proper equipment and take care of it. You don’t have an equipment sponsorship, but there are club fitters everywhere. Go get the right equipment for you and if you already have the right equipment, get your clubs re-gripped before the start of your golf season.

On to the medical professionals. The pros typically have a chiropractor or physical therapist and/or a dietician. The medical professionals’ job is to fix any pain in the golfer and keep them pain free going forward. When should an amateur use these professionals? The simple answer is: anytime anything hurts, especially if its while they are golfing.

If you have lower back pain or poor posture, go see a chiropractor. If an ankle, shoulder, wrist, hip, or knee hurt, go see a physical therapist. Don’t try to play through the pain or test it out and see if you feel OK, this will likely just make the problem worse. Don’t put if off and wait till you feel better. No golfer wants to take a break because they are in pain. Just go see your medical professional and work on the problem so it doesn’t happen again.

If you aren’t hurting, but still want to utilize a medical professional, talk to a dietician. They will help you properly fuel for your rounds and help you with any weight loss or gain goals you may have.

Your golf fitness is the final step. Tour pros are working out every day behind the scenes and have a strength coach or trainer to plan out their workout programs. A typical amateur golfer wants three things 1) to golf pain free 2) to golf later into life and 3) to add swing speed/distance.

The amateur does not need to be in the weight room every day of the week like a pro. But if you are golfing or taking lessons two or three days per week, go see a fitness professional the other two or three days per week. If you are pain free or working with a medical professional to become pain free, the first goal is taken care of. If you golf and/or work with a trainer for 4-to-6 days per week, you’re taking care of the second goal. This means you’re staying active. That is the biggest key to fighting the aging process and adding longevity to your golf career.

Finally, working with a golf fitness professional will help you move better, add strength, and become powerful, which in turn will make you swing faster and add distance to your game. Fitness is the next frontier to gaining a competitive advantage in golf. Clubs and golf balls have restrictions on them, so it’s not as simple as changing up your equipment. You’re already seeing the fitness revolution on the PGA Tour.

As an amateur, you don’t have to hire a full team to help you golf like a pro. Start with one. Go take a lesson to work on a skill that may be lacking, get your back pain fixed instead of ignoring it, or start working with a fitness professional add longevity. Once you’ve improved in one area, go work on the next. Slowly build your own mini team. This team can then work together and exponentially improve your game. That’s what we all want as golfers, to play well and for a long time.

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