HazardsBeach golf was created in Pescara, Italy in 1999 by Mauro De Marco. It is a stroke-play competition held over two rounds and played on crowded beaches during the summer. The game takes place along a designated stretch of sandy coastline approximately 2km in length, between teams of two players (one with a low-handicap and the other a high-handicap). Each team’s handicap is determined by dividing the sum of the two players’ handicaps in half and rounding down if necessary. The challenge is to complete the hole with the fewest possible strokes.

2It’s the only sport in the world where spectators are on the pitch and ‘involved’ in the game. Objects like windbreaks, beach umbrellas and sunbathers are incorporated into the game and treated as hazards – just like bunkers, trees and lakes in the traditional form of the game. The players use standard golf clubs, but, because the event takes place in a crowded location, the ball that is used from tee to green is made of soft polyurethane foam, or a soft rubber, in order to prevent injury to anyone who is accidentally hit during the game. However it is replaced with a regular golf ball once competitors reach the green itself. There is no time limit. Players have the opportunity to stop to have a lunch break, however, teams must respect the assigned starting time.

3The starting area consists of a synthetic rug that is one and a half metres square. The ‘honour’ is given to the lower handicap player, who tees off first from an appropriate tee, which can be positioned to best advantage anywhere on the mat. Each team starts three minutes after the previous one. The maximum delay allowed is ten minutes after the departure of the previous team. Any team who contravenes this three minute rule starts with a penalty of five shots.

 4Caddies are also employed, but with a difference! Caddy Girls act both as game-judges and hostesses during the event. They are there to make sure that the players conform to the rules, but another of their roles is to ensure everyone’s safety, which they do by holding a ‘protection belt’ around the area of action, thus allowing golfers to play unimpeded by bathers, beach chairs and umbrellas on the ‘course’.

The game, developed by the Beach Golf Sport Association, has grown in popularity and is now recognized by both the National Educational Sports Centre and the Italian National Olympic Committee.

Annual tours are conducted during the summer on the beaches of the Italian coast. The tour of 2010, in collaboration with the University of Urbino, was 30 consecutive days of events along the Adriatic coast.

The sport’s growing popularity is reflected by the first European Beach Golf Competition having taken place last year in Montesilvano, with 90 competitors from 18 European nations, taking part.


An 8-Week Golf-Specific Exercise Programme Improves Swing Mechanics and Golf Performance

Optimal physical conditioning has always been a central tenet of maximal performance in most sports, but was long overlooked in golf. Coaches have always appreciated the importance of proper swing mechanics, but they now recognize how physical attributes impact on the swing.

Those who play and teach golf finally realize the need for adequate strength, flexibility, and balance training not only to optimize swing mechanics and thereby enhance golf performance, but also potentially to prevent injuries.

An 8-week golf-specific exercise programme was designed to induce favourable changes in shoulder horizontal abduction and adduction, shoulder extension, hip flexion and extension, knee extension, torso rotation flexibility, hip abduction, torso rotation strength, and single leg balance [the biomechanical differences between proficient golfers and golfers with higher handicaps noted by researchers in a wide ranging study of recreational golfers].

The programme successfully improved all ROM variables along with torso rotational strength and hip abduction strength. It also resulted in changes in swing mechanics, despite the fact that the study was conducted during the off-season, and golfers were not permitted to play golf or to practice at the driving range during their participation in the study.

The programme’s resisted movements mimicked the golf swing, and this seems to have improved the sequencing pattern of the pelvis, shoulders, and arms, resulting in greater mechanical efficiency in transferring power to the club and ball.

Gary Woodland

Despite an increase in static upper-torso rotation ROM, the magnitude of both upper-torso and pelvis axial rotation decreased at the top of the swing. This is attributable to increased pelvic stability (a result of increased hip and torso strength) combined with increased torso flexibility. This combination of unrestricted movement of the upper torso with a more stable pelvis against which to rotate likely allowed golfers to achieve greater coiling of the body to generate more power.

The decrease in pelvis axial rotation was greater than that in upper-torso axial rotation, which increased the X-factor. Furthermore, significantly increased torso axial rotation strength may have increased torso rotational torque, which subsequently increased upper-torso axial rotational and X-factor velocity at acceleration. Because the upper torso and the club are linked by the arms to act as a single unit, increased upper-torso axial rotational velocity likely is responsible for increased club head velocity.

The programme resulted in a 5.2% improvement in calculated club head velocity. Additionally, ball velocity, carry distance, and total distance had improvements of 5.0%, 7.7%, and 6.8%, respectively.


An 8-Week Golf-Specific Exercise Programme* Improves Physical Characteristics, Swing Mechanics and Golf Performance in Recreational Golfers: Scott M. Lephart, James M. Smoliga, Joseph B. Myers, Timothy C. Sell, Yung-Shen Tsai: [Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Sports Medicine and Nutrition, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260; Department of Physical Therapy, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan.]

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: 2007, 21(3), 860–869   2007 National Strength & Conditioning Association