Dame Laura DaviesDame Laura Davies, former women’s world number one, will captain a Ladies European Tour team in a new match play event, the snappily named ‘The Queens presented by Kowa,’ to be held at the Miyoshi Country Club in Japan on December 4-6.

The 52-year-old four-time major champion, Britain’s most successful ever golfer having won 79 titles, will also play in the inaugural tournament. “It’s a one of a kind tournament and I’ll enjoy being part of it,” she said. “I love Japan and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to go.” With the same direct and no-nonsense sort of approach that she brought to her golf game, Dame Laura continued, “As a playing captain, you put your team out in order and have a bit of fun. I don’t think there’s too much involved and so when I was asked I said yes straight away. I can see myself playing in the four ball and I’ll drop out of the foursomes. I’ll just make sure everyone plays with someone they get on with. When it gets to Sunday and the singles it’s like every woman for herself and you’ve just got to get a point on the board and beat the opposition. I think it sounds like good fun.”

The tournament involves four teams of nine players representing the ALPG, JLPGA, KLPGA and the LET.

Dame Laura has no captain’s picks. The other eight members of her team will comprise the leading six eligible players from the LET Order of Merit and the next two leading eligible players from the World Rankings. We will know the exact composition of the LET team later this month.

The format will run along pretty traditional lines for such an event, with the opening two days of the three day tournament featuring four ball and foursomes match play, with eight players from each team competing each day and the final day will see all nine players compete in singles match play with a points scoring system in operation to decide the winning team.

The winning team will take home 45 million yen (about €0.3m euros) along with a further 1 million yen to donate to the charity of their choice and the total the prize money will stretch to an impressive 100million yen.

Ivan Khodabakhsh (LET CEO)LET CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh said: “The Ladies European Tour is delighted that Laura has accepted the role of Captain for the first edition of ‘The Queens presented by Kowa.’ Laura is a sporting icon whose popularity transcends borders and golf… Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is extremely excited to be involved and cannot wait for the event to tee off.”

Hiromi Kobayashi (JLPGA)Unsurprisingly, JLPGA Chairman Hiromi Kobayashi expressed similar excitement: “Having 36 top players from four of the world’s major tours competing in a team competition in Japan for the first time has really excited sports fans and we are really looking forward to this dream tournament which is certain to be extremely competitive.” (translated)


Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth has a lot of natural ability, a level head and a relentless drive to succeed - undoubtedly attributes that are extremely useful when it comes to playing golf, or indeed any sport, at a high level.

Nowadays you can add to that list of attributes a well-honed body that is totally ‘golf fit’, but that wasn’t always the case.

Damon GoddardWhen, in 2009, at the tender age of 16, Jordan first met his trainer, Damon Goddard of AMP Fitness, he was in Goddard’s words “tall and lanky with hardly any backside,” a bit like “Bambi on ice” and “needed a lot of work.” Goddard quickly identified a need to increase his body weight and muscle strength.

By 2011, the year before he turned professional aged 19, he had gained almost 25lb, most of it muscle, and filled out physically. He now had ‘an athletic build’ and that should really come as no surprise at all, given the fact that Goddard’s premise has long been to develop the athlete first and then the golfer. [AMP is an acronym: Assess, Move, Perform].

Now aged 22, Jordan can deadlift more than twice his body weight. When he’s not on the golf course, he spends about four days a week in the gym with Goddard working out. His programme focuses on strength in the core and the lower body for stability, speed and power.” All lean muscle at 6’1” and 185 pounds, nowadays Goddard refers to that one-time “Bambi on ice” as being “country-strong". It is always important to balance strength work with mobility training and Jordan combines his with foam rolling and stretching routines to help increase flexibility and mobility.

As you can see, golf-specific conditioning has played a major part in Jordan Spieth’s rise to the top of the game - just as it has done with golf’s other two musketeers, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. So, club  golfers take heed – if you are serious about improving your game, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that your body is properly ‘golf fit’. Remember Damon Goddard’s premise? Always develop the athlete first!

www.fittergolers.com – peak performance to a tee


Ask Rory McIlroy about golf fitness training and he will tell you: “It’s a necessity. It gives me the best possible chance to go out onto the golf course and perform to the best of my ability.”

Rory McIlroy 2007When Rory first came on the professional scene about 6 years ago, he was relatively slight in stature and his musculature was more ‘soft’ than firmly toned. But since the end of 2010 when he began working on his fitness under the tutelage of British trainer Steve McGregor, the results have been dramatic.

Showing impeccable diplomacy, McGregor described McIlroy, back in 2010, as having "untapped" fitness potential.

I want to talk a little bit about what McGregor and McIlroy did to get him into shape to play the kind of golf that elevated him to the world number one spot, because it provides extremely useful information for any of you out there who want to improve your own game.

Steve McGregorAs always, the first step was to assess current levels of balance, flexibility, strength and, crucially important, muscular symmetry. McGregor recalls, "I measured his muscle strength and saw imbalances." "He had issues with his back in 2010. He was only 21 then, but there was evidence of overuse injury. He'd been swinging a club since the age of two without much focus on fitness. Rory, himself, recalls with an infectious smile, “I wasn’t really big into the gym… I couldn’t stand on one leg for more than ten seconds and couldn’t hold the plank for more than thirty seconds.”

McIlroy's left side, from his back through his legs, was weaker than his right. So balancing the right and left sides of his body was a top priority. Over time, the nature of the golf swing – a repetitive unilateral rotation – creates imbalances in your body. It’s vitally important that you prevent that imbalance from getting out of control. A better strength ratio between the two sides of your body provides more stability and reduces your risk of injury. McGregor still pays “special attention to keeping his back strong."

[29] Rory McIlroyRory himself freely admits, “I didn’t have a strong enough core or lower back and glutes to stabilise my pelvis. I’ve concentrated a lot on the core and my legs and being balanced from the ground up. I’m the same weight as I was when I started, around 164 lbs, but I’ve gained quite a lot of muscle or lean mass.” As a result, he will now tell you, “I feel like I can hit it harder without losing balance. I just feel I don’t have to go after it as much to get the length.”

After creating balance and stability, Rory progressed to more strength training, and eventually power training. Recognise that pattern? If you haven’t read my previous posts on Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, take a look. The important point here is that he was taken through a proper progression – (i) assessment (ii) flexibility/mobility (iii) balance/stability (iv) strength (v) power.

If you want to improve your own game, the Fitter Golfers self-assessment screening programme is a great place to start. [FREE to download from this website]

Our comprehensive modular programme of exercise videos means that you can design your own individual programme (ensuring that you follow the correct progression mentioned earlier) and choose only those modules that directly address your needs (as identified in the screening process), so there is no ‘dead time’.  Also all our foundation level exercises can be done at home without the need for equipment, so there is no unnecessary expense.

To summarise the benefits of golf-specific conditioning: scientific research has linked a properly designed exercise programme with a significant increase in clubhead speed and a drop in handicap of up to 7 shots in a relatively short period of time; there's also a lot of scientific evidence that links being strong and physically fit with increased self-confidence and psychological well-being – not bad things to have out on the course! Game for improvement? Get conditioned to success.

WWW.FITTERGOLFERS.COM – Peak Performance to a Tee



Jason Day27-year-old Jason Day’s almost meteoric rise to the very peak of elite golf performance would not have happened if he hadn't first transformed his body.

 That's the firm belief of his trainer, Cornel Driessen, whose workouts have dramatically increased Day's core strength and stability, stripped away over six pounds of unwanted fat and replaced it with 15 pounds of lean muscle.

 Driessen thinks the back twinge that forced him to pull out of the Barclay’s pre-tournament pro-am in August would almost certainly been a serious problem were it not for the physical conditioning he's undertaken. According to Driessen, Jason “tweaked his back moving an item under his motor coach” and aggravated “a long-standing disc issue." He went on to say, "If Jason had the same strength profile that he had last year, he would likely have missed the FedEx Cup, that's my professional opinion… he would not be as resilient as he is now.”

cornel-dresenSouth African Driessen, who took on Day after last year's FedEx Cup, pinpointed core weakness as a significant inhibiter to his performance and injury prevention. Day quickly ‘bought into’ Driessen’s training philosophy and, as a consequence, is now reaping the benefits.

In Driessen’s own words, "His lower core and abs are now incredible and they were close to non-existent in comparison a year ago. He is showing as much as 800% improvement in dynamic core flexion strength and significant improvements across the board."

Why not follow Jason’s example and use the fast approaching close season to get conditioned for success next year? Download our FREE screening programme to pinpoint the areas that are potentially having an adverse impact on your performance. Then use the appropriate golf specific exercise programme(s) to get your body totally fit for golf and help to transform your game. Their modular format means you choose only those that address your individual needs.

www.fittergolfers.com – peak performance to a tee


Darren ClarkeAs Darren Clarke is named as captain of Europe’s 2016 EurAsia Cup team, the whole question of Asian golf enters the spotlight once again, especially given that Clarke will also captain Team Europe in next year’s Ryder Cup.

The EurAsia Cup will take place at Kuala Lumpur's Glenmarie Golf and Country Club on 15-17 January and will provide Clarke with a useful ‘dry run’ as a team captain and the chance to try out a few ideas ahead of next September's Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

In the only previous competition back, in 2014, the two teams fought out a nail-biting 10-10 draw and Clarke commented, "Both teams that are assembled will be desperate to win the EurAsia Cup for the first time."

However, putting all the expected niceties aside for a moment, we are left to ponder the question: what kind of team will Europe assemble? With no disrespect intended, a comparison of the respective 2014 EurAsia and Ryder Cup teams suggests that last time around the European Tour attached more importance to the latter.

Given the disparity in the world rankings, perhaps it is not surprising. The 10th ranked European has a world ranking of 41, while the 10th ranked Asian lies at 134. There are five Europeans in the top 20 and only one Asian.

Inbee ParkEven more pertinent then is the question why is there not a similar competition for the women? Inbee Park’s clear win by three shots at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in August this year confirmed her as the world’s top female player. The fact that the top three places all went to Asian golfers served further to highlight current Asian dominance of the Ladies game.

A look at the current women’s world rankings is hugely revealing. There are ten Asian golfers in the top twenty and no less than twenty-five in the top fifty! So, how is the women's game reacting to this situation? Laggardly, at best. When, a couple of years ago, a fifth major was added to the calendar, it would hardly have been a surprise had the authorities seen fit to stage it somewhere like Nine Bridges GC, or the Jack Nicklaus, Korea or Hirono GC, or Tokyo GC in Japan. It’s not as if suitable venues don’t exist!

Instead they chose to upgrade the Evian Championship – another European venue (which was, incidentally, dominated by Asian players once again in both 2014 and 2015 – as if to underline my point!). The decision, many would say inadvisedly, flew in the face of current developments in the world game.

If there is a place for the EurAsia Cup in the men’s game, given the world rankings a women’s version would be a more prestigious affair. The Solheim Cup showcases women’s golf in its most exciting format and no-one would want to see that disappear, but in non-Solheim years, there would surely be a market for another intercontinental contest that included Asia.

 If congestion is an issue, then Europe and America could conceivably alternate as Asia’s opponents.

Any further exposure for the ladies' game is surely to be applauded and could only help the attempts being made by the UK authorities to attract more girls to the game.

As history tells us, in any sport success is cyclical and that only serves to exacerbate the need for prompt action. Current Asian dominance provides a window of opportunity that the game’s governing bodies would be foolish to let pass by.