Research suggests golf-specific conditioning can knock as many as 7 shots off your handicap within a few months!

Sounds too good to be true? Far from it!… and here’s why:

sedentary-lifestyleThe sedentary nature of modern life means that the vast majority of club golfers lack the levels of strength and flexibility demanded by the golf swing in key areas of their body.

After the age of 30, unless offset by muscle conditioning workouts, ALL ADULTS lose 3-8% of their muscle mass per decade in a natural, age-related process of muscle wastage known as Sarcopenia. (It can often start in people as young as 20). Over time, this loss of lean tissue contributes to a decrease in muscle strength and power. As a result, balance also deteriorates. Inactivity further accelerates the rate of atrophy and by the time we get to 50, we can lose 4 ounces of muscle every year.

No wonder then that, as they get older, most golfers start to lose distance off the tee!

  • Prolonged periods of time in a seated posture stretches and weakens the muscles in the posterior chain – muscles that are vital for stability and power in the golf swing.
  • At the same time, it shortens muscles in the front of the body and makes maintaining balance throughout the swing extremely difficult.
  • poor-postureSimilarly time spent at a desk, especially at a computer keyboard, ruins posture and inhibits much-needed flexibility in the upper back and shoulders.
  • Owing to the fact that it is an unnatural movement, few have either the rotational range of motion required, or the ability to achieve adequate separation of their upper and lower body (the so-called X-factor).
  • Playing golf doesn’t help! In fact, because the swing is an asymmetrical action, in the absence of restorative conditioning, it only serves to increase existing imbalances in the body’s musculature, thus increasing instability and the risk of eventual breakdown.

A properly designed, golf-specific conditioning programme restores requisite levels of balance, stability, strength and flexibility.

golf-conditioningImproved balance and stability translates into greater accuracy and consistency

Stronger wrists and forearms give you greater control of your swing plane and swing path.

Stronger leg, thigh and hip muscles generate more power from the ground up and stronger trunk muscles transfer that power more efficiently to the upper body, while improved flexibility in the upper back and shoulders lengthens the swing and thereby increases clubhead speed – all of which means extra distance.

Greater distance and increased accuracy means you find more fairways and hit shorter approach shots, making it easier to target the pin and enjoy more birdie putts.

And that is how appropriately designed golf-specific conditioning can knock as many as 7 shots off your handicap in just a few months!

Still not convinced? Then maybe the professionals can change your mind!

  • “Being in good physical shape helps me to be a better player.” – Rory McIlroy[29] Rory McIlroy
  • “Following a gym programme…I feel a lot stronger and more stable in my swing. I work on my balance, swing mobility and injury prevention. I think it’s vital.” – Charlie Hull
  • “My fitness and my gym routine is just as important to me as practising. You have to be in shape to play well.” – Stacy Lewis
  • “I’m always trying to improve my conditioning… It’s as important to my training as practising my swing.” – charley-hullTiger Woods
  • “Those who think golfers are not really athletes are wrong… you need to be strong and in good shape. [You may] not be a professional, but you can still work hard at being the best golfer you can be in 2017.” – Suzann Pettersen


Chingford Golf Course in snowsnow-golfPlaying golf in mid-winter can be no fun at all, especially if the ground is frost-hardened and the wind’s finger-numbingly cold. However, it’s the perfect season for working on your game and realising your game-improvement ambitions.

Change takes time. For one thing, a single swing ‘fault’ will often come wrapped in a bundle of other compensatory issues, so, when changing the fault, you must be patient and allow yourself time to resolve these other issues too. Also, a swing change requires countless painstaking repetitions before it becomes ingrained in your neuromuscular memory and no longer needs conscious thought and effort.

impact-bagmirrorWinter is the perfect time to schedule in this kind of work on your game, not just because you have more off-course time available, but also, crucially, you don’t need to worry about outcomes, so the inevitable short-term drop in performance can be accommodated more easily. It allows you to focus fully on the movement itself. You can practise at home with an impact bag and a mirror to really ‘groove’ the swing change, before eventually progressing to hitting air-flow balls off a mat in the garden.

It is always advisable to work on improving your game under the kind of expert supervision that your local teaching professional can offer you and here again winter is your friend because it allows you the time to undertake a series of lessons to iron out any technical issues.

Now, a word of caution. For any game-improvement effort to be fully rewarded, it is important to understand the inextricable link between physical and technical ability.

The swing fault that plagues a golfer’s game is often the result of a physical limitation, rather than being purely a technical issue. It will be absolutely vital when correcting any swing faults that your body can easily accommodate new swing positions and move freely and effortlessly through the requisite new movement patterns.

Luckily, winter also affords you time to ensure that the most important item of golf equipment you own – your body – is totally fit-for-purpose.


If  you go to the ‘Game Improvement’ drop down menu on our Homepage (see above) you will find a page entitled ’Are your Problems Physical or Technical?’ Simply hover over that title and  it will open up a list of pages covering all the most common swing faults and their most likely physical causes. You can then download our free self-assessment screening tests to confirm whether the problem you are having with your swing is indeed the result of a physical restriction. Once identified, you can target that limitation with the appropriate conditioning module from our comprehensive programme. All the modules in our Foundation Programme have been specifically designed to be done at home without any need for specialist equipment, so there are no obstacles to overcome and you can begin immediately.

Posture ExercisesOpening up an appropriate dialogue with your teaching professional is vital. If you are serious about improving your game, make it clear that he/she doesn’t need to compromise in any way and that you are fully prepared to undertake golf-specific conditioning in order to facilitate any swing changes that ideally need to be made.

Winter’s the perfect time to start a golf-specific conditioning programme that will improve your balance, stability, strength and mobility. So, why not start next season hitting it longer and straighter than ever before, enjoying shorter approach shots into greens, really attacking those pins and taking full advantage of more birdie putts.