Almost every golfer wants to hit the ball further. Providing the extra distance doesn’t come at the expense of accuracy, they know that, it will leave them with a shorter approach shot into the green and using less club should give them greater control and mean more birdie chances.

In my time, I have counselled many a young golfer, who, in their desire to hit the ball further, were mistakenly swinging harder to swing faster. Swinging harder introduces tension, which can disrupt sequencing and timing and often result in less club head speed. It can also inhibit the quality of ball striking, because of the stability and balance issues that ensue. Any golfer needs to understand that extra club head speed is only one of several factors that will help improve distance and it shouldn’t be their first port of call. Solid contact beats a fast swing almost every time. It not only provides greater accuracy and distance, but, even more importantly, it also provides greater distance CONTROL.

Distance - Only Fools Rush InFast club head speed will only optimise distance when energy is efficiently transferred into the ball. That’s why I have always started any mission to increase distance by improving the quality of the player’s ball striking. Assessing the quality (and consistency) of a player’s ball striking prowess yields important data relating to a range of key factors such as arc height and low point control for the perfect ball-turf contact, control of swing-path and club face alignment, angle of attack, sweet spot strike, smash factor, launch angle and spin rate. For most golfers, the most immediate aim should be to improve their strike quality and get their smash factor up around the 1.45 mark. Another key factor is launch angle. In my experience, most amateurs need to launch the ball higher with the driver and lower with their irons.

Understanding how each of these factors can influence outcomes (which can be quite dramatic when two or more combine) is extremely important per se, but in respect of distance, being able to control all these factors allows golfers to take full advantage of the elements, such as wind direction and the condition of the fairways, that can have a major influence how the golfer should approach their quest for distance on any given hole.

Since power output results from a combination of strength and speed, efficient force generation is the order of the day: in other words, you will need sound biomechanics, efficient use of GRF and transference of energy up through the kinetic chain. It is important to remember that, for this transference to happen efficiently, proper sequencing is vital and that it is the deceleration of a unit that accelerates the next unit in the chain, therefore it is the deceleration of the arms that will ultimately accelerate the club head! Striving for maximum distance is often counter-productive, because sequencing suffers with a consequent loss of speed.

MetronomeThe key to effective club head speed has more to do with tempo and timing at impact than anything else. In the downswing, the aim should be to build speed that peaks fractionally after impact. Professionals often appear to swing more slowly than amateurs, yet their club head speed is 10-20 mph faster. It’s because they know how to generate optimal club head speed through impact. Far too often, golfers try to speed up their entire downswing, wasting a lot of energy in the process.  Around two-thirds of club head speed is generated via a well-timed release of lag, so, at the risk of repeating myself, when it comes to club head speed, timing is a key factor.

Driver SetupI often see issues with fundamentals that are restricting the distances achieved. Adjusting a novice golfer’s grip can often free up the wrists and afford a significant increase in distance. When using a driver, slight adjustments to an average golfer’s ball position and axis tilt can help optimise launch angle and yield an extra 15-20 yards or more off the tee. Better players, by making contact slightly above the club’s sweet spot, can launch the ball a little bit higher and with less spin, which can add 10-15 yards more distance without any significant changes to their swing.

In my opinion, it is only once this very necessary groundwork has been done, that a golfer should consider embarking on a physical conditioning regime expressly designed to develop more club head speed. And even then, the first requirement would be to ensure that he/she has the requisite balance and stability to maintain control of the extra speed generated – so a lot of work on lower extremity and core strength. Optimising flexibility and fast twitch muscle contraction speed should be the final piece in ‘the swing speed jigsaw’.

A word of caution. Research data might suggest that the lower the handicap, the higher the swing speed tends to be, but that is because the lower the handicap, the better the technique, creation of torque and lag, transference of energy from the ground up through the kinetic chain, timing of the release and quality of strike tends to be. It does not mean that swinging faster is the way to go about reducing your handicap!

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that most golf courses are between 5800–6500 yards long and do not demand excessive length to score well. Rather than working on distance, most amateurs would benefit far more from working on their short game and putting.




Make 2017 Memorable

If you’re the type of person who likes to make New Year resolutions to improve your life, but all too often find it impossible to back up your good intentions with the discipline and perseverance required to seem them through, then here are 10 really simple things you can do to look better, feel better and, yes, play better golf!

walkWalk 7-10,000 steps a day: Prolonged sitting leads to back and hip problems that can potentially cause havoc with your swing. So, get up on your feet and walk, whenever you can. If you have a smartphone or fitness tracker, monitor and keep a record of your steps.

PostureImprove your posture: Posture is the most neglected and least understood aspect of health and fitness. Correcting your posture is the single best thing you can do to improve how you look and feel. Good postural alignment improves blood flow to the muscles, which improves their functionality and helps to reduce pain. [Here are 2 great videos to be had from www.fittergolfers.com that will help you optimize your posture: ‘Achieving Good Posture’ and ‘Maintaining Good Posture’]

glutesStrengthen your glutes: The gluteal muscles are key to good back health, but also to a balanced and powerful swing. Strong glutes help to prevent swaying, sliding and early extension. They also provide energy via GRF that you can transfer into the club in the downswing. So, when you’re sitting down, squeeze your buttock muscles together at regular intervals throughout the day. [If you can isolate them, it’s a good idea to alternate cheeks.] Take the stairs rather than the lift or escalator and target your glutes in your lower body programme with exercises like Bulgarian squats and Romanian deadlifts.

Strengthen your trunk muscles: When strengthening your trunk muscles, develop ‘core’ stability first, before moving on to building core strength. Work the deeper stabilizing muscles first and your functional fitness will improve, making you less prone to injury. Most movements start at the centre and ‘translate’ outwards and a stable centre will help ensure that your movement is efficient and pain-free.

rolling-bridgeBack pain is commonly caused by a weak or imbalanced core. Building core strength will rebalance the muscles at the front and back of your body and should be linked to work on good posture. Complement posture workouts by practicing good posture when you’re sitting at work, at home or in the car, and when out walking etc. Once you’ve developed your core stability, you can start working on the more superficial core muscles to build strength that will be visible to all. ‘Plank’ and ‘bridge’ exercises provide a good starting point. Remember you can have strong limbs, but have relatively weak trunk muscles and that is a dangerous combination!  Core strength is something everyone should work on.

Exercise in all 3 planes of motion: The golf swing demands that you simultaneously move in more than one plane, so conditioning should include multi-plane movements with exercises like lateral and rotational jumps, medicine ball rotational throws, rolling bridges, reverse chops and lunges with trunk rotations etc.

BalanceDo some balance exercises at least twice a week: This can be done very easily indeed. When performing everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, buttoning your shirt etc. simply stand on one leg. This simple act will improve your balance and make the muscles around your ankle work really hard to maintain your equilibrium and thus will strengthen them significantly. As we get older, our balance deteriorates and we get weaker due to age-related muscle wastage called sarcopenia. [It’s why old people become susceptible to falls.] Everyone over the age of 40 should work to maintain their levels of balance and leg strength.

Get your heart rate up in three 20-45 minute relatively vigorous sessions a week: A combination of even-rate cardio and interval training will work wonders for how you feel out on the course. It will burn calories, improve your endurance, and your ability to focus under stress, helping you to hole that vital final putt. Your goal here should be increase your heart rate from its resting rate (between 60-100 beats per minute is normal) to a rate slightly below your maximum rate, which is dependent upon your age and can easily be ascertained by simply deducting your age from 220. [So, for example the maximum heart rate for a 55 year old person is 220-55=165 beats per minute.] Note: It is always advisable to consult your doctor before you start any vigorous exercise programme.

half-foam-rollerSelf-massage twice a week: Just 15 minutes with a foam roller (or other self-massage tool) will free up your muscles, increase their elasticity and lengthen your swing. You’ll be able to swing harder and faster while reducing the risk of injuries. Focus on the lower back, the hips, the upper back and calves.

waterDrink a minimum of 2 litres of water (preferably filtered) a day: The benefits are numerous. Drinking this amount of water tends to curb your appetite and can help you lose weight. It will also improve muscle function for a smoother, more powerful swing, and give you an endurance boost. So, you will wave goodbye to those slumps in performance over the closing holes!  

image1Keep track of your calorie intake: Smartphone apps are freely available to help you log what you eat and drink each day. Regardless of whether or not you should be shedding a few pounds post-Christmas, monitoring what you eat and drink will raise awareness of your nutritional needs. Less stress on your bones, better mobility, and increased energy will benefit your game enormously.

And there you have it. You don't have to do all 10 at once if you find the prospect too daunting, just select a manageable number and gradually work your way through them if you can.

strike-while-the-iron-is-hotOn the other hand, if you think you can 'go the extra mile' and have what it takes not only to transform your general health, but to go on to achieve a body that is totally golf fit then why not take our two FREE self-assessment screening tests for both the lower and upper body? They will pinpoint the areas you need to work on and enable you to select those modules that perfectly meet your needs from our comprehensive conditioning programme. Strike while the iron is hot. Do it NOW! Good luck and here’s to a hugely successful season in 2017...


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.


Despite having around 3,000 golf clubs in the UK and Ireland a 2013 study found only 14% of the 1.2 million members are female, which sadly leaves the ‘home of golf’ lagging behind other European countries. So what can be done to encourage them into the game?

wigi-logopeter-dawsonIn 2005 a WIGI survey found that many women left the sport because of the attitudes they faced and more needed to be done to make women feel welcomed on the course. If last year’s debate about whether or not men-only golf clubs should remain and R&A President, Peter Dawson’s view that “For some people, it’s a way of life that they rather like" is anything to go by, it doesn’t seem much has changed since then.

sue-tibballsWhilst only 1% of UK golf clubs have a single-sex membership policy, the fact that they exist conveys an outdated and frankly unwanted message that will do nothing to attract women into the game. The issue troubles Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation CEO, Sue Tibballs. “While it may be lawful for private member clubs to remain men-only, it is clearly damaging to the sport’s reputation. A number of golfing bodies are working very hard to break down the traditional perceptions of the sport and encourage a new generation of female participants, and these clubs do nothing to help that cause.” Statistics released by England Golf last year bear this out, showing that the average club in England has only 3 female members under the age of 16.

county-golf-partnerships-logoQuite rightly, there are organisations working to educate course owners and staff on how to better support female participation. In 2012, Hays teamed up with City Golf and were inundated with applications for their “Golf for Girls” initiative, which aimed to engage female talent. The County Golf Partnerships reported that 54,000 people were inspired to “Get into golf” last summer, 35% of which were women. The key though is getting these new players to continue playing and that is where the attitude of existing members is so important.

Schools could (and should) play a vital role in re-educating girls. In 2013, the ‘Taking Part’ survey reported that the most common sport for 11-15 year olds was football, played mainly by boys who were also more likely than girls to take part in inter-school sports competitions. Secondary pupils participate less as they got older and, even more worryingly, the difference in boys’ and girls’ participation widens as they move up the school. It begs the question: are schools doing enough to try to redress this trend?

Golf has not been a traditional sport for schools and remains very much the ‘poor relation’. It did not make the top twenty sports in terms of participation, with only horse riding and angling recording a lower figure! The 2010 PE and Sport Survey found that, on average, schools had links to clubs for nine different sports. Golf barely featured.ssp

However, government investment in the School Sports Partnerships and School Club Links programmes provides an opportunity to start changing this situation and golf’s governing bodies must take full advantage of it. Given impetus by the work of the Golf Foundation, the last few years have seen some encouraging signs, but the improvement is from such a very low base that there is an awful lot more still needing to be done.

golf-xtremetri-golf‘Tri-Golf’, and ‘Golf Xtreme’ are innovative and attractive projects for primary and secondary schools respectively. They make golf easy and fun to play. However, as I have pointed out in a previous article, it is unproductive to light a spark in schools unless there is a progressive framework in place that will thereafter continue to nurture both interest and skill development. At present that framework is patchy at best.

The School Club Links Programme led by the Golf Foundation in association with EGU/EGWU and club PGA professionals has met with some success, but a lot more needs to be done (with more specific targeting of those groups traditionally unlikely to have had exposure to the sport). More club PGA professionals, especially female professionals, need to get out into schools and promote the sport, especially through after-school club activity, while clubs need to forge improved links with schools and find ways to open their facilities to them via youth programmes. If the popular perception that golf is a game for the privileged few is to be challenged and the decline in participation that has been evident in recent years is to be reversed, then a number of clubs need to cast off their overly insular and elitist values and embrace the public more wholeheartedly.

young-girlyoung-boySociety’s attitude also needs to change. The 2015 research mentioned earlier showed that girls tend to stop playing sport outside of school as early as 8 years old and the drop-off rate increases as they get older. The reasons for this are just as worrying as the figures themselves. The media in general, but more specifically advertising, is often guilty of peddling gender stereotypes and exacerbating image issues in young women. Perhaps as a result, UK society simply doesn’t do enough to dismantle such stereotypes and convince girls that it doesn’t matter what narrow-minded people think or say. The result is that far too many girls have personal issues about participating in sport. They don’t want to be seen sweating, without make-up and with untidy hair because they think it makes them unattractive to boys.

lexi-thompson-2natalie-gulbisthisgirlgolfsIn reality, playing sport tones the body, including those parts that, when in great shape, men find sexy – as magazine photoshoots featuring golfers like Lexi Thompson, Paige Spiranac and Natalie Gulbis testify. Equally important are the videos posted by these same ladies showing themselves without make-up, their hair scraped back, exercising hard and getting hot and sweaty. The two are definitely not mutually exclusive.

The ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, launched last year by Sport England, was all about changing attitudes and inspired England Golf’s irreverent #ThisGirlGolfs video, which ridiculed the conservative and male-chauvinist values that sadly still persist within the game, representing golf in a rather more modern and ‘edgy’ light!.

Every golf administrator should be made to watch it!


Sport England LogoWomen DriversOn International Women’s Day, we at Fitter Golfers want to ‘flag up’ Sport England’s “This Girl Can” initiative, which aims to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability.

Research reveals a huge difference in the number of men and women playing sport in the UK (two million fewer 14-40 year olds). And it's not because females don't want to get active (>75% say they do). The sad truth is that millions of our women and girls are afraid to exercise because they fear judgement. “Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again,” said Sport England CEO Jennie Price.

I Kick BallsTheir nationwide campaign tells the real story of women who play sport by using images that are the complete opposite of the idealised and stylised images of women we are used to seeing. Neither does it hold back in trying to encourage women to beat their barriers: "I kick balls, deal with it", “Talk to the backhand” and “Damn right I’m hot” are among the hard-hitting lines used to change attitudes and help boost women’s confidence.

Damn Right I Look HotJennie is keen to point out that “women who exercise and play sport… come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of ability… This campaign says it really doesn’t matter if you are a bit rubbish or completely brilliant, the main thing is that you are a woman and you are doing something, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

At Fitter Golfers we think the game of golf provides a perfect opportunity for girls and women to get active. Whilst Cameron Diaz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Celine Dion, Sharon Stone, Denise Van Outen and the current Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins, are just some of the hundreds of famous women who are keen golfers, you don’t have to be rich and famous, or even especially athletic, to enjoy the game at recreational level.

Here are just a few reasons why we think golf is a good option:Girls & Golf

  • Playing golf gets you outdoors in the fresh air and is proven to improve mood, stress levels and self-esteem. It brings some impressive health and wellbeing benefits that can help you look and feel your best. It combines, the core ingredients that doctors recommend for optimum physical and mental health and wellbeing. Indeed, according to a Swedish study, playing golf regularly will add five years to your life expectancy.
  • Golf is a great way to stay in shape too. [A round of golf will burn over 1,000 calories if you walk with a trolley.]
  • Golfers Make Friends Easily: With plenty of opportunity for conversation, golf is a great way to make new friends, or grow closer bonds Get into Golf Look Good Feel Greatwith people you already know. It can afford you quality time with your boss, colleagues, boyfriend, or family far removed from the stress of everyday living. And if time is at a premium, it does not need to take all day: playing just 9 holes is increasingly popular and will only take you a couple of hours.
  • Golf is fun: It’s an easy way to make exercise enjoyable. It’s like sex in that you don’t have to be great at it to enjoy it! And remember, only 10% of golfers ever get below 100 on their scorecard, so you can relax and have fun, knowing you’ll more than likely be in good company!
  • Golf needn’t be expensive: you can spend as little or as much as you like. Beginner courses start from around £25 for five weeks, with equipment provided through the ‘Get into golf’ initiative. There are playing options, equipment and Get Into Golfclothing to suit all budgets. So, golf is great value when compared to many other activities and its unique handicap scoring system means that men and women of all ages and ability levels can play together either socially or competitively.
  • On a more frivolous note, as anyone who has watched LPGA Tour events on TV will know, golf fashion is big business and taking up the game is the perfect excuse for going out and buying some amazing new outfits!If you are career-minded, golf is one of few sports widely accepted in the workplace as a way to Golf Fashionbuild relationships and close deals quickly. Adrienne Wax, co-author of ‘Even Par: How Golf helps Women Gain The Upper Hand In Business’ says "If you can talk about golf, all of the sudden you have a reason to talk to the CEO or your boss two levels above you.”
  • And finally, golf gives you even more reasons to travel the world. There are so many amazing and beautiful courses around the world, golf gives you the perfect excuse to go visit them!

So get out and play girls! Remember #thisgirlcan
NB: To find out more about ‘This Girl Can’, go to www.thisgirlcan.co.uk where you can get also tips on how to get active and join the national debate. You can use the hashtag #thisgirlcan to join the conversation on Twitter.


Stacy Lewis – a role model for all golfers

Stacy Lewis 2ScoliosisAs all golfers should do, world number 3, Stacy Lewis takes good care of her back through regular stretching and strengthening exercises. However Stacy has even more reason than most. When she was eleven, a school screening exam revealed a spinal asymmetry when she bent forward. Subsequent x-rays confirmed that she had scoliosis, an excessive rotational deformity of the spine. Stacy’s spine had a 30% curvature, which meant she was forced to wear a brace 18 hours a day for the next seven and a half years until she stopped growing. Unfortunately for Stacy, when the brace was finally removed, her spinal deformity continued to worsen until, in 2003, a titanium rod and five screws were inserted in her back to straighten it. For many that would have been the end of their professional golfing dream, but Stacy is a fighter and was determined to put her back problems behind her: “I like a challenge. I’d consider myself a grinder, a fighter.”

Scoliosis BraceAfter 3 more months back in her brace and a further 6 months of rehabilitation, Stacy began to chip and putt (which was all her doctors would allow her to do) while working out to build up her fitness. Her road to recovery was thus travelled step by step until she turned professional during the 2008 season.

The following year, while working with Joe Hallett, her coach to improve her takeaway, it became evident that a number of her ‘swing issues’ were owing to a lack of strength and stability. She had a problem keeping the trail scapular down and flat up against her back/ribcage. She also needed greater stability in both the shoulder and pelvic girdles and better trunk rotation. So fitness coach David Donatucci, from the Florida Institute of Performance at PGA National was hired to strengthen her body so she could actually make the moves she was working on.

Stacy Lewis 3Donatucci says his role was to make her a better athlete and in turn make it easier for her coach, Joe Hallett, to make her a better player. He is convinced that golf fitness has been a vital part of Stacy’s success and it seems that Stacy would agree: “For me my fitness and my routine in the gym is as important as hitting balls and practising… Since… working with Dave, I’ve played better golf and have gotten a lot stronger. I am physically able to make moves at the golf ball that I couldn’t do before… I’ve seen success: I’m hitting the ball better, I’m hitting it further…”

Good posture is vital for efficient movement and, because of her shoulder stability issues, a lot of Stacy’s posture work had a shoulder focus. Their goal was efficiency of motion to enhance her golf swing – whether that be improved shoulder girdle stability, rotation or whatever else was needed.

Accordingly, Stacy put in a lot of work to stabilise her scapular through range of motion, because she could only begin working to generate more power (strength and speed combined) once she had attained the requisite stability.

Stacy LewisShe does a lot of exercises and drills in which the shoulders move the hands at speed. In the gym, she frequently uses a medicine ball for explosiveness. Then, when out on Tour, imitates a lot of those same exercises using resistance bands. One of her favourites is a combination row and extension, which works her back, arms, and shoulders all at once.

Stacy does a lot of resistance training on her ‘core’ – abs and back – and squats, squat jumps and lunges to strengthen her back, shoulders and legs. “I focus a lot on squats, lunges and throwing a medicine ball against the wall and the ground, since having strong legs and a solid core help me hit the ball farther.”

“Flexibility and core strength are both key to rotate through the swing properly, [so] I stretch before and after every time I play.”

Update on our Intermediate Level Conditioning Programme

Owing to the Fitter Golfers Partnership having been asked to provide a non-golf-specific programme of exercises for use by sports therapists and general health practitioners, we have this year been writing a conditioning programme for achieving and maintaining a structurally healthy body. This was too good an opportunity to miss, but it has meant a huge amount of work and we have therefore postponed the production of our Golf-Specific Intermediate Level Programme until this project has been completed. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.


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