The off-season presents a great opportunity to improve your physical abilities as it relates to the sport of golf!
I have three tips to help you DOMINATE your golf off-season.
Let's get right to it.
Tip #1 - Care about what matters
There are a lot of things in the golf fitness and training world that, quite frankly, don't matter.
Here's a short list of things you SHOULD NOT care or worry about this off-season:
Scoring highly on a movement screen
"Getting too muscular"
What should you care about?
Getting strong af
Moving freely and confidently
FIRST, getting stronger.
When it comes to building resilience and longevity - which I assume are both goals for most of us - getting stronger should be a top priority.
More strength makes joints more stable and higher functioning.
It can make you more mobile and flexible, when built correctly.
It will help you produce more force and hit the ball further.
How should you build strength?
By progressively overloading the body through a full range of motion.
For example, this week a SCRATCH Athlete somewhere is completing a goblet squat.
They may be using a 45 lb dumbbell.
Next week, they should try using a 50.
The following a 55.
Then a 60.
You get the point.
Slowly and methodically, we get stronger by increasing the amount of weight we are lifting.
Care about how strong you can get this off-season.
SECOND, swinging faster.
Want to swing faster?
You should probably swing fast often.
Grab a PVC pipe or a speed stick, and swing it fast.
Here's how you should be speed training this off-season...
Get a PVC pipe (cut it down to ~45 inches) or speed stick.
Get a clubhead speed radar
Warm-up a little more, because I doubt you warmed up to my liking the first time
Take 10 swings to build up to a max effort
Complete 4-6 sets of 3-5 max effort swings with external feedback from the radar
Wait 48 hours to recover
At SCRATCH, we offer the SCRATCH SPEED BLUEPRINT which is designed to lead you through 8 week of speed training.
Care about how fast you are swinging a golf club by the end of the off-season.
Third, moving freely and confidently.
While this is tougher to measure than the first two, it's no less important.
Throughout the off-season, you should care about how you are FEELING about your movement.
Maybe you feel this in terms of back pain - hopefully it's significantly decreasing as the off-season progresses!
Maybe you feel this through greater levels of physical activity.
Maybe you feel this through less soreness after workouts.
Whatever it is, care about it.
Care about the way you feel when you move.
You don't need to be in pain when you go for a walk.
You don't need to be in pain when you try and lift your grandkid.
You don't need to be in pain every time you take the club away from the ball.
How to get out of chronic pain this off-season...
Identify painful movements and positions.
Find regressed and scaled back versions of those that don't cause pain.
Complete those pain-free exercises often.
Slowly progress stress towards those movements that used to give you pain.
*This process is complex af, I wrote about it in more depth here, reach out and let's chat if you are in pain.
Tip #2 - Be Consistent
This one is not very sexy, but it's critically important.
You aren't going to improve shit if you workout once a month - or for one month hard and then stop.
Be consistent this off-season.
Tip #3 - Don't Stop Golfing
If golf performance is an important goal of yours, make time to continue golfing through the off-season.
If you are a fellow midwesterner like me, go hit up one of those cool golf sim shops weekly.
Go find a golf dome.
Go set up a net in your garage (maybe with a heater).
No amount of physical training will improve your golf game more than playing golf itself.
From a physical preparation standpoint, swinging a golf club creates adaptations that can't be recreated in the weight room.
Tip #4 - Get a Coach
What do you do for a living?
What would happen if I switched places with you for a day?
Probably nothing good... I'm just a strength coach.
But that's exactly my point.
Why do you think you can do the job of a strength and fitness coach?
Get a coach this off-season.
Let them help guide you.
We only get one physical body in this world... use it wisely, treat it right, get a coach to help you navigate physical preparation and performance!
WRAP IT UP
With these four tips, you're ready to dominate this golf off-season.
Now go make it happen.
Your future self will appreciate it.
Founder and Head Coach SCRATCHGolfTraining.com
Carter is a strength and conditioning coach out of the Milwaukee area working with athletes, in-person and virtually. Having helped hundreds of athletes, ranging from the middle school to the professional level and beyond, Carter brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to every athlete he works with. He launched SCRATCHGolfTraining.com in the summer of 2021 to help empower golfers to greater performance and longevity.
Carter believes ALL golfers are athletes, and they should be training accordingly.
Become a SCRATCH Athlete today, and start training like the ATHLETE you are!