Golf Fitness Evaluation
Although it took some time, even Jack Nicklaus recognized his need to attain better physical condition to continue a successful competitive career. It was only right after the 1986 Masters that he realized the importance of an exercise program to helphim maintain a competitive edge into the 1990s.
Assessing your present fitness level and following an appropriate conditioning program is an important step for improving your golf performance and raising your playing ability to a higher level. If you currently have injuries or are experiencing health problems, however, be sure to consult with your physician or medical specialist before taking the fitness evaluation.
Keep in mind also that symptoms in one area of the body can be caused by problems elsewhere. For example, Davis Love was treated for hip pain that was later determined to be caused by a back problem. In a similar situation, Jose Maria Olazabal labored with a foot problem for almost two years before further examination revealed that the pain was referred from the low back. Fortunately, once the real problem is identified and treated successfully, high-level golf play can be resumed. Improved physical fitness clearly is an important component in both the remediation and prevention of injury. So how do you begin the process?
If you have high playing aspirations, access to a team of golf pros, biomechanists, physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, and exercise specialists obviously is an advantage for achieving your performance potential. Even working with a trained teaching professional can greatly enhance your golf success and satisfaction. In case you prefer aself-assessment, however, we have provided a relatively simple system for evaluating specific fitness and performance factors.
How often have you had difficulty reaching a swing position and the npracticed various drills to try to correct the problem? If your backswings were short or didn't produce sufficient power, for example, you could find many remedial drills - but first you must identify the specific partof your body that is restricting your backswing.
For example, your backswing might be limited by tight rotator cuff (shoulder) muscles, tight hip joints and surrounding musculature, lack of coordination of the upper and lower body, restricted midspine motion, tight latissimus dorsi (upper back) muscles, and even restricted cervical (neck) muscles. Because there are so many possible causes, we recommend initial screening to better identify any areas of restriction.The next section will help you identify possible problem areas, which then can be trained appropriately for better results. If you currently are experiencing any musculoskeletal problems, however, we encourage you to see a physician or physical therapist first, preferably one who has expertise in spine and sports injuries.