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Golf teaching and playing articles > Get in shape and shape up your game

13 May 2004


Golfers often experience a loss of energy, concentration and focus during the back nine of their round. Many factors can be responsible, including physical condition, hydration, rest and fuel.

If you do not have the physical stamina to perform at the level you want for 18 holes, you must incorporate fitness training in your weekly regimen. Every top player at the professional, collegiate and amateur levels trains to compete.

The least effective training is to go to the gym and use different machines to strengthen body parts separate from other body parts. Muscle groups that need to work together in the golf swing need to be trained together.

Functional training, which incorporates many different body parts in a manner that replicates the golf motion, is the best and most effective training you can do.

I recommend that you hire a fitness professional to put together a program that is effective for golf. Check for the proper training and credentials, as there is a big difference in the training and experience level of fitness trainers.

Among the organizations that certify trainers are the National Association of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, which qualifies trainers as a CSCS, or certified strength and conditioning specialist. A bachelor's degree is required for this certification. A master's degree in kinesiology indicates a greater understanding of how the body operates.

Injury prevention and treatment can be handled by someone certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association as an ATC, or Athletic Trainer-Certified.

Certification take years of study, and these trainers have the necessary skills to help you maximize your workout and prevent injuries.

You should be trained a few times on your program to be sure you are doing the exercises correctly. I also suggest that you get reevaluated after a few weeks.

If you have not been working out regularly, you will need to start on one program and progress to another as you gain strength and flexibility.

The best way to find a professional is through personal recommendation, or check my Web site for recommendations.