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The First Key to Playing Like Tiger: Fitness | By Jens Klemsche

In the study of golf-game improvement, I’ve noticed that there are many tools needed. It starts with your body. People come to me and say they want to hit the ball like Tiger Woods. Well, the first thing you need is Tiger Woods’ body. Today’s tour players are fit. What does “fit” encompass? What is a good program to improve your golf game? In the past, I’ve gone to the gym and worked out. Well, something is better than nothing. However, that’s like going to the range and hitting balls and hoping you’re going to improve. Getting more “golf fit” was truly more challenging and involved than I first anticipated. I needed professional help.

John Velandra at Designs for Fitness is an expert at getting your body fit. He has a golf-specific workout plan that beats all others. The premise starts with the idea that we are all too busy to work out and play golf. Think about it -- if you worked out and played golf in one day, that would be six hours, not leaving us a lot of time to work and get other things done. The golf-specific workout gets you fit while having a practice session.

One big key in swinging the golf club is body awareness. How is our body moving during the golf swing? Especially when making a swing change, you really need this awareness. How do you get more awareness? A workout program can increase your coordination, agility, and balance, which in turn will help your body be more aware. So becoming more cross fit is the answer.

What are some areas you should work out? The golf swing is a lot of trunk rotation. Core strength and leg strength are important. Leg strength is important because your legs are your platform and you want a good strong platform. Also, having strong abdominals is good because it reduces strain on back muscles. Strong hands are important because the only contact you have with the ball is through the club. The only contact you have with the club is through your hands.

Oftentimes, people don’t view golfing as a sport. How wrong they are! The reality is, golf requires as much coordination, balance, accuracy, and power as basketball or tennis. Add to that the stamina necessary to walk 18 holes and still be as accurate as when you started! The only way to develop those fitness skills is through the proper training and conditioning, something you don’t find in the traditional gym programs.

That’s where trainers come in; they can help you design a program to develop all the necessary fitness attributes and tailor them for your game! Get fit and see what it can do to your golf game.

Jens Klemsche is a PGA professional at Highland Country Club.

He can be reached at jkkpgapro@aol.com