Do you want to know the secret to improving your golf performance? It’s pretty
I know you may have seen that one coming. Intuitively, I think we all understand
that in order to improve performance on the course, we need to be stronger. A
stronger body means more distance, right? And not only more distance: more
control. You need to look no further than Rory McIlroy, who, judging by his frame
alone, should not be able to hit the ball as far as he does. However, because he has
trained with some of the best strength coaches in his field, he is able to produce
Now, before we go any further, I want to state that one of the most important things
you can do for your game and happiness while playing is to enlist the services of a
qualified golf professional. The expertise that is required to analyze a swing and
create an approach specific to your individual limitations is vital. You will not be
able to teach yourself how to get your swing into the proper groove no matter how
many tech gadgets or cameras you purchase. Having a golf pro work with you on
your game is imperative. That being said, let’s move on to the topic of this article.
What parts of your body do you think should be the strongest in order to produce
results in your swing? Arms? Chest? Core? Hips? Legs?
Clearly, you need some baseline strength in all of the above, right? You can’t have
weak arms and grip strength and expect to launch the ball off of the tee. However,
when we look at where the majority of power comes from in your swing, it comes
down to your hips and core. All power is generated from your lower body.
At the top of your backswing, you have effectively wound up a rubber band and now
have to release the potential energy into the golf ball via rotational torque. If you
have weak hips and core, this translation won’t happen. You’ll cast the golf club out
with your wrists, hook the clubhead around your body, or get handsy through your
swing, resulting in an erratic ball flight.
Need more evidence for what I’m suggesting? A study performed on intercollegiate
golfers found that a physical conditioning program of 11 weeks resulted in a five-
yard increase in drive distance.(1) In less than three months, they were consistently
five yards longer off of the tee. And the study even suggested that the strength
program was able to improve putting distance control. Wait one minute. You’re
telling me that by getting stronger I can improve my putting? Now there’s a
So now that I’ve got you interested, the next question should be: “Where do I start?”
Well, as with any new endeavor, enlisting an educated and certified professional is crucial. You need a strength coach that is certified
and has experience working with athletes in your situation.
But what about today, Ryan? What can I do this moment to start getting stronger?
Well, let’s look at two excellent core and hip strengthening exercises from our
friends over at The Rack Athletic Performance Center (www.therackapc.com).
The rear-foot elevated split squat will give you some excellent bang for your buck
with a hip and lower body strengthening movement:
Next, adding in an RKC plank will really recruit your core in a way you haven’t felt
before. This is no ordinary, boring plank:
One thing I should note before you go try these: if you have a history of injury, pain
or disability in these areas you should consult a healthcare professional before
beginning any exercise routine. Luckily, I am such a practitioner and can assist you!
Give these exercises a try, and start your journey toward increased strength and
See you on the course,
1. Doan, Brandon K., et al. "Effects of physical conditioning on intercollegiate golfer
performance." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 20.1 (2006): 62.