Is Physical Fitness Low Hanging Fruit or a Heavy Weight for Improving your Golf Game?

Thanks to Jesper Aggergaard @aggergakker for making this photo available freely on Unsplash

After stopping playing golf seriously for 20 years I turned 40 and got hooked on the quest to play off scratch again. It took me 4 years of hard work and now after the initial feeling of joy I want to be a plus handicapped player as soon as possible. That is the nature of the game, or the quest for continuous improvement. I guess it doesn’t have to be that way, but anyway on my search to get to scratch I upturned many different stones and I think the drive to improve my physical fitness and increase my club head speed had one of the most dramatic effects. It was possibly one of the keys.

I came to the realization after busting a drive on a 480 yard par 5 and having 235 left into the green. I busted a 3 wood to 15 foot and made the putt for eagle. I went from 2 over par to level, birdied 2 of the last 4 to finish 2 under par. Alarm bells rang and I realized this is why I’m not scoring like I used to, I’m not getting in the par 5s in two anymore.

I then invested in a Swing Caddie SC200 to track my swing speed and clocked it at 95mph. I then started to investigate how to hit the ball further. I found 3 areas to focus on to increase my distance. Physical fitness, centre of strike and launch angle.

I explored data relating handicap in relation to swing speed. I looked at PGA tour and Champions Tour averages and found an area in need of massive improvement. That’s when I stumbled across Mike Carroll and his Fit For Golf app and program.

I signed up for a month of the app on one of Mikes rebate codes for only $6 a month. It was winter in Sweden so I hit the gym and committed to 3 sessions a week. Mike emphasizes mobility, flexibility and strength and it’s all packaged in an easy to use app that tracks your weights and reps. I bought a year’s subscription for less than a price of a new wedge and completed the 101 program then moved on to the in season program and started to see results. I invested in speed sticks and followed Mikes protocols. Throughout using the app I contacted Mike several times on Twitter and he was always quick to answer my questions and guide me in the right direction.

After 3 months work with the Fit for Golf app my swing speed increased from a weak 95 mph to 107 mph with my driver. Studies show average golfer average 2.29 yards for every mph of club head speed. So my 12 mph increase gave me a minimum of 27 yards. This is before we even look at strike conditions and launch angles

When looking at increasing club head speed we often just think about the increase wit the driver. However the increase throughout the bag was what reminded me most of playing in my 20s. Having the ability to now hit 7 iron 165-170 in comparison to 150 makes a huge difference for your approach game. Hitting par 5s in 2 racks up easy birdies and having wedges into greens improves proximity.

The other offshoot from doing the training program was that I no longer suffer from lower back pain. I struggled greatly with this but now my glutes feel strong enough to hold my back up. My core is stronger and I’ve not had back problems since I started the training.

I can highly recommend trying the fit for golf app. I’m not the BBC so I don’t have to say there are other brands out there, I guess there are but I’ve not tried them. So is physical fitness a low hanging fruit? I’d say it’s easier than hitting 10,000 balls with a faster return for your time. Is it as much fun as being on the golf course probably not, but hitting bombs certainly is enjoyable. Hope this blog inspired you to add some training into your golf game.

Take care

Mike Parry

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: