2 Things Science Tells us About Improving Your Golf

By on 5th February 2016
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1. Warm-ups can increase your club head speed

It is possible to improve club head speed through a simple warm-up. That is the finding of a study conducted recently by a group of scientists.

The authors showed how engaging in a vigorous warm-up 5 times a week for 5 weeks before golfing will improve club head speed.

The golfers in this study were relatively inexperienced with a mean handicap of 19.8. The improvements in club head speed went from approximately 140 k/hr to an astonishing 178 k/hr. While they did not measure driving distance, it can be assumed that this also increased dramatically.

It is also likely that the exercises contributed to a better X-factor and sequential rotation during the down swing.

Thus, the muscles that were required to complete the swing were literally warmed-up or activated in a better sequence. Start with a good warm-up, that is the clear message from this study.

The results of this study reinforce what we have known for some time, a thorough warm-up is essential and should form part of all golfers pre-practice and pre-match routines.

2. Strength training can increase club head speed and driving distances in quality golfers

Recent studies confirm what we have known for decades – strength training improves golf performance. Another study showed how good club golfers with a mean handicap of 5.5 could improve their club head velocity from 180 k/hr to 182.6 k/hr through a programme of strength training.

The programme involved 2 units of training each week for 8 weeks. While the change in club head velocity was only 1.5%, this resulted in a 4.3% driving distance improvement.

Yes these golfers were considered good but were not physically trained.

Summary

The results of these two studies indicate that if you have not undertaken a physical training programme then you can increase your club head speed dramatically by doing some simple conditioning exercises. The exercises can be as simple as warm-up type exercises that activate the key muscles of the body.

Scientists have shown that you can increase strength and power after just one training session. The reason – you become better instantly at recruiting and organising the firing and sequencing of your muscles.

This explains why a warm-up can be an effective method of instantly improving.

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Dr Liam Hennessy

Academic Director at Setanta College
Dr. Liam Hennessy is fitness coach to three time Major winner Padraig Harrington and a member of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Advisory Board. Liam is a former international athlete and world renowned S&C coach, working in top level European soccer, international rugby, and the Olympic Games. Liam is currently the Academic Director with highly regarded global sports institute - Setanta College

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About Dr Liam Hennessy

Dr. Liam Hennessy is fitness coach to three time Major winner Padraig Harrington and a member of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Advisory Board. Liam is a former international athlete and world renowned S&C coach, working in top level European soccer, international rugby, and the Olympic Games. Liam is currently the Academic Director with highly regarded global sports institute - Setanta College

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