Well we are almost there….Golf Season begins this month! For some of the more fortunate golfers this will not be the first round of the year, the rest of us however packed the clubs 7 months ago. It’s a bit late to start getting fit for golf but as they say “It’s better late than never”. So here are a few things to do before you hit that first drive.

Studies have shown that the average male golfer burns about 900 calories per round while females burn about 700 calories. Carrying your clubs adds another 10-15% to these numbers. These numbers show that being out on the course for several hours does require physical stamina.

Improving your stamina increases the efficiency of your cardio-vascular system. Therefore aerobic training forms the crucial foundation for the other golf fitness components, like strength and balance. So start today with a 15-30 minute walk, swim or stationary bike. This should be done 2-4 times per week and as a general rule you would want to increase either the duration or intensity by no more than 10% per week.

The easiest way to ensure cardio-vascular benefits from a fitness program is to use your Target Heart Rate. The target heart rate should be 75% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220. The target heart rate for a 40 year old is therefore:

  • 220 – 40 ( = to 180) x 0.75, which = 135 beats per minute1

So now that you have started your Golf Fitness Program here are a few tips on preventing an injury early on in your season.

  • Start by gently swinging a 7 iron in the backyard for 5 – 10 minutes. Make sure to use good posture during these swings.
  • Gradually build up the length and speed of your practice swings. Attaching a small weight (about the weight of a golf ball) to the club face can make the club-swinging exercise a little bit harder.
  • Progress to hitting a small bucket of balls at the driving range with a half or three-quarter swing, using only short and medium length irons. Hit the ball off a tee or very soft mat and take frequent breaks. Don’t hit balls on consecutive days.
  • Continue to practice but start to introduce the long irons and finally the woods.
  • Start playing. If you can, try and start with 9 holes before committing to the full 18 holes.
  • Allow a full day’s rest between rounds.

Here is to a great injury free golf season.