Why strength and conditioning became my main focus
It goes without saying that golf requires extraordinary skill. It is humbling, exhilarating, frustrating and absolutely joyful. Everyone who has ever picked up a club wants to unlock the mystery of the great game of golf; but there is no mystery to reveal. The key is simply to discover (then replicate) your most efficient swing mechanics. Consistency is the golden key.
I was very reluctant in my five years of playing this delightful game to address the core fundamental movement patterns that allows me to attain my best in the swing, or maybe just a bit lazy. I have ignored the physical limitations (reduced flexibility, mobility and stability) that not only decrease my ability to store and release energy.
As a player, I too fell trap to an industry selling the latest technology to be the golden key, or the most dynamic ball on the market or the instructional articles in golf magazines to gain additional yards off the tee. Whilst I believe that golf is one of the most tech-savvy sports, and new products and equipment may keep us competitive, we need to look inward to definitely realize our untapped potential to train our bodies to perform optimally and resist injury.
It was not until I was plagued by two injuries in the past two seasons that I started to embrace my physical fitness in order to play at my peak potential. Couple of changes in my training routine, yet I still approached the physical fitness side of golf with a mediocre attitude; not being consistently committed to my new mindset.
On a recent trip to the Emerald Island, I sat in the countryside reading through a couple of academic articles on the impact a round of golf has on our bodies and the importance of increasing cardiovascular fitness and strength and conditioning in order to reduce injury and fatigue; to complete 18 holes in fine form. As a pro player, it is not just 18 holes a week, like the average weekend warrior, but roughly 90 holes weekly. It truly needs understanding that proper conditioning is integral to withstanding and recovering from the physical rigors of golf, and crucial to realizing your full potential on the course. I then recognized the need to improve my athleticism to drive the ball farther and enhance my performance through improved conditioning.
According to several recent studies, only 25 percent of golf injuries are due to overuse; 75 percent of injuries result from poor swing mechanics. As most players turn to a swing coach or club pro to resolve the poor mechanics, it only aggravates the issue, unless they also build stability and mobility in their hips, shoulders and abdominal.
I firmly believe the time to stop doing battle with the wrong weapons has come. I have to approach my mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery as crucial aspects to my golf game. This approach awoke in me an alertness to what I do from the time I wake up to the time I get into bed, accepting proper nutrition and training as the main foundation to achieve my optimal peak performance.
Golf is a lifetime endeavor, and we aren’t doing enough to ensure that we can play a long time. We’re so worried about the quality of the game that we forget the quality of health and life that the game is built upon. This new approach is certainly my focus point for the future and the golden key to consistently unlock great rounds, bringing me to a competitive world-class level. I trust that this new approach would not only bring great rounds, but allow me to use golf as the motivating factor to improve the quality of my life and my health in general.