The Foundation of a Well-Conditioned Golfer

Golf Pro | By Travis Johnson –

Golfers are athletes and need to condition their bodies just like any other athlete. The game of golf has changed, and we see this with the performances of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. One thing that has helped these two reach a number one world ranking in golf is their commitment to being physically prepared and well-conditioned for the demanding life as a PGA Tour pro.

When it comes to being physically prepared and well-conditioned, there are four parts to the foundation that will help athleticism.

1 – Flexibility

2 – Balance

3 – Mobility

4 – Strength and Power

When incorporated into a daily fitness program, you will be well-prepared for the athletic needs as a golfer of the new generation. This new generation of golfers is more athletic, leaner, more muscular and more flexible, which is helping them hit the ball further and still have the control needed to keep the ball in the fairway. Not only will your golf game be better, but you will also minimize the risk of injury.


The first part of a well-conditioned golfer is being flexible.  Flexibility is considered to be an important part of sports performance and injury prevention. When it comes to golf, being flexible in motion is imperative because free movement is critical in developing optimal swing mechanics and club head speed. A golfer who can generate a lot of power during their swing with a greater range of motion, because of their flexibility, will be the most successful in achieving the greatest distance off the tee.


The second part is balance. During a golf swing, you want to have control, and you want to have a solid foundation. Good balance will aid in controlling shots. The goal of balance exercises in a golf fitness program is to help transfer momentum from the legs to the upper body during the swing and still be in control.  If you can maintain your balance during your golf swing, you will be able to maintain optimal swing mechanics and good accuracy.


The third part is mobility. Mobility is how effectively you can go through a certain range of motion in a particular movement. The golf swing requires you to be mobile to make sure you have an adequate range of motion of a coordinated movement. The golf swing is very complicated as you are moving through three planes of motion during the whole swing. If you do not have mobility to make a good range of motion, you could risk injury.  Working on mobility is very important as it could help with your golf swing and help you play pain free.

Strength and Power

The fourth part is strength and power, which work together to help your golf swing and your body be prepared for the physical demands while playing. Resistance workouts will not alter your golf swing but will help with increasing swing speed and minimizing injuries, while being able to swing harder and faster.  The golf swing is an explosive move, and physical preparation will reflect how explosive and powerful the swing.

So, is one part of the foundation more important than the others?  Flexibility, balance, mobility, strength and power work together to assist with a powerful golf swing while still being under control and minimizing the risk of injury.

Here are three exercises to help with the four pillars of a well-conditioned golfer:

1. One Leg Club Rotation: Stand on one leg with club in hands and arms straight out in front of you. While balancing on one leg, rotate the club in the direction of leg that is up in the air, opening up your upper body.  Bring your arm back to starting position and repeat while balancing on one leg.

2. Dumbbell Back Row in Elevated Push Up Position: Get in a push up position on two benches or two boxes as shown. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and let that arm hang down so that you are in a one arm push up position. Row the dumbbell up to where your arm is at a 90-degree angle and then slowly bring your arm down to starting position. Repeat this while staying in push up position.

Photos by Joe Acosta.

3. Resisted Lunge with Barbell Rotation: Get in the bottom of a lunge position. Have someone hold a band on the leg that is in front adding a lateral resistance to your lunge. While in lunge position, you will be holding a light barbell out in front of you, and you will rotate in the direction of the leg that is forward. Then, rotate back to the front and repeat rotation exercise while staying in lunge position.

During your fitness program, keep in mind the four parts of the foundation, which are flexibility, balance, mobility and strength and power. They will help you play better and hit further.  You will also minimize the possibility of injuring yourself as your body will be conditioned like the athlete you are!  Stay fit for 18!