Showing posts with label Dr. Darcy Dill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dr. Darcy Dill. Show all posts

What Exactly is Golf Fitness?

by Dr. Darcy Dill

Sport specific exercises are a way to get fit to play the sport.  What they do is break down the moves necessary to play a particular sport and train the body to make those moves effectively.   In the case of golf it is the golf swing that is the most difficult part of the game to master.   Fitness experts have taken the golf swing and broken it down into specific movements and then train the body to make those moves.

The first thing to do is to figure out what is the best way to swing a golf club.  What is the swing model that you want to use to be the ideal to make your swing emulate?   There are many ways to swing a golf club and people have perfected them to make them work.  Even professional golfers do not all swing the golf club the same.  As you look at he PGA tournaments on TV you can see many different types of swings done by the pros. All of them are good enough to make a living at it.   However some swings are more efficient than others.  As a chiropractor, I am concerned with how the swing will affect the body and it’s longevity.   I want a swing that is easy on the body as well as being able to hit the ball well consistently.   If you want to play golf well as you get older, you need to consider normal body mechanics and the laws of nature.  You want a swing that does not violate those laws and does the least amount of harm to the body.  I use the term “body friendly” to describe such a swing model.

I like the Gravity Golf model of swing mechanics as taught by David Lee (  Golfers such as Fred Couples, Jack Nicklaus, and Ernie Els exemplify this particular swing model.  The major component of this system is that the major power source of the swing is the rotating core muscles and not the shoulders, arms, or hands.  Without getting too technical, it is engine of the effortless rotation of the body that gets transferred through the passive shoulders, arms and hands that powers this type of swing.  There are lots of very good swing models out there.  The main thing is to pick one that you like and use it to develop a fitness program around it.  Your golf professional can help you find one that is right for you.

Once you know the kind of swing you would like to have, figure out what kind of moves make this swing work.  Your golf pro has certain kinds of swing drills that he/she will use to help you to feel those kinds of moves as your body makes them.   Your fitness professional can get you to do specific exercises to train those moves into your muscle memory on a regular basis.   A good golf specific fitness program should get you to be able to perform the desired moves that the golf pro wants you to do.  A good golf fitness program can do more for your golf swing than hours on the range and golf course.   In playing a round of golf, there are so many factors that come into play, it is difficult to isolate (and practice) the key moves that make a good golf swing work.   A good golf specific work out can make your body swing better as well as condition it for better health and longevity.

I have illustrated a couple of really good golf fitness exercises.   There are many more in my book and DVD called “Body Friendly Golf”.  Try these out and see if you find your golf swing getting easier and your ball striking getting better.

Ball Toss using a Swiss ball.   Using a Swiss ball, throw it using your core to a partner.  He will catch it and allow his body to rotate on his back leg.   Then he will use his core (not shoulders or arms) to rotate the ball back to you.

Hip Rotation fore swing.   Attach rubber tubing or a thera-band to a stable spot.   Hold the other end on your left hip.  Then rotate the hips on the left leg to face 90 degrees to the left.  Keep the left leg slightly bent and end up with the weight on that left leg….facing the target.  Do these exercises twice a week and see how your game will improve by developing your rotating body as a power source.

Dr. Darcy Dill is a chiropractor practicing in Central Oregon in the summer and in Palm Springs in the winter.  He can be reached at 541-647-2222 or   His book and DVD combo Body Friendly Golf is available at better bookstores nationwide.
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