Last week I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Tommy Masters, widely considered one of the top golf coaches in the country.
He’s located here in Fresno and I had a chance to ask him what he thought that the most important aspect of a golf fitness program were. Tommy is extremely experienced and has been around the game for almost 30 years, so definitely takes many things into consideration when evaluating his clients. He has individual recommendations for each client, but he told me that for 90% of his clients, two things were key to improving their game:
“Balance and Stability”
He said that most of the people he works with don’t have the balance and stability to properly swing the club. This problem, therefore, isn’t necessarily a technical golf swing problem per se, but rather a lack of ABILITY to perform the proper movement.
You’re not going to improve very much unless you become more balanced and stable, and that can only happen with the proper training.
How do you improve balance and stability?
When people think of improving balance, a lot of times you think of standing on one leg for a while until you get more balanced.
Let me tell you, this is only a very, very small part of the equation. Before you even begin anything like that, you need to have a strong foundation.
Building a strong foundation in ANYTHING is essential if you want to have long term success.
I would consider actually two foundations in the human body.
The First Foundation: Your feet
Like Jack Nicholas said, “Golf starts from the ground up”. I would absolutely agree. This is the true foundation of your body, as it is the contact point of your entire structure. For any structure function properly, it needs to be properly aligned.
If your foot is aligned improperly, this can lead to problems in the knee, hips, back and even shoulders and neck. This will lead you to compromise your posture and ultimately your swing. You can tell if you are in proper alignment with a biomechanical evaluation, and that can be done with a professionally trained Physical Therapist or Chiropractor with the right training.
The Second Foundation: Your Core / Pillar
90% of golfers don’t have good balance and stability because their core strength is lacking. When most people think of core strength, they think of 6 pack abs, and that’s about it. But there is so much more to the equation than just abs.
Your core, or what I like to call your ‘pillar,’ is made up of a bunch of small stabilizing muscles and fascia from your shoulders all the way down to your glutes on both sides.
The Most important Exercise to Improve Core Strength
The first exercise I like to start people off with is the plank. It’s an incredible exercise to improve all aspects of your core strength and stability.
This exercise Not only stabilizes the upper body ‘core’ in the shoulders, chest and fascia / connective tissue as well, but it also works the body as a single unit, including the lower body. Try this for up to 60 seconds, and when you get good at that, try raising one arm up in the air without wavering too much side to side.
Do you incorporate balance and stability training into your golf fitness program? What are some of your favorite exercises? Feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!