Golf as a way of fitness…

By Ann-Kristin Allen

Golf as a way of fitness, and fitness as a way to improve your health and golf game.

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For years golfers were looked upon as individuals who were out of shape and never focused on their fitness. Today’s golfers are seen as athletes — especially players on the LPGA and PGA Tours who are more fit than ever.

While your goal may not be playing professional golf, your exercise program should reflect the sport, namely the unique movement patterns of the golf swing. This should include triplane motion exercises, as the golf swing requires the body to move in all three planes of motion at the same time. The golf swing is a very athletic motion and it occurs in under two seconds. It is very explosive and starts from a static position where the upper body rotates over a stable lower body in the backswing, and lower body/hips initiate the downswing.

Do you know if your body is ready for this explosive motion? Or the very specific moves of the short game? Do you have the stability, mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance and power to enjoy playing the game long term and injury free? Do you have any known limitations that prevent you from starting golf? Do you have the body mechanics to lower your scores? We believe if you don’t assess, you are only guessing.

At The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch we offer fitness screens and player development assessments. This identifies your unique body mechanics so an exercise prescription can be created specifically for you to prepare your body for golf, preventing possible injuries and increasing the efficiency of your golf swing. The most commonly used assessment is the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Fitness Screen.  Additionally, we offer private and semi-private sessions along with five weekly golf fitness-specific classes. Bring the girls in your foursome or group and learn each other’s strengths and possible limitations. This way you can better support and encourage each other on the golf course and while you are exercising.

Now more than ever, women are using golf as a part of their professional life. They play charity golf tournaments and entertain clients just as men do. The growing number of women, like men, picking up golf after retirement is an emerging trend. They ask themselves: how would it look if I approach golf as I have approached my business career?  If I dedicate improving my golf game as a full time job, how good could I be?

One of our members, Julia Roth, decided to apply herself to this specific approach three years ago.  She seeks the knowledge of a swing coach and golf fitness professional and dedicates herself to every suggestion along the way.

Julia says, “Golf is now my job. My typical week involves three or four range or playing lessons, two private workout sessions, a couple days of hitting 300-500 range balls, hours of chipping and putting, and daily workouts at home on my own. Add two or three regular rounds with friends or Club and tournament events, and my work week is over. Recently, I had a great week where I won three events in four days, which is about the first time in my life I’ve won anything. But, my job is not about winning events; it is about achieving my personal golf and fitness goals. That structure greatly contributes to happiness in the rest of my life. I have come a long way in three years: Handicap has gone from twenty-four to seven. Weight is down. Strength is up. Right and left side balance are now, well, in balance. I’m feeling athletic for the first time in my life. I truly enjoy every day on those great courses we are so fortunate to play. And, the great part is, I have a long way to go. I love my job.”

Just recently Julia won the Greater San Antonio Women’s Amateur Golf Championship Senior Division. She believes walking is the best way to play golf; a better way to experience the game and beauty of the golf course.  She feels very fortunate to have the ability to devote her time to golf, her latest passion. For Julia is not playing against her opponent but is on her own journey in mastering the game.

I will be here to support and encourage your personal journey in mastering your own game. As a reminder, it is beneficial to assess your body mechanics in order for you to play the game to your potential and without injuries.

Ann-Kristin Allen is a TPI Certified Fitness Professional Level 3 and a Certified Yoga for Golfers Level 2. She can be reached at akallen@cordilleraranch.com or 210.367.5942.

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