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Working-out for golf works

Two PGA Training Academy sports scientists, Ben Langdown and Jack Wells, presented at the World Golf Fitness Summit in San Diego where they showed how dynamic and resistance band warm-up exercises before a round can have a dramatic impact on clubhead speed and distance. In one case study, a golfer smashed a driver on average an extra 41 yards after undertaking five minute dynamic stretches and 47 yards using resistance band exercises.

Langdown, who heads up The PGA’s sports science department, and his colleague, Wells, addressed 600 leading fitness professionals at the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) organised event which aims to raise the profile of fitness in golf. Sports science is one of the key parts of The PGA’s three year training programme.

There are five dynamic stretches – involving the lower body, upper body, and rotation exercises – while the resistance band exercises help to activate the glutes, arguably the most important muscles in the golf swing, and also some postural muscles. The research was carried out by PGA/University of Birmingham Applied Golf Management Studies graduate Sean Graham as part of his dissertation and will be published in the New Year.

Langdown explained, “The subject was warm ups for golf and basically there were three different conditions – no warm up at all, a dynamic warm up and a resistance band warm up. Using a driver, each golfer hit 10 shots to see if there was any change in clubhead speed, launch angles, spin rates and carry distance. The results showed that both the dynamic and resistance warm up produced significantly increased clubhead speed.

“If they used it at the start of every lesson then people would get into the habit of it and hopefully take it in to their practice and tournament play as well. And potentially, before they’ve made any corrections with the swing by introducing the warm up they’ve actually increased clubhead speed and distance so straightaway the golfer is achieving a good routine and it’s having a positive effect on performance.”