Essential Components of a Golf Fitness Program

Greetings everyone!

Tis the season to start your golf fitness program! It’s been great to watch Dave begin his journey into the realm of golf fitness and I wanted to see if I could also help give you all a couple pointers.

Now I know I should never assume, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that many of you think that a golf fitness program consists of:

A) Just actually going to the gym
B) Throwing in a couple crunches for your “core”
C) Getting a great machine-based workout for all your muscle groups

Well, while your intentions are great, the logic behind the workouts will fall short. You see not all fitness programs are created equal. This is why football players, hockey players, triathletes, and golfers will all have distinct types of programs.

I know what you’re thinking…”But John, maybe I don’t have aspirations of playing on the tour and just want to get in shape!”

Well folks, if your program is well rounded and includes some cardio, you can achieve both; great fitness and maximal golf performance.

Let me cover some of the basics of golf fitness today and if Dave is kind enough, perhaps he’ll invite me back. 🙂

The Essential Components of a Golf Fitness Program

These are principles that should guide your entire golf fitness program. They include: Flexibility/Mobility, Balance, Endurance, Stability/Strength, and Power. Today, I’ll talk about the 1st three.


As a golfer, your body requires a tremendous amount of flexibility and mobility for a truly efficient swing. The problem is that many golfers just don’t have it. They have “C” posture with rounded shoulders at address or perhaps they can’t even get the club up overhead.

The first step in a golf fitness program is to identify those areas and start creating more mobility. If there is pain, you need to seek medical attention to get at the root of it. Once you have taken away the pain, you can proceed accordingly.


Yes, I know you realize balance is important but how many of you actually practice it?! Try raising one leg up to 90 degrees and holding it there for 30 seconds. If that’s easy, now close your eyes and you will see it become substantially more difficult. Balance is a cornerstone of a golf fitness program because you need a stable base in order to create an efficient swing. Trying to work on that back? Try a standing 1 arm row on 1 leg and kill two birds with one stone.


Just because you play golf and walk, doesn’t mean you do cardio! Although walking is great exercise, eventually your body adapts and after a while it doesn’t do much to stimulate your cardiovascular system. There are two distinct types of cardio that I’ll briefly touch on.

  • Steady State Training – Maintaining a certain percentage of your Max Heart Rate for a specific duration of time. For example, 75-80% or 30 minutes. Great for establishing a good aerobic base.
  • Interval Training – Now this one people are not so familiar with. It incorporates high levels of intensity followed by active rest recovery. For example, 30 seconds of a fast walk on an incline followed by 30 seconds of a normal walk pace on flat terrain. Typically you would perform anywhere from 2-8 bouts of this combo accompanied with a proper warm-up and cool-down. This can be very demanding on the body as your heart rate will go up very high but due to the type of training, the “afterburn” (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) will help you burn more calories and ultimately more body fat! In addition, it simulates the sport of golf. Think about it; one big powerful swing followed by a rest as you walk/drive to your ball.

Note: As this can be demanding, I only recommend performing it 1-3x/week depending on your experience with exercise.

Lastly, if you do decide to pursue a golf fitness program, don’t half-ass it (pardon my French). Get some help from a qualified trainer, preferably one that is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (, a wealth of golf fitness articles and exercises). They can conduct an entire physical screening process to help determine where you need help on your program so that you minimize risk and maximize your efficiency.

Well, I hope this has helped you all get a better grasp on the basics of a golf fitness program. If you would like more help or are interested in your own personalized golf fitness program, please contact me at or 800-610-8939. You can also follow me on twitter at PinHighFitness.

Today’s guest post was written by John Heringer, owner of John is a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified Golf Fitness Specialist as well as a Certified Strength and Core Specialist (CSCA) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Bottom Line.. he’s at least  billion times more qualified than I am to be talking Golf Fitness.

  3 comments for “Essential Components of a Golf Fitness Program

  1. at

    I agreed with most of this article, until the end paragraph that mentions how essential it is for a personal trainer. In this economy it is much more cost effective to train at home, and with some guidance on precise movements you can achieve optimal core strength with aids such as a medicine ball. Core strength is the key to achieving the balance and power needed for the perfect swing.

  2. at

    Hey Vince,

    Thanks for the feedback! I agree that training at home definitely is more cost effective but it will never take the place of having a qualified professional helping you with your program and could lead some clients to injure themselves. Once the client has extremely good mind/body/muscle awareness and the ability to repeat specific movements with correct biomechanics, progression to home workouts could be implemented.

    P.S. I like your med ball training aid, good stuff!

    John Heringer

  3. at

    I think a compromise between these two points of view strikes me as smart. Use a trainer for the first month or so to guide you through a benificial exercise and stretching program to make sure you are doing your positions correctly to avoid injury. Then, once you understand what you can and cannot do, continue your program at home. It takes a lot of self dicipline to continue at home alone! Do it!

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