Longtime golfers know that the walking and swinging required in golf can take a toll on your joints and muscles. Without proper training, even an average round of golf can have a long-lasting impact on your flexibility and joints.
It's pretty simple: the better your muscles and tendons are prepped for the strain of golf, the less likely you are to develop long-term issues, and the longer you can play. To get into specifics, we spoke to our Wellness Director about the importance of overall golf fitness and how we cover it at Champion Hills.
Why Golf Fitness is Important
While your stance and swing can improve your accuracy on the course, muscle and joint strength are the secret to better, more consistent play longer into your years. Champion Hills Wellness Director Mackenzie Jones says that it's "all about the rotation in your trunk": simple fitness, like yoga and core training, can increase your turn radius, speed up your swing, and prevent joint fatigue on the course.
"The more you can work the hip muscles, shoulders, and abs," Mackenzie says, "the better you can protect those joints to keep you stronger, longer."
How Our Fitness Team Promotes Golf Fitness in Our Members
At Champion Hills, we have on staff two golf fitness professionals and numerous golf fitness programs to help our members stay and play their best. The diversity of the terrain on the Tom Fazio's Mountain Masterpiece means it's just as important to promote wellness as it is to instruct technique.
That's why golf fitness at Champion Hills is a multidisciplinary affair. Mackenzie says that she and her Wellness team work on "the muscle end of things," while Golf Professional Scooter Buhrman tackles "the form end of things" with swing tracking, virtual monitoring, one-on-one coaching, and more.
But when discussing golf fitness from a physiological perspective, Mackenzie talks about three main areas of focus: Articulation, flexibility, and rotation. "With people wanting to golf later in life, those are very important," Mackenzie says. "That's what's going to keep you on the course longer."
Group golf fitness courses at Champion Hills are specifically designed for golfers, promoting balance and stability required to keep playing. They also let golfers get better together, with their golf buddies or new friends. Classes like "Yoga for Men" on Tuesdays, which lets golfers limber up on the lawn overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountain range, combine the fitness expertise, natural beauty, and golf-centric lifestyle at the heart of the Champion Hills.
Try This Golf Fitness Tip Before You Go Out on the Course
So what does golf fitness really look like? Mackenzie says there's a very simple stretch you can do to prep your muscles and tendons for all the walking, swinging, and twisting to come. Try it before the next time you head out on the course!
- Plant your feet shoulder width apart.
- Grab your golf club with both hands, palms up, and hold it down horizontally with your arms extended (like a barbell).
- Bend your elbows to raise the club to your chest (like you're lifting weights) and hold it there.
- Slowly rotate from side to side and hold for three seconds each turn. Turn a little further each rep to really stretch your core muscles out (but don't hyperextend or you may do more harm than good!).
- Repeat for ten reps.
Regular programming is essential to golf fitness, but quick stretches like this are a great way to ward off joint pain and muscle fatigue before you tee off. "After all, they call it Champion Hills for a reason," Mackenzie says. "You're up and down the mountain almost non-stop! It's a wonderfully challenging course to play, but you need to make sure your tendons are up to the task."