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5 Ways to Lower your Golf Handicap

Golf is a combination of low to moderate aerobic exercise, decision making, strength, power, co-ordination and the golf swing itself. Being good at all of these aspects will lead to you being a competent golfer. To be an excellent golfer these skills need to be trained and improved to enable you to reach the best of your abilities. Apart from the obvious way of just regular practice, there are several ways to enhance your performance by building upon this practice.

Our resident golfer and Sports Therapist Danny gives us his top 5 ways to reduce your handicap and consistently improve your performances.

1. Flexibility

Golf is a game of very small margins and as I have mentioned in a previous blog (Common Injuries in Golf and Best Ways to Prevent and Treat Golf Injuries
) only two degrees of club head discrepancy will massively effect the direction of the golf ball. Therefore flexibility can have a great impact on your overall golf game, due to the fact that if you have any tightness in any part of your body it may well be enough to pull your body and club away from your desired path and direction. Flexibility can be improved by things such as stretching, massage and warming up correctly.

2. Force Generation

One of the biggest differences between professional golfers and amateur golfers is their ability to generate force effectively and precisely. In terms of precisely I mean the ability to generate force and the correct time and correct quantity. For example Rory McIlroy has been working quite recently on his ability to have the point of his peak force timed so it peaks exactly when he strikes the ball which enables him to gain the maximum distance from his swing. How do I do this you may ask? Well things such as pushing and pulling tasks in the gym are very good for force production and also doing things that involve generating force from the ground up such as jumping tasks and squatting are both very good. However making sure you combine this with regular practice is imperative to have good timing in your swing.

3. Warm-up

The warm-up is commonly missed out of most amateur players golfing routines and can have a massive effect on a player’s game. For example a study has shown that doing a warm-up regularly before your round of golf can improve your performance by up to 24% which over the course of 18 holes is a massive improvement to your game. Ways in which you can warm up is having a pre-game Sports Massage which warms your muscles up and also helps your flexibility and the obvious one is to make sure you warm your back, shoulders and hips up through swinging, jumping, stretching and general compound movements.

4. Cardio-Vascular Fitness

Although golf is a low to moderate cardio-vascular activity it is played over a long period of time so it is important that we as golfers have a good level of cardio-vascular fitness. This enables us to not be as fatigued during our round of golf and this will help with concentration and the ability to keep swing speeds and accuracy at constantly high levels. Things such as long distance walking, running and cycling will help with this. It is also important to remember that most people carry a relatively heavy bag of clubs on their back so bear that in mind when you are training.

5. Core Stability & Strength

Your core is the part of your body that links the power from your lower body to the finesse and further power in your upper body. Therefore having a core that is strong and stable will help make your swing more powerful and more accurate. Most people think of a strong core as doing loads of sit-ups and leg lifts however this is not the case. These exercises only work your core in one plane of movement so it is important to do exercises that involve twisting and stabilising your body. This links back to doing the pushing and pulling exercises for the force generation but introducing equipment that can unbalance you to help stabilise through the core while generating force with your upper body.

We hope these tips help you with your game and if you have enjoyed reading this blog, please make sure that you share it with your fellow golfers and feel free to let us know how you get on.