Golf Strength Training

Power (speed-strength) is the vital component for top golf performance

Strong Golf Swing photoMuch of today’s focus on balance training on uneven surfaces, so-called core stability training, and light weight lifting for golfers is only marginally effective.

Many golfers and coaches fear that lifting anything other than light weights will ruin swing dynamics, make one "muscle-bound," or create injury. These are the same arguments we’ve heard for years from athletes in most sports. Golf just happens to be late coming to the table on how to effectively strength train.

Coach Harvey Newton first raised questions about today’s popular golf training advice in a recent Annual Review of Golf Coaching article (article in PDF). According to Newton, "We know from many good scientific studies (and some others that don’t pass muster) that improving general physical conditioning pays off for recreational and elite golfers."

Results include:

  • gains in flexibility
  • gains in strength and/or power
  • positive changes in body composition
  • increased club head speed

"Today’s golfer has tons of choices aimed at shaving a stroke or two off the scorecard. Exotic club materials, high performance golf balls, myriad coaching tools (many are "toys"), online and other forms of instruction, personal trainers and golf coaches all are within easy reach. Sorting it all out is a challenge," Newton says.

To promote a clear message on proper strength training for golf, Newton Sports partners with Mark Bull, one of UK’s premier golf conditioning experts (www.markbullgolf.co.uk). They recently spent three days training UK golf conditioning coaches in London. Their take-away message was clear: Without a doubt, power (speed-strength) is the vital component of top golf performance. Golfers don’t gain much, if any, power sitting on a weight machine or an uneven surface and moving a light to moderate resistance for a medium (12) or more set of repetitions.

Golfing Strength photo

Here’s an example of a strong, balanced 'squat' posture in a scratch amateur golfer prior to clubhead release. The ability to get into and maintain this posture is part of the rationale for a strength training program that includes squats and pulls.

You can learn much more about how to optimize your strength training for golf. Contact Coach Newton for more information.

Golfing References

Coach Harvey Newton is a member of the Editorial Board for the Annual Review of Golf Coaching. This is a special section of the International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching by Multi-Science, serving science & technology since 1961.

"Harvey Newton is one of the really splendid and most informed gentlemen in the world of sports/strength science. I had the pleasure attending one of his seminars in 2008 in London and came away with many tips and ideas to implement. Since 2008 I have continued to learn from Harvey through his coaching services which I find indispensable."

Jamie Carruthers BSc (Hons), MSc, PGCE, CSCS (*D), NSCA-CPT (*D)
BWLA Coach (British Weightlifting Association)
United Kingdom

"Harvey,

I appreciate the experience and knowledge you gave. I went in there to soak things up and learn, and I did learn… I feel with your experience, the methods are proven. As I learn more about strength, speed, agility, and various other workouts, I realize a great deal is garbage… There is just too much crap out there now. With that said, I feel like you have the kind of experience I hope to gain. I would like to learn more from you given the opportunity.

Thank you,"
Michael Cammarata