Everyone wants to improve their golf game, right?
Whether it’s the best players in the world like Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, improvement is the goal. We’ll paint a picture for you – and give you the beginnings of a plan – to train better and be more prepared before you get on the golf course.
Here’s a scenario: let’s say you have a noon tee time tomorrow.
Your routine will, in all likelihood, be somewhat familiar: wake up, shower, eat breakfast, then head to the golf course. It’s the start to an enjoyable day. If you’re ahead of schedule, you’ve given yourself plenty of time to stretch, hit a few balls on the range and roll some putts before making your way to the first tee.
We know the benefits of stretching; even a light stretch before your round will improve flexibility, mobility and allow you to swing freer and faster. But what if you have some extra time before leaving the house? Is a pre-round workout a good idea?
It’s a popular question, so let’s talk about it.
3 Benefits of Working Out Before Your Round of Golf
Do you want to hit it farther?
Do you want more speed?
Do you want to feel better on the course?
Most golfers would answer with an emphatic “yes.” The key to more distance (and, in turn, shorter clubs into greens, more scoring opportunities and lower scores) is speed – and the fast track to more speed is increased strength and mobility. If you can find time to train before playing golf, it’s going to pay off.
These are just a few of the benefits:
1. Improved Circulation
Working out before playing golf increases the flow of oxygen to your bloodstream and to your brain. Maintaining a healthy flow of oxygen and blood throughout the body keeps you sharp, keeps you focused, and makes sure your muscles are performing optimally.
2. Muscle Activation
This is about the connection between your mind and your muscles. A pre-round workout will help improve your range of motion – which means more flexibility and speed – and also stabilize your muscles.
3. Pre-Round Preparation
Take a quick glance around the range at your course or club and you’ll probably see golfers stretching before they hit balls. Working out before your round helps get your body (and your mind) right before you head to the range. Hitting it better and harder, and playing better, is all about preparation and being ready to go, whether it’s warming up or your first tee shot.
The Best Way(s) to Work Out Before Playing Golf
It’s really up to you. There’s no hard-and-fast rule and there’s no right or wrong approach. Whatever you’re comfortable with and can accomplish 3-4 hours before playing golf will help.
Your pre-round workout could be a short bike ride to get the blood flowing and your legs moving. Simply getting your body activated with a dynamic workout (resistance bands are beneficial) can accomplish this, too – just get moving!
If you’re feeling a more dedicated workout like strength or weight training (free weights or lifting weights are an example) before playing golf, it’s best to get it done in the morning, particularly if you’re playing golf in the early afternoon. Giving your body time to wake up and get activated is great, but it also needs time to recover before you warm up and actually play.
Power comes from the ground up, which means some golfers may prefer a lower-body workout before they play. For increased flexibility, you might feel like an upper-body workout is the way to go.
“As long as you’ve had 3-4 hours after you’ve worked out to go play golf, you’re doing your body a benefit,” according to Coach Joey D. “You’re giving your body the opportunity to start feeling real. The intensity (of your workout) depends on your fitness level; you might want to just get to the gym and create this activation phase where you’re working out, but it’s not as intense as if you weren’t playing golf.”
If you do that, everything in your body will feel like it’s switched on. This is what the best golfers in the world feel before they step on the first tee. Chances are, you too will find yourself hitting the ball better, you’ll feel better at address and at contact, and your body will simply feel better.
When Should You Work Out Before Playing Golf?
So, the answer to the common question “should I work out before playing golf?” is “yes.” You’re going to see results, whether it’s on the range or on the golf course. Before altering your pre-round routine, though, you need to have a plan.
The schedule and timing is important, as mentioned above. Know what you’re going to do for your workout and when you’re going to do it.
Focus on Recovery After Working Out and Before Playing Golf
Recovery is essential. Give your body plenty of time to get right before you play.
“Did you recover enough before you got to the range, or the course? Working out before you play golf – it’s a good thing,” Coach Joey D says.
There are huge benefits to training before playing golf, which will lead to better mobility, stability, activation, power and speed.
To hit it better and play better golf, you can start by preparing like the pros do on the PGA Tour. Working out before playing golf is almost second nature for many of the best players in the world. If you focus on a dedicated workout routine, golf-specific training programs and ample recovery, not only will you feel better, but you’ll be on track to improve your golf game.