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Friday
Aug102012

The game of golf is changing. . .

Ben HoganRory McIlroyWe've seen it in almost every mainstream sport.  The athletes that demostrated the most skill and finesse in that sport triumphed.  The idea of building strength and muscle were negated due to the idea that it would lessen the skill level and simply add mass and thus less coordination to the athlete's game.  Slowly but sure though, the one's that began to add an element of speed and power training to their regimen of practice begin to rise above the others that do not follow the same path.  The same is being seen in the game of golf.

It is no secret that Tiger Woods practices hader than anyone on tour.  He also works out as hard as anyone on tour.  Realizing that speed and power are a major component of the game of golf, he understands that the only way to continue being the best is to train like the best.

Last weekend, I had the chance to spend 2 days with Dr. Greg Rose, the co-founder of the Titleist Dr. Greg RosePerformance Institute (TPI, www.mytpi.com) and several of their health/fitness advisory board members.  TPI is by far the #1 organization leading the charge training and research in golf fitness. I learned so much from these guy in 2 days that I am still kind of reeling from information overload.  Which is very exciting to me.  The principles and methods that they are teaching and implementing are making the best in the world better.

Probably the most dominant theme of the weekend was that the game is going through a definite transformational period.  One in which we, as the United States, are a little bit behind many other nations.  It's true that TPI is a leader in innovation and research, but they openly admitted that the application of this information across our country is not yet where it needs to be.

Golf is no longer just a game of finesse, where a guy that knows how to work a ball from left to right can go out there and grind away and become number one in the world.  With courses on tour playing extremely long and in brutal conditions at times, speed, power and endurance are becoming even more of a factor.  The best golfers on tour are not just excellent with a club, they are excellent athletes in most cases.

I know you are probably thinking, well, that's great Jeff, but I am not a tour player, nor am I a junior golfer looking to compete at the highest of levels, so why would I care.   My answer, because you want to be the best you can be, even if it's with your drinking buddies.  You don't want to get injured and sidelined for six months.  And whether you admit it or not, let's be honest, I know you want to hit the ball farther than your friends.  That's just how we are.

The only way to do that is to work harder.  No matter how many balls you hit on the range, your body is only going to allow you to do so much.  To improve, you gotta work.  Yes, working short game and putting are the most important for dropping scores, hands down.  But learning to hit a ball with speed, power and balance not only changes your perspectives and club selections in the fairway (since you will be much closer to the green), your body will be more equipt to handle the stresses that this wonderful game puts on your body.  Allowing you to play much better, much longer.Jason Glass, Me, Dr. Rose

The guys from TPI showed us cases with clients from ages as young as 5&6 to a gentleman in his 80's.  Each has their own individual needs, the younger ones simply being encouraged to have fun and be as athletic as possible, and the 83y.o. working on mobility, speed and power (yes, speed and power).  the The bottom line is that the importance of working hard both on the course and on your body is becoming more apparent. 

And just to show you that the next generation of golfers most likely won't have to hear the debate of "are golfers really athletes?" here is a little video on how the up and coming golfers over in Europe are training in their academies.

 

ps. Be sure to check back in over the next few weeks as I will be recapping all of the lessons that I learned from some of the best in the business, including Dr. Tom House, throwing coach for USC Baseball (he also works with a few other guys you may know named Tom Brady, Drew Breese, Tim Tebow, and a few more.  No big deal:)  Dr. House shared with us what may be the newest and best kept secret for gaining more ball speed and thus distance with a golf club.  It's so good, the 1st student he tried it with (a top collegiate golfer) gained at least 10 yards on every club in his bag!  But you'll have to sign in to my email list up on the right to get the details.  I'll be sharing them with all of my followers in the near future.

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