In the opening article of "Better Golf"
we reviewed a the basic need for improving dynamic range of motion and some simplified bodyweight exercises that can not only serve as a basis for every golfer improving physical attributes needed for a complete golf swing but additionally reducing the chance of injury.
However in the second part of the series I'd like to turn in the opposite direction and consider a "sport specific" movement. If you allow me a bit of latitude with my emphasis, I think you will understand my dry sense of humor better.
As we are all aware most of the Golf industry focuses wisely upon improving the swing. Naturally there are better devices than others and while I prefer a regular "check-up" with a Golf Pro to review mine, I warrant that the eagerness of fellow "golf addicts" has us searching for that one hidden gem to perfect our swing. My intent is not to review specific teaching aids but instead focus within the exercise industry and different ideas utilized.
First and foremost much of the exercise industry "sells" sport specificity to Golfers seemingly without the notion of either stepping on a course or having more than a pedestrian knowledge of the game. Unfortunately very well intended clients often secure the services of trainers who ultimately have them try to swing a golf club whilst standing on an exercise ball, balance board or swinging a heavily weighted club. This, and the trainers that recommend anything of the sort, should be avoided like the plague as it will cause more problems than the sixteenth at Cypress. At least there, after littering the ocean with a sleeve of balls, you can play on but once your swing is manipulated through a training measure it'll take considerable time to correct, presuming you can.
As I noted in the R-Factor for Golf:
"The golf swing is a delicate skill. Within sporting circles it is quite possibly the most complex question there is. Even the slightest adjustment can have an enormous impact. At no time should a golfer ever practice such a technical skill on an instable training surface such as a balance board or Swiss ball."
This additionally applies to the use of cables or other lifting mediums that grossly mimic the swing, which need to be avoided at all costs as well as the "training professionals" that recommend them.
However there are a number of interesting little exercises that while not "sport specific" are handy for the Golfer and can be performed anywhere, regardless of your age or level of fitness. Possibly the most effective I showed fifteen-plus years ago to a group of touring professionals on the PGA tour and they all made it part of their daily curriculum, is the "newspaper rollup."
An old exercise of unknown origin that is probably the best use of time in general forearm, hand and wrist training, the newspaper rollup requires quite obviously a large newspaper. I learned it in my first days of exercise so I'm not positive who first thought it up but few exercises rival and of course it effectively is free.
From "R-Factor for Golf" with your arm outstretched hold a newspaper and squeeze into a very tiny ball. This is perfect for the Golfer and after regular crumpling up of your favorite newspaper daily you'll find your forearms strong enough to sustain the heartiest of roughs. The still doesn't address the sixteenth at Cypress but it'll strengthen you hands and forearms.
As an aside, many within Kettlebell training groups have noted the "grip" demands when lifting with that medium. Personally I've never felt it a challenge in that area regardless of the size of the KB, primarily because of this exercise, which I have done for decades now.
Stay tuned for the next in the series of Better Golf.