Using the “OFF-SEASON” to maximise your golf potential


Using the “OFF-SEASON” to maximise your golf potential

Sadly in the UK, we are now into the tail end of the golf season. The next 4-8 weeks has darkness setting in rather quickly, golf courses getting more and more boggy and temperatures dipping to a point where wearing lots of layers becomes necessary. Not ideal for golf!

However, this doesn’t mean making improvements to your golf has to stop. This is the “off-season” and time to start making your golf gains in a different way to hitting ball after ball on the practice ground or golf course. Most of us know if we improved our level of fitness it would absolutely improve our golf swing.

The “off-season” is the ideal time to get into a solid training/exercise routine to progress your golf game so that you hit the ground running next season. Developing power, speed and acceleration is essential for golf therefore, the ultimate goal should be to develop these qualities to their absolute maximum to be ready for the start of the season. This can only be achieved once a suitable foundation of strength and stability/mobility is built.

The main areas of focus should be:

  • To work on your stability/mobility so that you can move more efficiently and consistently through your golf swing.
  • To improve your strength to keep any potential injuries at bay whilst increasing your potential to hit the ball further.
  • To increase your power/speed to compliment your strength gains so that you can hit the ball further and most likely knock shots off your handicap or weekly scores.
  • To improve your cardiovascular fitness so that you maintain the same level of energy on the 18th tee as you did on the 1st.

As a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) golf fitness coach, I like to periodise the first 3 bullet points (above) into phases working through the “off season”. Slightly changing the approach phase by phase.

Phase 1

The goal is to improve movement quality and allow recovery before building work capacity
Length of time: 2-8 weeks
Example Reps: 3×8-10 reps

Phase 2

The goal is to maximise strength
Length of time: 6-8 weeks
Example Reps: 5×5 reps

Phase 3

The goal is to maximise power and acceleration
Length of time: 4-6 weeks
Example Reps: 3-5×3 reps

With your training program, it’s important not to over complicate it but more important to execute each exercise well and with purpose. Secondly, progressive overload is the key to success in any strength training. Progressive overload could be adding more weight, adding more reps, adding a pause or adding a tempo count in on eccentric phase of an exercise. We’re always aiming to move better, lift heavier and move faster!

Installing good habits now to be maintained throughout the next season

Getting into that solid training/exercise routine throughout this “off-season” will help get your body used to physical exertion prior to the new season. This will help greatly with not suffering DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) throughout the next season as long as you keep up the regular training without over doing it. Too many amateur golfers forget to prioritise training/exercise during the golf season therefore leaving themselves more susceptible to injury or DOMS (if training is irregular) which can hinder their golf game. I can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining training throughout the golf season!

Nutrition for golf is often an overlooked factor that could be having an impact on your golf game. Have you ever wondered why you play the front nine so well but start to tail off in the back nine? It might be due to lack of cardiovascular fitness, but it could also be down to poor nutrition choices leaving you low on energy come the back end of your round. Are you drinking enough water for example? What are you eating prior to your round? What do you eat during the round? These things can all play a part in your performance throughout your round.

Maybe it’s the other way round and you usually struggle through the first nine but once you’ve warmed up, you play the back nine much better. Learning a solid warm up routine prior to playing would likely be hugely beneficial to playing that front nine better. After all, if you don’t warm up appropriately, should you really expect to start your round well? Probably not.

The honest truth is if you’re serious about trying to play your BEST golf and have longevity playing this great game, it’s not all about going out and getting the latest driver fitted to suit you or to keep going for golf lesson after golf lesson. The pro’s work their butt off in the gym for a reason nowadays so that they can play the best golf they possibly can for as long as they can – simple as that! We should be doing the same.

Get yourself moving more this “off-season” and start preparing yourself for playing the best golf you can come March/April 2022.