Health Alert: golf warm-ups

BLYTHEWOOD, SC (WIS) - Weekend tee times are booked at golf courses across the country as people take a break from their 9 to 5, for 18.

If you're a golfer, before you hit the course, you may want to hit the gym.

The natural tendency is to get to the practice range and hit ball after ball. Some instructors, though, are saying if you want to improve your score you better also focus on improving your commitment to fitness.

Practice is fundamental to improve a golfer's game, but physical fitness matters, too.

"I don't know why people don't ask me to be in their golf tournaments," says Keith Goodaker, Director of Golf at the University Club at Cobblestone Park in Blythewood.

Goodaker is one of several instructors around the nation using specialized equipment to check a golfer's physical ability and agility.

"You can talk to them on practice range, but until they see what you're trying to say, it won't help. This will help them slow it down, hands, position, details, posture, impact, etc.," Goodaker said.

Bio-mechanical analysis is used in Fort Worth, Texas to help get golfers in shape. The 3-D computer image reveals what golfer Chad Magee's body does during a swing. It shows he has tight hips.
And exercise is what it takes to loosen those hips. There's some pain, but physical conditioning can help correct imbalances.

"Once we free up his hip flexors, he'll be able to rotate onto his left side in the classic position," says conditioning specialist Leroy Moore.

Remember: computer equipment can only show you so much. A personalized fitness program in a workout room can produce flexibility, strength and hopefully a better golfer.

"It's important to get more flexible. Stretching will improve your flexibility for golf," Goodaker says.

And if you don't have time to really stretch before the game, at least do some quick warm ups.

"If you're running late for your tee time, get your rotator cuff loosened up on both sides, put the club behind you and just take some chip shots. Loosen up with a couple swings and you're ready to go," Goodaker says.

Reported by Dawndy Mercer

Posted by Logan Smith