“Golf? Is that not an old man’s game?”

Yes, yes it is. Golf is an old man’s game, old woman’s game, a middle-aged man and woman’s game, a teenager’s game and a kid’s game. It is also more and more difficult to argue that it’s not a sport.

The golf swing is a piece of biomechanical wizardry and watching the world’s best players lets you marvel at the precision with which someone can make this move.

skeleton golf

Having played golf for over two decades and having a deep interest in athletic performance, the rise of golfer’s like Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and, of course, Tiger Woods, has fascinated me. You see, golf is a sport that requires power, stability, flexibility and strength. People question the last attribute frequently but swinging a club at the speeds these guys do requires strength. Think about it for just a second and this is undeniable.

The high swing-speeds of top golfers come from two sources: power and flexibility. Today we’re going to look at some of the players who utilize each these categories best. You can then look at your own swing and see which category you fit into. Then from there I will be putting together content across the blog, Instagram and YouTube to help develop the golf-specific fitness that best fits your game.


There is, of course, overlap. All players need to build power, all players need to build flexibility and all players will benefit immensely from focusing on stability. Like choosing new irons, I can help you custom-fit your golf training to your swing. Let’s get fitter and become better golfers together.

Power through flexibility

Examples – Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson

These players develop power through the elastic potential of the body and the golf swing. These guys wind-up like major league pitchers than just let the body whip through clipping the ball perfectly in the process.

Think of wrapping an elastic band around your finger tight then letting it go. The tight coil unravels rapidly under tension. That’s the golf swing. Wind it up tight and just let it go. Many may disagree with DJ being on this list but if you watch his swing you will see that he has the flexibility of a Cirque du Soleil performer!


Exercises to help coiled spring golfers – yoga and Pilates are two forms of exercise that could hugely benefit your game. Not only will yoga increase the elasticity in your swing, therefore increasing the power you can generate, it will also help you build mental resilience for stresses during a round.

Pilates is great for building both stability and flexibility. This kind of exercise will help you with consistency and flexibility. Becoming a better golfer is about becoming more consistent, I think most can attest to that. Training in either of these ways will also help you prevent injuries.

Best place for exercise ideas – @pfsgolf on Instagram

Power through muscle

Examples – Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Champ

These are the guys you see and think, “he doesn’t look like a golfer”. In my opinion, we will be seeing a lot more of this golfer and it is a direct result of the ‘Tiger Effect’. We’ve all heard this phrase and one of the main results was a fundamental shift in how golfers train. Before Tiger, you had guys like Greg Norman who took their strength and power seriously. Now, Gary Player will tell you that you need to do four million sit-ups a day but other than waste a lot of your time it won’t help you much. These players train like most other athletes. They lift serious amounts of kilograms (pounds for those Americans out there still clinging to the imperial system).


These golfers are powerlifting and Olympic lifting. They are working on being able to move weights in a quick and controlled way. One of the most famous trainers in this school is Joey D and if you’re looking for inspiration his various social media platforms are worth a look.

Best place for exercise ideas – @joeydgolf on Instagram

In the past, this kind of training frightened strength and conditioning coaches. It is widely accepted that by training for strength you will lose flexibility. This is probably the most important point here, if you are a power-player then you need to work hard to stay flexible. This will help your swing but it will also help you prevent injuries. Cornel Driesssen, trainer of Henrik Stenson and Jason Day among others said to me, “The best form of physical fitness is being fit, I work my players around injury-prevention first and then we look at building fitness”.

That is a solid mantra to stick to. A healthy uninjured golfer is always more effective than a strong and powerful guy with ligament damage.

It is worth noting that the amount of injuries facing golfers has increased significantly in recent years. This is almost certainly a product of golfers training differently. We have seen it in the top ranks of the sport, Tiger has been plagued with injuries for most of his career, Rory has had his issues, Brooks Koepka has been out recently and DJ has trouble with stairs.


Joking aside though, this is an issue worth considering. When you undertake a programme of moving around serious weight, you can face injury issues. You really need to do this under the supervision of an expert and build your workouts with an added focus of injury-preventing exercises.

So here is the plan. Given my love for both golf and fitness, I will start putting together programs and telling you of exercises that I have found to help my golf game. All you have to do to get this stuff is email kjpgolfblog@gmail.com telling me whether you are a power player, a flexible player or if you’re unsure and I’ll send you some stuff to start working on.