Physical fitness is made up of nine different components:

  • Cardio-vascular Endurance
  • Muscle Endurance
  • Flexibility (muscles and joints involved)
  • Muscle Strength
  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Stability & Alignment (incl. Posture and Core Strength)
  • Coordination

Power is the combination of Strength and Speed:

  • Strength is the ability of muscle to exert force against a resistance.
  • Speed is the ability to perform a certain movement in a short space of time.

In other words, Power is the ability to exert maximum force (muscle contraction) in fast, explosive bursts of movement.

A golfer needs to be powerful.  People normally have an incorrect understanding of this statement.  This does not mean a golfer has to spend hours lifting heavy weights in a gym.  It’s of little use for a golfer having brute strength, being able to lift seriously heavy weights in slow movements, but unable to perform fast, smooth movements with great flexibility!

Being able to perform a movement like the golf swing at great speed, but without some strength behind it, will also not be sufficient.

To have a powerful golf swing the player needs to work on improving both of these components.  The more powerful the swing, the greater the potential for maximum ball compression at impact.  Of course stability, flexibility, coordination and balance also need to be in place to consistently connect the ball with a square club face at the point of impact.

Almost any exercise can be turned into a “power exercise” when you use a slightly lighter resistance that allows you to perform a fast movement against the resistance.  It can also be done in body weight exercises by incorporating Plyometrics (explosive movements); for instance Plyometric Lunges.  If your movement becomes slow, the weight is too heavy.  The concentric part of the movement (when working against the resistance or gravity) should be fast, and the eccentric part (relaxing phase or absorbing the impact) should be slower.

Power in GolfLet’s have a look at a great exercise to improve your power for golf:

The bent-over Alternating Row, using a resistance band.

  • Assume a posture similair to your golf stance when holding a short iron.  Stand back to create good tension in the resistance band.
  • Make sure you carry your weight in the Hamstrings for stability, and keep your back straight.
  • Pull the one elbow to your side in a fast movement and stretch out the other arm.  Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Your shoulders will be rotating, but make sure the pelvis stays stable (no rotation).
  • Do sets of 20 repetitions (on both arms) at a fast rate.


Jan Fourie