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Getting golf fit after 30: Here’s you’re plan of attack

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We all know that “getting old stinks.” You wake up and your back hurts, your knees hurts, your neck hurts. We blame it on getting old, but let’s face it, we trained like idiots in our teens and 20s (or did not train at all), and when we get into our 30s we bust our butts trying to hold down a job, family, and friends. Accordingly, we get to go to some fancy dinners out and maybe drink or two (and maybe a little too regularly), and again we either continue to train like we did in our teens or 20s, or modify incorrectly, or maybe avoid training altogether. Old injuries, new pain, too much stress, and an increasing lack of time become our down fall.

The first place to start is to get an assessment.

In our 30s, we are at the age in which we have to tackle a lot and take some risks, but there are a few places where I would spend the money to do it once and do it right: 1) Legal advice 2) Medical advice 3) Business advice 4) Movement advice 5) Sports skill advice.

With all of our responsibilities to work, raise a family, etc., this is the time to default to the experts for advice. We spend our 30s becoming experts in our careers and people come to us for information right? Likewise, we seek medical advice, legal advice, etc., so why do you think you should have a self directed fitness or practice routine? I’m pretty sure Rory McIlroy, Brooks Keopka, and Justin Rose have all had movement evaluations to guide them into their training routines.

The guidance of a Movement Expert can up your game faster and more efficiently than trying it on your own. A U.S. National Library of Medicine report states: “Self directed workouts tend to fail more than 90% of the time for multiple reasons.” Anecdotally, most of my clients have failed in either, self directed training, or the wrong advice from the wrong source, or lack of motivation/goal setting.

It’s important to have someone evaluate your current or previous movement related issues do you have. This needs to be considered before starting a training program. Knowing about a current of previous injury can be a major factor when it comes to fixing a missing piece in your golf swing and fitness.

What’s next? Planning and goal setting. Between a desk job, golf on the weekends, and juggling family life and a little down time, our athleticism suffers, which means our distance off the tee sucks, and we don’t feel balanced over the ball…and lets face it, we don’t look as good naked as we used to! We spent our teens and maybe some of our 20s working our mirror muscles and we may still have some of the muscle mass, but we never trained as athletes.

Golfers are power athletes; we have to have a good base of mobility, stability and coordination, we can build on that with strength, speed and power. Most people either get stuck in the mobility and cardio realm, which is fine but maybe not really advancing your goals. Others get stuck on the range grooving a swing in but never really building resilience in their bodies to keep up with the demands of swing a club over and over again. Planning and goal setting can help the movement professional work with you to figure out how and where to start your fitness routine — and it give some meaning to why you are doing what you are doing.

Part of planning and goal setting is giving yourself something fun to work towards. In our work lives it is very common to set goals for the year, quarter, month, etc to stay on target, or to recognize where we are missing the mark. Training to improve your fitness is no different, but unfortunately very few ever really discuss and reevaluate goals so we can plan and shift gears as needed. I am pretty sure tour players sit down with their teams each season to figure out what events they want to peak for, what skills they need to refine for which courses, and when they can take some down time to deal with physical, personal or other events or issues.

I suggest taking the time to sit down and break up your year into quarters, and set three-month milestones/goals. For example it could be a golf outing with friends, working towards a city or club championship, or even a family vacation, etc. Having a goal to work towards every three months or so can keep you on track and motivate you to stay on top of your training, practice, etc. It such a simple thing that is often overlooked, but it can help us plan your workouts and your practice and play schedule to make your time training in the gym or on the driving range more effective. We have all heard the saying “failure to plan is planning to fail,” so get after it and lets plan some fun goals to work towards.

Just to recap, when training in your 30s, especially for golf, we need to focus on a couple of things. First, don’t train like you did in your teens and 20s — you have a different body and set of responsibilities and we need to account for that so get an assessment and figure out your starting point. Next set some some goals to work towards; this builds in something fun that keep your on track. With that quarterly goal in mind, you and your fitness professional can develop a plan to keep you on track with interval check in times.

For more information you can email me at or visit my website.

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Roy Khoury, founder of Roy Khoury Fitness Studio in Newport Beach, CA, is a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Level 3 Golf Fitness Instructor and certified in Functional Movement Screen (FMS). He works with a wide range of golfers, from weekend players to PGA Tour-level golfers. Over the last 15 years he has learned how to optimize body movement and how to hack the movement system for the best results! Roy is currently studying Soma Training, and is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, where he studied Kinesiology. He takes pride in being a team member with local golf Instructors and medical professionals to help golfers reach their goals.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Scheiss

    Nov 12, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Your

    Your plan

    not You’re (you are)

    Go back to school and bash your teachers over the heads for failing you

  2. Mark

    Nov 10, 2018 at 9:31 am

    “your knees hurts”? Was this article proof read by GOLFWRX’s editorial staff? (Of course it does not follow they would have corrected this.) Sixteen words in and I knew this article would be lacking in quality.

  3. Tim

    Nov 10, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I was actually expecting some garbage article giving a bunch of generic exercises. While not crowd pleasing, the advice is sound. Why would you do an exercise that may make your situation worse? If you gave tight quads, doing a bunch of leg extensions isn’t going to help your cause. That would be like trying to fix a slice by doing drills designed to promote an outside to in club path.

  4. Cody

    Nov 9, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    For some actual substance:

    – Lift weights. For beginners, pick a good linear progression program like a 5×5.
    – Work in some cardio. 20 minutes on the stairclimber a few times of week. Kettlebell swings.
    – Pick a diet that is sustainable for you. Who cares what it is, as long as it fits your macros and calorie goals. Figure those out with any of the numerous calculators online.
    – Work on mobility/stretching. Look at Starting Stretching and Molding Mobility programs available online.

  5. Derrick

    Nov 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Movement expert? Like a proctologist?

  6. Jordan

    Nov 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    *your

  7. Funkaholic

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    This “article” is just a sales pitch filled with nonsense. No help at all.

    • coastieyaker

      Nov 9, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      I fully agree.
      A total waste of a read.

  8. bird206

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Can you explain what a movement expert is please?

  9. shawn

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Roy is amazing.

    I barely could get out of bed 2 years ago, let alone play a round of golf without crying cause my back hurt so bad. Today I am pain free, hit the ball further, straighter and I am healthier because of him

    He is a great communicator and tailored a plan specific to my body and ability.

    Highly recommend Roy!!

  10. Bob Jones

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    In your 30s and you’re “getting old”? Give me a ***** break. Try being 60. Try being 70. Try being 80 (I haven’t tried that one yet, but I’ll get there, and I won’t feel sorry for anyone who is 30).

  11. Daniel

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    I gotta be honest, as a 32 year old you had me pretty hyped to read a legit plan. Was pretty disappointing when I just read an article named “here’s your plan of attack” and it told me to go pay to get a plan. Made me laugh a little.

    • coastieyaker

      Nov 9, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      I fully agree..
      The article was bonafide click bait

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Instruction

Stop Practicing, Start Training. Part 1: The long game

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This article is co-written with Zach Parker. Zach is the former director of golf at the Gary Gilchrist and Bishop’s Gate golf academies. Zach is a golf coach, an expert in skill acquisition, and he has years of experience setting up effective training scenarios for golfers of varying abilities. 

Zach Parker

The act of working on your golf game is often referred to as practice. This is a problem, however, because the word “practice” infers repetition or rehearsal. But golf is a sport that has a constantly changing playing surface, varying conditions and mixed skill requirements. So, if we use the traditional practice model of hitting the same shot over and over again, then we have a complete mismatch between our training and the requirements of the sport. This can lead to the following frustrations

  • Grinding on the range but not improving
  • Being unable to transfer performance on range to course
  • Finding practice boring
  • Plateaus in performance

These annoyances can lead to overall disappointment at underperforming and falling short of expectations developed in practice sessions. The most likely root cause of this issue is having no structure and the wrong context to your training, mistakenly focusing on repeating the same shot over and over again. 

So let’s try shifting our approach and aim to train and not simply practice. By introducing these three key principles to your training, we can not only get better at golf, but do so a way that is more efficient and more fun too! For more detailed insight to this topic, check out the podcast that Zach recently recorded with Game Like Training Golf

Spacing

Dr. Robert Bjorks suggests that the theory of spacing dates back centuries and simply means taking some time between training or learning tasks. By spacing things out the learner is forced to try and recall what was learned in the previous session, which makes that original learning stronger. The act of remembering strengthens the retrieval process, meaning it is more accessible in the future and easier to bring about.

Variability

Performing the same task over and over can allow you to appear to have “learned” the skill however we know that this is simply a false sense of competency (good on the range, but not on the course). Therefore if you’re truly looking to “learn” the new skill or desired movement pattern you need to introduce variability to the learning environment.

Challenge Point

Challenge point theory is a relatively new concept championed by Dr. Mark Guadagnoli and Dr. Tim Lee. The central idea of this theory is to create training sessions that are appropriate for the learner. A large emphasis is placed on matching up the difficulty of the practice task to the skill level of the golfer.

Guadagnoli and Lee present the idea that a beginner golfer with a low level of skill is better off spending time on practice tasks that are easier, and in a blocked style. Whilst golfers with a higher level of skill are better off spending time in practice tasks that are slightly harder, and in an interleaved style.

Challenge point needs to reflect the ability of the individual

Practical Example

In this example we have a college golfer aiming to incorporate a particular technical move into his golf swing. He is using a GravityFit TPro to help with feedback and learning. But instead of simply bashing balls using the TPro, he has been set up with a series of stations. The stations are divided into learning and completion tasks and incorporate the principles of Spacing, Variability and Challenge Point.

The aim is to work through three stations. If at any point the completion task is failed, then the participant must return back to the start at station one.

Station 1

Learning task: Three balls with a specific focus (in this case technical), performing two or three rehearsals to increase understanding of the desired pattern.

Completion task: Must two-putt from 35-45 feet, right-to-left break

Station 2

Learning task: Perform posture drills with the TPro, followed by one learning trial (hitting a shot) where the focus in on re-creating the feelings from the TPro exercise.

Completion task: Must two-putt from 30 feet, uphill

Station 3

Learning task: Transfer previous technical feels to a target focus, aiming for two out of three balls landing inside the proximity target.

Completion task: Must make an 8-10 footer.

You can either have a go at this circuit or create your own. There are no set rules, just make sure to include a mixture of tasks (Variability) that are appropriate to your level of ability (Challenge Point) with plenty of time between repetitions (Spacing).

For more information on the featured GravityFit equipment, check out the website here

 

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WATCH: Gain 20 yards with this hip action

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The lower body is the engine of the golf swing! In this video I show you a key move for (a lot) more distance.

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WATCH: How to master the downhill lie

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Top-100 instructor Tom Stickney explains the adjustments your need to make to consistently send the golf ball toward your target from a downhill lie. Enjoy the video below.

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