TPI / Fitness

The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) is the world’s leading educational organization and research facility dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing.

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Since its inception in 2003, TPI has studied thousands of golfers ranging from the top professional tour players to weekend enthusiasts. An incredible amount of data on players of all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels has been gathered during this time. Using this data, TPI discovered how a properly functioning body allows a player to swing a golf club in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, TPI has analyzed how physical limitations in a player’s body can adversely affect the golf swing and potentially lead to injury.

Why is there so much talk about golf fitness? Is it really that important? And if so, what are the elements that make up a good golf fitness program and how can paying attention to them help you play your best golf?

The premise of a golf fitness program is to first diagnose your physical limitations through a golf fitness evaluation, then come up with a plan to reduce or eliminate those physical limitations to achieve optimal swing mechanics.

A golf fitness program covers four areas:

  • Golf-specific strength exercises
  • Golf stretching exercises
  • An aerobic conditioning plan to improve your endurance on the course
  • A nutrition plan to give you energy

Every golfer has strength, flexibility, endurance and nutrition issues that can be greatly improved. Below are some specific examples of things that might be included in a golf fitness program in each category.

Strength: The strength-for-golf section of the program should address the core area, which means focusing on rotational strength and flexibility. An  example would be doing seated twists with a single dumbbell to improve rotational range of motion and strength. Sitting in a chair, hold a single dumbbell straight out in front of you, chest high with arms extended. Then rotate to the right as far as you can go, then to the left. Do this continuously for approximately 20 repetitions. You will feel a sense of looseness in your backswing and follow through after doing this simple exercise. 

Flexibility: The flexibility-for-golf section should be specific to your golf swing. The backswing is always a focal point when it comes to drills and stretching exercises, but what about the follow through? This phase of the golf swing is equally important.

Aerobic Conditioning: With aerobic conditioning for golf, you've got to look at the main activity: walking. Then devise a cardio program that incorporates a 20-30-minute walking program at an intensity of 10- to 15-percent higher than when you walk a golf course. This will give you an aerobic improvement, helping you maintain concentration without fatiguing.

Nutrition: Nutrition for golf could be a separate, full report, let alone a single article. But the main thing to remember is to fuel your body with a meal of protein and little carbs before you tee off, then eat a couple of snacks (fruit, nuts, etc.) during the round to maintain blood sugar levels. This will provide you with more than enough fuel (energy) to get you easily through 18 holes.

So as you can see with this brief overview of a golf fitness program, there are many things to consider and put into place. But the bottom line is to get started on your golf fitness program right away. You're giving up strokes if you delay.

Have a look at the video of my fitness training back in 2006 when i was still competing professionally on the Ladies European Tour.