We are very excited to announce an upcoming series of golf fitness articles which will be designed to help you improve your overall fitness on and off the golf course. Over the coming months, we will be collaborating with Sam Mellor (a TPI certified PGA professional) whose expertise and knowledge of golf fitness is simply exceptional. Scroll on below to meet Sam and get more of a taste for what's to come with this exclusive series of golf fitness articles.
Golf Fitness | New Feature with Sam Mellor
We all know that we should be trying harder on a daily basis to improve our physical fitness, to eat better and to live a healthier lifestyle. We also all know a friend who takes on golf lessons in a bid to improve their golf, then spends hours upon hours beating balls on the range trying to “fix” their swing ready for their weekend medal. Or, even worse, are you that golfer?
Ask yourself this...if you were as mobile, stable and strong as the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka - would you be a much better golfer than you are now? For most of you, the answer would be YES! So, why aren’t you training like them more often?
Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing
How many golfers do you see trying to "fix" their swing on the range with various drills and training aids before moving on to work on a completely new movement with their chosen PGA professional? You could have the best coach in the world telling you how to improve, but if you cannot physically get in a certain position or do a particular movement that your coach is asking you to do, then you really are taking the long road to becoming a better golfer.
You can only be as good a golfer as your body allows you to be. Most golfers have the misconception that golf fitness is about lifting heavy weights or trying to have a ripped six pack - but it's really all about trying to achieve swing consistency, gain more flexibility, more stability and explosive power - all while trying to play golf for as long as possible injury free.
Meet Sam Mellor PGA | Key Contributor
My name is Sam Mellor and I am a qualified PGA professional & TPI Certified Instructor, based in the Manchester area of the UK. I am currently working with all levels of golfers, from budding amateurs to the more elite standard, dedicated to improving their overall game with a focus both on and off the course.
I work with your average weekend golfer (those just looking to hit it further and straighter more consistently) to full time tour players trying to reach their maximum potential. I firmly believe that the quickest and easiest way for a golfer to improve is to, first and foremost, work on improving their body. This means addressing any physical limitations which they may have during their golf swing, helping them understand why their body’s limitations are impeding on their golf swing and then further explaining how we can eradicate those limitations through physical conditioning programmes and swing instruction.
I first started educating myself on golf fitness about two years ago when I was already training hard in the gym, but not noticing a marked improvement with my golf game. I was a pro golfer who was looking to get his physical fitness better, to eat cleaner, to feel better and to look more trim. The initial goal when I was training six days a week wasn’t necessarily golf related, however; it was about getting my body in as peak a physical shape as possible. I got down to 10% body fat in just seven months and was eating a very healthy diet, doing more and more weight and cardio training along with several other sports to get myself as fit as possible.
Soon after my healthy lifestyle change, I began to notice that my right shoulder would be really sore every time I finished a round of golf. After a few months, it got worse and worse until, finally, I had an MRI scan and discovered that I had a AC tendinitis plus a hairline fracture on my clavicle. I was 29 years old and had never had a single serious injury - I actually felt like I was the fittest I had ever been. However, my golf itself was getting progressively worse and my injury was now beginning to limit how much golf I could actually play.
At the time, I was really confused as to why I couldn’t play golf to the same standard as before. I then began to look into the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) and my overall golf fitness. So, after researching and obtaining my instructor certification, I started to speak with the other guys in the industry to better understand why I needed to become “golf fit”.
As I started to learn about how much the body works within the golf swing and more about the biomechanics of it all, I came to the realisation that my technique was nowhere near perfect and the exercises I was doing in the gym weren't golf specific enough. In short, I had to start training using more targeted exercises that would allow me to swing more efficiently. Golf fitness isn’t about trying to have a perfect looking body; golf fitness is about having the flexibility, stability and strength that will allow you to have a more consistent, efficient, repeatable golf swing whilst staying injury free.
During this period, I was also caddying on the European Tour for a close friend - James Robinson. Having spent a lot of time in the presence of tour professionals, I was shocked to see how poor their lifestyle was in general (and especially while on tour). Steak dinners, glasses of wine, portions of cheesecake...the list was endless. To make things worse, they were hardly doing any golf specific exercises to get their body in shape for the next tournament. I kept asking myself, if your body is the machine then surely you want to get it performing to the best it possibly can - so as to allow yourself to play your best golf?
It can often be difficult to convince golfers that a healthy body is essential for maximising your potential but, for me, the bottom line is fix your body, fix your swing.
In this series of golf fitness articles in association with Golfposer, we will cover some of the following topics:
Dynamic Golf Warm Ups
Fuel Your Round
Off Season Programmes
Healthy Eating Ideas
and much more...
I look forward to welcoming you along for the journey to a better golf game and an improved, healthier lifestyle off the course, too!
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