How Golfers Get Fitness Training and ‘Learn to Love’ the Gym



CNN

Trevor Anderson called it Jordan Spieth’s “light bulb” moment.

Anderson, a performance coach with 27 years of experience, saw some clicks when he guided the three-time Grand Slam champion through a series of practice shoots in 2014.

The couple is using TRX ‘rip trainer’ – a resistance rope and weighted bar designed to mimic golf swing.

“He said, ‘Oh, I like that feeling,'” recalls Anderson. “There are pictures and images from that picture, and you can see him in this great position.”

Anderson has coached amateur and professional golfers since 2004, during which time he has seen how physical training can help improve a player’s game — even if it means tweaking major winners with one-off advice ‘s swing.

“For elite players, it’s always about a little nugget, a little feeling, a little bit of what they can put together,” Anderson told CNN Sports.

“When you start to be able to take the athleticism you already have and use it to your advantage on the golf course…you get some consistent results.”

Anderson trains athletes across a range of disciplines, including American football, baseball and general fitness, but in golf, he sees the biggest mindset shift to conditioning.

On the PGA Tour today, most players are thin, muscular, and athletic—whether they’re in the gym or on the golf course.

“I think I’ve learned to love it (the gym),” world No. 7 Rory McIlroy said in an interview Coach Mag“You hate it at first, and you’re like, ‘Do I have to do this?’ But once you start seeing results and you start getting stronger…I think that’s where the fun comes from.”

McIlroy reacts to the chips at the Masters in April.

The same attitude is present in the women’s game. LPGA Tour star Lexie Thompson told CNN in 2017 She became “addicted” to exercise, which she said caused “a huge change in the distance of my golf swing”.

When it comes to the biomechanics of the golf swing, Anderson describes himself as “a complete nerd” who pays close attention to how fitness has become an essential part of the modern sport.

“Twenty years ago, it was taboo for a meat-headed trainer like me to try to talk about the golf swing,” he said, adding that body conditioning used to be seen as “no big deal — a guy might have a dad’s body or Small belly.”

Today, however, he finds himself working closely with golfers to improve the physical qualities of their game: stability, mobility, coordination, speed and explosiveness.

“The golf swing is one of the most intense, intense movements in sports … standing still and moving as fast as you can,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s focus is not on helping players get stronger, but on durability and the rigors of swinging the golf club again and again.

To do this, he uses exercises like TRX – a suspension training tool that uses your body weight to build strength, balance and core stability – squats and lunges, plank series, deadlift repetitions As well as sprinting and jumping.

Anderson also sees a diverse sporting background as a boon for golfers.

He cited 2019 U.S. Open champion and former college basketball player Gary Woodland, two-time major champion Dustin Johnson — “he can dunk now,” Anderson said — and the 2017 Masters Champion and passionate football player Sergio Garcia.

“I’ve found that competitors on the golf course have a competitive advantage if they play team sports or individual sports that require all aspects of athleticism, speed, agility, reflexes, etc.,” Anderson continued.

“The different types of stress situations you experience in general sports … these are the global threads that run through all of these sports, and from a game perspective, you can really take advantage of them on the golf course.”

Golf’s relationship with fitness training isn’t a phenomenon unique to the past two or three years. Gary Player, a nine-time Grand Slam champion who still exercises regularly into his 80s, often extols the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

But Tiger Woods is often credited with revolutionizing the sport’s attitude toward gyms.

Woods, 24, said his routine includes running four miles, weight training, hours of hitting and putting practice, running another four miles, and then playing basketball or tennis at night if he likes.

“The work he’s done makes him a great player,” Anderson said.

“Now, when you look at a lot of young, athletic, very good players today, Tiger is their idol.

“When they want to know what it takes to be successful on the golf course, they want to know about people like Tiger; you have to be fast, you have to be athletic, you have to have strength, you have to be balanced. They’re adopting that mentality. .”

One of the most high-profile body-conditioning approaches in golf today is that of Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open champion and former world number one, gaining 40 pounds during the Covid-19 pandemic.

That approach paid off when the tournament returned, with DeChambeau finishing in the top 10 four times in June and July 2020.

“It was a little emotional for me because I did do something different; I changed my body, I changed my mentality in the game, and I was able to win while playing a completely different style of golf,” he told reporters After winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic that year.

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– Source: CNN

Bryson DeChambeau’s Driving Masterclass

But Anderson doesn’t think DeChambeau’s blueprint — which includes building the muscles to hit the ball long distances — won’t change the direction of golf. The window of opportunity afforded by the pandemic makes DeChambeau an “exceptional,” he said.

“What really helped him do that was that he had this plane swing,” Anderson added.

“All of his irons are the same length and it’s this type of thing. He has a very sane analytical and scientific approach to his game. He can keep everything on the same plane and with more power and speed drops.”

DeChambeau is currently out on the PGA Tour due to surgery on a broken left hand.

That means he will miss the upcoming PGA Championship at South Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where newly crowned Masters champion Scotty Scheffler, world No. 2 Jon Rahm And four-time major champion McIlroy will be the favorite.

As for Spieth, who Anderson has worked with multiple times through co-sponsors, the American could join the elite circle by completing a career major at the PGA Championship.

No doubt he will be looking forward to another bright moment as he seeks to win his first major in five years.

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