Going to College Archive

Are College Golfers Expected to Take Part in a Conditioning Program?

Golf-specific workouts are an integral aspect of the vast majority of college golf programs.

During my time playing college golf (some 25 years ago) our team-conditioning program consisted of running around the track four times at a self-dictated pace, doing some push-ups, then sit-ups, and ending with a little stretching. Wow, have things changed…and for the better!

Nowadays a specific golf fitness program is an integral part of most college golf program’s weekly routine. Whether it is a team-mandated workout or coaches encouraging players to integrate fitness into their weekly routines, fitness in college golf is here to stay. Each college golf program develops, with the assistance of the strength and conditioning coach or the head coach through his/her own personal expertise/experience, a conditioning program for its respective team. The head coach, in some cases, will consult with a golf fitness expert to formulate specific exercises/routines for his players. The intensity and type of each workout will vary depending on the time of year and whether the team is in or out of season.

During the competitive seasons (fall season, September 1 through November 1, and spring season, February 1 through June 1) a coach will mandate a team workout one to three times per week, depending on the team’s respective tournament schedule. During the off season, coaches will typically mandate team workouts three to four times per week as players are not traveling to golf tournaments, and coaches tend to utilize their NCAA allowed practice hours for conditioning sessions. Oftentimes these team workouts will take place early in the morning (think “zero dark thirty”) prior to class.

As mentioned, the workout regimen will vary from program to program, but essentially they all strive to improve the overall fitness of their players. Specific areas of focus are core strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular capacity. There are other forms of fitness used by coaches, including yoga, Pilates, and cross training. The various areas of focus are intended to not only improve a player’s “golf strength,” but equally important is to assist players in preventing injury, ensuring longevity in the game, and keeping in top health to handle the daily and weekly rigors of life as a college student-athlete. The typical college golf format (36 holes the first day and 18 the final day) requires players to carry their bags the entire time in all types of conditions and will be both a physical and mental test. The better-conditioned golfer will be well-equipped to handle all conditions. Also, being in top condition increases a player’s self-esteem, which certainly can positively affect his confidence and ultimately his game. Additionally, college players realize that developing proper sleep habits and maintaining a healthy nutritional plan can all assist in one’s overall health.

The life of a college student-athlete is a wonderful experience but certainly can be demanding at times. Making fitness and health a priority can only enhance the effort and energy required to excel both in the classroom and on the golf course. If your intentions are to play college golf, ensure that you, too, incorporate fitness into your weekly routine to best prepare for life as a college student-athlete.

Keep swinging!

Ted Gleason

Road to College Golf

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