In the past couple of weeks during this “lock down” period you have no doubt will have received numerous Whats-app messages, links to Instagram and YouTube videos as well as suggestions for websites giving loads of great advice. To try and keep us motivated there have been tips on exercises we can do, and advice on dealing with the abnormal stress of this situation have been plentiful. But there have also been numerous recommendations on improving golf specific ideas as well. Of course, the number one priority is our health and well being and each family and individuals will have different perspectives on things depending on their own set of circumstances. We now face an extension to this isolating phase and in light of this I was asked the questions “was there any point to swinging a club at home as it now looks like its going to be some time before we can play again?”
As stated earlier, motivations to keep on top of our golf are going to vary but here are a few things to consider.
Keep the speed up – particularly for the regular athletic golfer. Speed is a component that can deteriorate much quicker than other components such as strength. As age takes its toll, speed can be drop twice as fast as our strength. Keeping up some speed swings is as much about the neural benefits as well as the physiological effects. Most of us will have drivers that have a detachable head. If you remove the head and just swing the shaft through the air 20 to 30 times at full speed 4 or 5 times a week. If you cannot take the head off the shaft, then you can hold the club up-side down. Remember, swing the club well away from the ground. Its also important to say that if you are not familiar with overspeed training protocols then do not exceed your normal speed by too much and do not do more than 20 as you will fatigue very quickly.
Avoid injury later – most injuries can occur when sudden volume happens and when we resume our golf no doubt a lot of us will be rushing out to play and possibly to start hitting a good number of practice balls in an effort to get our game back in shape. If you keep up the volume of swings during this “lock-down” you can help to reduce this sudden overuse effect. You don’t need to be swinging the club in high volume but enough for you to get back to playing in good order. Obviously if you have net at home that allows you to hit balls then take advantage but if not, you can still make swings in an open space without hitting a ball. Having a general and sensible fitness regime at this time will help this but once again don’t suddenly go into mad volumes of training in a feverish attempt to get into peak physical condition as this will have the same risk of getting injured because of sudden rises in volume.
Keep things active – for a lot of recreational golfer’s movement limitations can inhibit swing movements. If golf was a main source of movement then its easy to see how mobility can deteriorate. At least if you keep swinging you are reducing this problem. Alongside this I would recommend swinging the club both left-handed and right-handed (this would be while not trying to hit balls). Having several mobility exercises or stretches is going to help in this area as well and these do not have to be golf specific.
So, there are few good reasons just to keep swinging a club at home even if the motivation or impetus is not to suddenly revamp the swing mechanics. In fact for a lot of club golfers I would suggest you focus on your health and worry about your swing mechanics when everything is back to normal (for some high performance golfers they may see this as an opportunity to do some swing work as it will be like an off season time).
Following the announcement that Ireland will return to full Level 5 restrictions golf is prohibited from 1st – 31st January 2021.
For now we are advised to stay home and stay safe to ensure that we continue to flatten the curve. We look forward to welcoming you all back to Powerscourt Golf Club in the not distant future. ‘STAY THE COURSE SO WE CAN GET BACK OUT ON THE COURSE’
Gavin Hunt Golf Manager