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Handicap Index

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  1. I'm a 48 year old male and currently carry a .4 index. I started playing at ~18 and caught the bug in a big way. I've long been a student of the swing, but I always relied on my natural athleticism (and youth) to allow me to get my body to perform. I typically run +1 to 1 here in Wisconsin at my home course, and I've re-built my swing twice before this year. But I'm definitely getting older, and I had never lifted weights or committed to a work-out regimen in my life. So, in May, I committed to getting into the best shape of my life by 50. For the past 7 months I've been going to a personal trainer for 1x1 sessions 2-3 times a week, and I have coupled that with re-building my swing. Even in this short period, my results have been extraordinary. I'm posting because I'm interested in how other folks have approached golf-directed fitness - particularly tied back to their age and golf instruction. The pros all do it. But I don't really know any other golfers who are specifically dedicating their fitness to their golf... Here's what I've been doing (in a nutshell): warm-up is fairly static in structure - ~12 minutes of dynamic stretching and range of motion work. We concentrate a LOT on upper thoracic mobility as the differential between shoulder and hip turns is a power driver. We also work extensively on pelvic mobility with emphasis on the flexors, as well as hamstrings and basic glute activation. Several of these are one-legged in character. My favorite is the spiderman stretch with an overhead reach to really open the upper back. From there, we work on lots of lower body big muscle groups. Squats, lunges, dead lifts - and all the variations of those. We also work on a full spread of upper body - presses, rows, pull-ups... Everything is superset against the opposite motion or a complementary motion. So incline bench barbell presses are set against rows of some type. Big lower body lifts are set against upper back mobility. EVERYTHING is done with an eye on form and a neutral spine drives the process. We also do a LOT of core work and develop explosiveness through the range of motion. A number of med ball exercises, broad jumps, box jumps, TRX.. Two weeks ago, I invited my teaching pro to join me at a workout so my trainer and golf pro could directly engage on what we're working on. It was terrific. In addition, I've added some supplements. Creatine to help muscular development. A good one-a-day vitamin as well as additional D3, Zinc/Magnesium, Selenium and Omega 3. Bottom line: while not yet concentrating on cutting fat, I'm down a belt size to 33 and up 12 pounds to 192. I'm using my glutes like I never have before and I finally understand what it means that the golf swing is built from the ground up. My 7-iron swing speed is up to 93 mph from 90 mph. And, while my speed is up, the golf swing feels easier and more natural than it ever has. I find all of this remarkable. While I am a wonkish golf guy and love to study the swing, I'm NOT a data hound. I'm not chasing metrics. So while my swing speed is up, what has been most fascinating to me is that by getting my body more tuned for the swing, the swing is simply easier. I'd love to hear what others are doing. I'd also love to understand how many folks would consider pairing instruction and fitness if given the option.
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