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Get Fit February: Where to Start?

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

My next-door neighbor is an orthopedic surgeon. In a recent chat, he asked me what the most common swing flaw is? Tough to pick just one, I turned the tables and asked him what is the most common injury he sees? Believe it or not, he had a very specific answer. The answer was interesting because it wasn’t necessarily just one type of injury, but rather one common cause.
Most of the injuries he heals come from patients at the gym. He shared some unbelievable stories of ignorance from those attending Zumba to just simply overdoing it on the weight room floor.
As we begin “Get Fit February,” let’s first describe where to start. The golf swing is a unique collaboration of building stability to create mobility in our body. Walking up to a practice range or Topgolf can lead some to injury if we aren’t thoughtful about what we are doing. At the very least, we need to listen to our body. As a longtime club professional, I have experienced plenty of situations where beginner and experienced players get hurt because they weren’t willing to ask questions from the experts before they tried something.
A classic example is the pursuit of speed. Everyone was looking for more distance even way before Bryson came along. With the advent of social media and popularity of the Golf Channel, we have more inspiration and information than ever. Please be careful, the point of this piece is for people to ask a professional first before they start something new.
If you want more speed or power in your swing that’s great. Please start with your local PGA Coach. Most golf courses employ a PGA professional on site, and if not, it’s just as easy to find one in your local region. Seek them out and ask questions covering your specific goals. They will love the conversation and be happy to help get you started correctly.
So many PGA Coaches have network connections with fitness professionals. Both sides understand the symbiotic nature of their need for a relationship. By taking this first step in the process, you will save yourself from two very important things; injury and wasting time. In preparation for that first meeting to discuss your goals it will help to prepare the following.
The Fitness Goal Checklist
  • Know your personal medical history. Be prepared to discuss any significant injuries or
    limitations you may have.
  • Understand how much time you have available to dedicate to a new program. This is
    very important.
  • Pick one goal. Make it very specific. If you’re having trouble picking a goal, bring those
    thoughts with you and the professional can help you decide.
  • Hold your expectations. Let the professionals give you some feedback. Employ a positive and open mind.
Whether you are actively playing in the sunbelt or the have the clubs tucked away up north,
there is no better time than now to start establishing a fitness routine. We all can take
advantage of the opportunity to be in better shape. The game is hard enough, but one
opponent that’s even more challenging is Father Time.
Go see your local PGA Coach with your “checklist” and get started this week.