Four weeks into a Titleist Performance Institute golf fitness class, I have found yet another reason for the massive gulf between pros and the weekender: getting golf fit is hard, time consuming work.
This is not as much an epiphany as it is a growing, grudging recognition. I have worked hard in my weekly classes, and have taken the “homework” assignments seriously. I also know that I cannot expect quick results. The truth of the matter, however, is that given time constraints created by family and job, I am going to make only marginal improvements.
I have actually been on a weight-lifting and stretching regime for a year now in an effort to get my late-middle age body in a healthier place for the stretch run. Too many of my acquaintances (both older and younger) are absolute physical wrecks, and I am determined not to join them. I visit the gym three times a week for about an hour at a time and feel better than I have in years. At times, I even enjoy the workout.
Still, I am light years away from where I need to be to pass even the slimmest majority of the TPI benchmarks. It would take far more time than I have to perform some of the extensions, rotations, squats, crunches, turns and lifts that would earn a passing grade.
And there’s the divide. Golf professionals can spend three hours a day working on strength and flexibility because it is their job. If a golf professional invests in personal trainers, sports psychologists and expert nutritionists those are business expenses. In today’s competitive environment, a tour golf professional who doesn’t do those things is just … unprofessional. Watching video of golf training exercises, and then trying them just serves to remind me that today’s professional golfers are real athletes.
I will keep working at it, but I do so with the recognition that I am playing on an entirely different field. It is in a sense the gym rat equivalent of moving up a tee or two on the golf course. I will do what I can within my own parameters.