Across most of the eastern half of the country, the weather is hardly fit for an enjoyable day out on the links -- that is, if your course is even open. Going to the driving range and hitting shots would probably feel like hammering rocks, and it's tough to work on your short game out of frozen sand. These are the times that try golfer's souls, and spring cannot come soon enough for anyone who'd prefer spending their free time chasing a white ball towards the rabbit hole.
While it may be easy to sit on the sofa night after night, believe it or not, the offseason for regular players is actually a time when they can improve their games and improve the chances for a solid 2010 season. The way to do that? By improving our physique and tuning up our bodies in order to improve our swings.
Take it from Brad Faxon. "When an average club member goes to a golf pro, the pro may know a lot about the golf swing, but he usually has no idea what that player is physically capable of doing or not doing. Most of the time, not doing. And without that knowledge, the guy has no chance," he recently told the Wall Street Journal. Faxon's right. Your swing guru may have every technological terror this side of the Starship Enterprise at their disposal, but if he or she is trying to teach you to do something your body simply cannot do, then your time and money is wasted.
Most of us may not want to admit it, but we can all use some enhanced flexibility and increased strength in the right places in order to swing a golf club back and through the ball on plane and with power. While we may not have the opportunity to visit the Titleist Performance Institute as Faxon and other pros have, there are still steps we can do in our own homes and workout rooms in order to improve our scores...before we ever hit the course. Enter Mark Verstegen.
Verstegen, creator of Core Performance, has written a book listing golf-specific exercises that we can all do. Core Performance Golf claims that "golfers will discover a training program that is ideally suited to developing the golf swing, with exercises designed to help create more torque and balance, thus adding yards to drives and precision shots. [The book also provides] a conditioning regimen and nutrition program that will help you build strength, flexibility, power, and stamina, while reducing the risk of injuries and speeding recovery time."
Sounds good, but is it all too good to be true? Maybe, but it Verstegen's resume speaks well of him. In addition to working with Phil Mickelson and Billy Mayfair, he also works with David Ledbetter's pupils. That gives him quite a bit of credibility.
While there may be no magic bullet that will turn us from Clark Kent into the next Jack Nicklaus, one thing is for certain: we can always improve and here in the dead of winter, there's still time to get ready for next season. Whether it is Verstegen's methods or another trainer from whom you take advice, it certainly can't hurt your game to get stronger.
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