Two PGA Training Academy sports scientists will unveil exciting new research at a world fitness conference which is set to help golfers hit the ball further.
Ben Langdown and Jack Wells are presenting at the World Golf Fitness Summit in San Diego from October 26-28 where they will show how dynamic and resistance band warm-up exercises before a round can have a dramatic impact on clubhead speed and distance.
In one case study, a golfer smashed their driver on average an extra 41 yards after undertaking five minute dynamic stretches and 47 yards using resistance band exercises.
Langdown, who heads up The PGA’s sports science department, and his colleague, Wells, will address 600 leading fitness professionals at the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) organised event which aims to raise the profile of fitness in golf.
“The subject was warm ups for golf and basically there were three different conditions – no warm up at all, a dynamic warm up and a resistance band warm up,” explained Langdown. “Using a driver, each golfer hit 10 shots to see if there was any change in clubhead speed, launch angles, spin rates and carry distance. The results showed that both the dynamic and resistance warm up produced significantly increased clubhead speed.”
Sports science is one of the key parts of The PGA’s three year training programme and reflects its increased profile in golf with leading players like Rory McIlroy devoting hours a week to get their bodies to optimum fitness.
This research will also give club golfers a helping hand with increasing numbers of PGA pros incorporating sports science in their coaching.
“If they used it at the start of every lesson then people would get into the habit of it and hopefully take it in to their practice and tournament play as well,” added Langdown. “And potentially, before they’ve made any corrections with the swing by introducing the warm up they’ve actually increased clubhead speed and distance so straightaway the golfer is achieving a good routine and it’s having a positive effect on performance.
“And resistance bands cost just a couple of pounds so it’s something you can just put in your golf bag and take with you.
“What we’ve really tried to do is make sure this is as practical as possible so it’s something that works but is something that golf coaches and PGA pros can reproduce with their clients.”
There are five dynamic stretches – involving the lower body, upper body, and rotation exercises – while the resistance band exercises help to activate the glutes, arguably the most important muscles in the golf swing, and also some postural muscles.
Wells meanwhile is relishing the prospect of addressing the fitness conference in California and the duo are looking to bolster their knowledge and introduce new ideas into the PGA training programmes which also include continued professional development.
“The theme of the conference is the art of coaching so we want to deliver something that is really appropriate and that coaches can take back and use,” said Wells.
“In turn it’s also a chance for us to learn new ideas and bring something back and straightaway we can apply that in our PGA programme and for PGA pros.”
The research was carried out by PGA/University of Birmingham Applied Golf Management Studies graduate Sean Graham as part of his dissertation.
“As Sean has demonstrated with this research, the quality of the PGA training programmes continues to rise. Sean did the hard yards with his dissertation and to come out with a piece of work like this is impressive.”
The research is set to be published in the New Year.
The PGA www.pga.info
World Golf Fitness Summit www.mytpi.com/wgfs/