Does physical fitness help you play better golf? Probably not

2013-01-11 00:00

A LARGE number of modern-day professional golfers give a lot of importance to being physically fit and by this I mean they visit the gym regularly and “work out”. Some of them really believe that their performance on the golf course will benefit as a result of being fit and strong.

There is a new buzz word in golf and, apparently, the objective of all this exercise is to develop body-core strength and certain other fitness regimes that have been concocted to assist the golf swing. Your scribe has doubts regarding the expected improvement to the numbers on the scorecard just by visiting the gym every day. Yes, I know this is contrary to this growing fad of golfers trying to become stronger and fitter. Take a look at the wide range of physiques of the touring professionals. They are all shapes and sizes, but the truth is that you don’t have to be strong to hit the ball straight or a long way. Skinny little 16-year-olds are hitting the ball prodigious distances, which reach some of the par fours. The only core strength that these kids have is in the apple that they might eat at the halfway house. In addition, you don’t need strength or fitness to putt well. As we all know, weekend amateurs and professionals find success with good putting, and great putting wins tournaments. Ben Hogan said: “Do everything in moderation and every day you don’t practise, you are one day further away from being as good as you want to be.”

There’s a story about Hogan when everyone had gone home a couple of hours after he won a tournament. A golf journalist saw him practising hitting ball after ball, while his wife was sitting in the car waiting for him. The journalist walked over to him and said: “Ben why are you practising? You can’t birdie every hole.” Hogan replied: “Why not?” He believed in practise, practise, practise.

I am not saying that exercising to be fit and strong is not a good thing. Of course it is, and it’s praiseworthy in the sense of general health and avoiding gaining weight, and it may even mean living longer. But the time taken pumping iron would be far better served on the practice tee.

You don’t have to be an athlete to be successful in the game of golf and it’s much the same with bowls, snooker and tiddlywinks.

There is lots of skill required, but not much need for strength.


A Scottish woman goes to the local newspaper office to see that the obituary for her recently deceased husband is published.

The obituary editor informs her that there is a charge of 50 pence per word.

She pauses and says: “Well, then, let it read: ‘Angus MacDonald died’.”

Amused at the woman’s thrift, the editor tells her that there is a seven-word minimum for all obituaries.

She thinks it over and in a few seconds says: “In that case, let it read: ‘Angus MacDonald died. Golf clubs for sale’.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.