Golf strength training underestimated

By Gus Bode

Golf may be played at a slower pace and consist of less contact than other sports, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as physically demanding.

As any other collegiate sport, golf requires a mixture of time spent in the weight room and on the practice field.

Saluki men’s golfer Brandon Cauldwell said golf requires extensive strength training and athleticism. Cauldwell, a junior in biological sciences, said the sport is just as intense as others played in college or on the professional level.

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“It’s just as intense to me but a little different,” Cauldwell said. “During a tournament, we’re walking 36 holes in one day, which is a lot when you’re walking and carrying your own bag.”

He said golf requires more mental strength and physicality than a lot of other sports because it’s extremely time-consuming.

“On days when the team plays 18 holes, it usually takes about five hours,” Cauldwell said. “But the days we play 36 holes, we usually start playing at 8 a.m. and (don’t) finish until dark.”

Junior golfer Jake Erickson said it’s important to keep your body in shape because golf is a sport that has a lot to do with the body’s core.

“Strength training is huge for us, little do people know,” Erickson said. “It’s obvious that you have to be in some shape when you play any sport. We run a little to work on endurance (since we’re) out on the golf course for 11 hours when we play 36 holes.”

Erickson said the team does more core exercises to strengthen muscles for adequate swinging.

“We lift weights lightly but with a lot of reps,” Erickson said. “Our main focus is abs exercises because this is the area that needs the most strength in order to follow through with powerful swings to hit the ball far.”

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SIU men’s golf coach Leroy Newton said there is one major aspect with golf that people fail to realize.

“People don’t understand that golf is the only sport kids are continuously playing for about ten and a half hours at one time,” Newton said. “In other sports, there are limits on how long each match can last, but in golf there are no limits.”

He said the team needs to be physically fit while on the golf course during competition.

“The kids must be in shape mentally and physically to be able to compete for that long period of time, as well as carrying their caddy too,” Newton said.

 

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