Become Golf Strong: A Strength Program for Golf Fitness

Developing strength is the second phase of golf fitness.

Become Golf Strong: A Strength Program for Golf Fitness

For golf and all sports, it is imperative to outline your annual training plan based on “Phases of Training.”  The proper sequencing of your phases allows your body to progress in a way that reduces your chance of injury, avoids plateaus, holds your interest and puts you in the best possible condition.

In last May’s fitness issue, we covered Phase 1 of the golf fitness progression: Stability, Mobility, and Muscular Endurance.  Once you have completed six weeks of regular “Phase 1 training,” Phase 2, the “Strength Training” phase of Golf Fitness Development, can begin.

Simply defined, strength training is loading your body with weight-bearing movements specific to the desired results. How much weight puts you in the strength-training zone? You need to select a weight that will allow you to produce no more than 4-6 repetitions of the movement. Rest/Recovery is another important variable. During this phase, I suggest 2-3 minutes of rest between sets. Complete 4-5 sets.  If you cut your rest short, you will not be able to reproduce the same training volume (weight x reps) in your next set, thus limiting your strength benefit.

The results of strength training differ for every player but the benefits can include a stronger foundation for your long and short game, added distance, improved consistency, increased power and the ability to get the ball out of deep rough and other tough lies.

Although we know every golfer has different needs, we have found these Phase 2 exercises to be very helpful in building golf-specific strength with most healthy adult golfers. Spending 6 to 8 weeks developing your golf-specific strength is a prerequisite to having you ready for Phase 3: Power Development (Strength + Speed = POWER).

*If you have any health concerns/issues please contact your physician before attempting these exercises. Allow 48 hours of rest/recovery before training the same body part again.


  • 10-15 minutes of medium-pace cardio to get a sweat going.
  • Complete the mobility and stability exercises covered in phase 1.
  • Complete a warm-up set of your strength lift. 12-15 repetitions with much lighter weight.
  • Complete a 2nd warm –up set if you feel it is needed.
  • 3-4 strength exercises per workout day.

Dumbbell Loaded Split Squat: Golf Strength Training

Dumbbell Loaded Split Squat 
With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with one leg back and one leg forward.

Slowly bend both knees towards the ground keeping most of your weight in your front heel.

Before your back knee touches the ground, slowly stand upright keeping your feet in place.

Complete all repetitions before switching sides.

Single Dumbbell Front Loaded Squat: Golf Strength Training

Single Dumbbell Front Loaded Squat
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.

With a single dumbbell held by both hands between your legs, slowly bend into your knees and hips keeping your body weight in your heels.

Keep your shoulders back and eyes pointing high.

Continue down until your hips align with your knees and then return to an upright position.

Split Stance Single Arm Cable Row: Golf Strength TrainingSplit Stance Single Arm Cable Row: Golf Strength Training

Split Stance Single Arm Cable Row
Set your cable attachment to chest height.

Place your right foot forward and your left foot back. Grab the cable handle with your left hand.

While pushing your chest out, pull the cable handle to your left armpit.

Complete all your repetitions before switching sides.

Dumbbell Loaded Side Lunge: Golf Strength Training

Dumbbell Loaded Side Lunge
With a dumbbell in each hand, take a long side step to your left. Keep both feet facing straight in front of you.

Bend into your left knee, feeling like you are sitting back into a chair. Keep
your right leg straight and right foot flat on the floor.

Once you have reached your maximum depth, drive through your left heel, bring the feet back together and stand upright.

Complete all your repetitions before switching sides.

Split Stance Single Arm Cable Press: Golf Strength TrainingSplit Stance Single Arm Cable Press: Golf Strength Training

Split Stance Single Arm Cable Press
Set cable attachment to head height.

Place your left foot forward and your right foot back. Grab the cable handle with your right hand.

While pushing your chest out, push the cable handle out in front of your chest until your arm is fully extended. Repeat on other side.

Cable Lat Pull Down: Golf Strength Training

Cable Lat Pull Down
While seated at the lat pull down machine, grab the bar with your hands just slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Keep your chest pushing out and slightly angled up; pull the bar down to your chest.

Try squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull down.

Co-Owner of RallySport in Boulder, Dillon Johnson is Level 3 & Juniors Certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and Certified by the Personal Training Academy Global ([email protected];
303-928-9007). Phase 3: Power & Club Head Speed Development will appear in an upcoming issue. Golfers interested in golf-specific training should meet with a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Professional and complete a TPI Assessment (

This article appears in the May 2016 issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.

See more from The 15th Club: Our Annual Health and Fitness Issue:

Cover Story: Going to the MAT with Greg Roskopf

Become Golf Strong: A Strength Program for Golf Fitness

To Repair or Replace? Orthopedic Answers for Golfers

Consider the Alternatives: Nonsurgical Options for Pain

Practice Makes Present: How Yoga Can Improve Your Golf Game

Pelvis Lives! How to Strengthen Your Pelvis for Your Golf Swing

The Skins Game: Protecting Your Skin on the Golf Course

Garden of Gods Club Builds Wellness Center

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via