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Are any of these guys on tour actually built/strong? Is fitness that impactful in golf?


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I know the commentators joke the golfers are built like linebackers. Obviously they aren't.

 

But are there any guys on tour who are actually big guys?

I know the TV can be very misleading because guys like Rory fill out of camera well but are actually tiny in real life. The cameras add weight

 

Woodland looked to be a strong fella, but he lost a ton of weight the last year.

 

Does weight training have any effect on ball striking?

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  • LimaSierra changed the title to Are any of these guys on tour actually built/strong? Is fitness that impactful in golf?
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You are either trolling, or completely delusional. Which is it?   6'1" 205lbs   5'10" 202lbs   5'10" 185lbs   Brooks Koepka  

I’m a CEO, I’m old, I’m fit, and I hit a 2 iron longer and more accurately than any of the young bucks that I run across.   My superior physical condition allows me to play to 2 index that a

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I think it does but overall size probably has more impact IMO than just weight training.   
 

Small but jacked/fit players can absolutely smoke it but they need to be larger/more jacked.  It’s compensation for a naturally smaller arc and less weight that can be transferred via the swing into the ball compared to a physically larger player.  Strength, weight and height all play a role in generating power - which is what your question is all about.  The larger you are, the less effort it takes to generate power, which should translate into a more consistent or less aggressive (more controllable) swing.  A naturally large person will in most cases naturally make more power or have to work less hard to make that power - which means less relative strain on the body and potentially more years of playing.  
 

This is obviously a hyper-simplification because your question omits points like flexibility, endurance, where the muscle is located, slow vs. fast twitch muscles, etc.  

 

 

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8 hours ago, LimaSierra said:

The cameras add weight

 

So that is how Bryson became the big golfer.

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As a personal trainer, I say most def.  I didn't really start hitting the ball far until I started incorporating a little bit of everything.  Strength training, balance work, speed training, and stretching.  Went from 165 to 200(bodybuilding days) then dialed it back down to 175 at 5'7.  285 off the tee to 325, now closer to 305ish due to age and various injuries.  Strength training is mainly to prevent injury although getting stronger for any sport is only going to help you.  The bigger guys on tour I can think of are Scott Stallings, Tiger, Bryson and Brooks.  Rory is small, but he's absolutely ripped in real life.  Camillo falls in the same category. 

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Speed with consistency hits the ball a long way.  If you want to hit it out of the rough strength is the biggest part of that.  Speed in and of itself doesn't get the ball out of the rough.  The larger stronger guys with a steep swing will always have an advantage in getting the ball out of the rough.

 

Just go back and watch Bryson at the US Open.  He won because he is fast, he won because even though he hit it in the rough his strength and swing allowed him to hit his irons on the green.  A strong guy with a steep swing gets it out of the rough easier than a strong sweeper, or a not as strong steep swinger, or a smaller, but strong steep swinger.

 

Strength is absolutely a advantage, but only if done correctly and with a plan.   Just getting stronger has ruined plenty of guys careers, just getting fast has as well.  I am not a fan of the Big Golfer(Bryson) or of Rose's sh!++y fiance (Koepka) but both players are fast, strong, and have steep swings.

 

Strong for golf does not make you look like Adonis, that is why Koepka lost all that weight and did different work outs for the ESPN body issue he was in.  Strong for golf takes a plan and serious dedication to do it correctly.

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29 minutes ago, phizzy30 said:

As a personal trainer, I say most def.  I didn't really start hitting the ball far until I started incorporating a little bit of everything.  Strength training, balance work, speed training, and stretching.  Went from 165 to 200(bodybuilding days) then dialed it back down to 175 at 5'7.  285 off the tee to 325, now closer to 305ish due to age and various injuries.  Strength training is mainly to prevent injury although getting stronger for any sport is only going to help you.  The bigger guys on tour I can think of are Scott Stallings, Tiger, Bryson and Brooks.  Rory is small, but he's absolutely ripped in real life.  Camillo falls in the same category. 

Just for clarification you're talking about pre fusion Tiger, right?  His body undergoes a clear transformation between when he came out on tour as wiry and became pretty thick.  In my opinion he looks substantially less bulky post fusion probably intentionally to reduce stress or just because his training is limited.

 

Bryson is the most significant case.  When he changed his body he went to 240 and said the end goal was 270.  At 240 he had a big increase in swing speed.  However he said that he was no longer shooting for 270 because carrying 240 over 72 holes affected his energy level so going to 270 would be even more difficult to maintain energy.

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38 minutes ago, phizzy30 said:

As a personal trainer, I say most def.  I didn't really start hitting the ball far until I started incorporating a little bit of everything.  Strength training, balance work, speed training, and stretching.  Went from 165 to 200(bodybuilding days) then dialed it back down to 175 at 5'7.  285 off the tee to 325, now closer to 305ish due to age and various injuries.  Strength training is mainly to prevent injury although getting stronger for any sport is only going to help you.  The bigger guys on tour I can think of are Scott Stallings, Tiger, Bryson and Brooks.  Rory is small, but he's absolutely ripped in real life.  Camillo falls in the same category. 

How do you explain then Rory hitting 300 as a teenager, and what is quite common in amateur golf now of talented teenagers absolutely bombing the ball, or thin, wiry players like Justin Thomas or Cameron Champ hitting it so long?

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12 minutes ago, Dave230 said:

How do you explain then Rory hitting 300 as a teenager, and what is quite common in amateur golf now of talented teenagers absolutely bombing the ball, or thin, wiry players like Justin Thomas or Cameron Champ hitting it so long?

Not to answer for him, but speed and contact equal distance.  Kids can swing fast, wiry people can swing fast, middle aged folks can swing fast.  Strength with speed is easier to swing fast.  Strength really is set apart from just speed when hitting out of the deep rough.

 

I have seen Cameron Champ at a couple of tournaments, and wiry is not what comes to mind.  He is not big, but he is not wiry.   JT is a couple of inches shorter than Champ and much thinner though the upper body for sure.

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If you’ve been to tournaments then you know these guys are average looking. A few have builds where you go yeah he works out but anyone who works out, eats healthy, and has a 9-5 grind goes “wtf man they play a sport for a living and are millionaires and that’s the best physique they can come up with?”  

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Is fitness / strength, let's just call it physicality important in golf ? 

 

Yes, if it wasn't the LPGA players would be on par with PGA players...

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Watch an LPGA event ... a lot of the women are fit, but they don't have the strength of male amateurs. Yet they out drive the vast majority of male amateurs. It doesn't take much muscle mass to swing a clubhead.

 

And I can't believe I responded to what is likely a troll thread.

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5 minutes ago, reelop19 said:

If you’ve been to tournaments then you know these guys are average looking. A few have builds where you go yeah he works out but anyone who works out, eats healthy, and has a 9-5 grind goes “wtf man they play a sport for a living and are millionaires and that’s the best physique they can come up with?”  

 

Then your looking at it the wrong way. You train for the sport you play, not for looks. Everyone seems to think golfers should be training to look like football players but that kind of build isn't good for golf. Golf is an endurance sport at the end of the day. Pros play 4 hours a day 5-6 days a week at an average tournament. The point of the training they do is that the first tee shot they hit on Tuesday is the same as the last one they hit on Sunday. 

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12 minutes ago, reelop19 said:

If you’ve been to tournaments then you know these guys are average looking. A few have builds where you go yeah he works out but anyone who works out, eats healthy, and has a 9-5 grind goes “wtf man they play a sport for a living and are millionaires and that’s the best physique they can come up with?”  

 

1 minute ago, Jc0 said:

 

Then your looking at it the wrong way. You train for the sport you play, not for looks. Everyone seems to think golfers should be training to look like football players but that kind of build isn't good for golf. Golf is an endurance sport at the end of the day. Pros play 4 hours a day 5-6 days a week at an average tournament. The point of the training they do is that the first tee shot they hit on Tuesday is the same as the last one they hit on Sunday. 

 

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9 minutes ago, reelop19 said:

If you’ve been to tournaments then you know these guys are average looking. A few have builds where you go yeah he works out but anyone who works out, eats healthy, and has a 9-5 grind goes “wtf man they play a sport for a living and are millionaires and that’s the best physique they can come up with?”  

Physique matters a lot more than 30 years ago, but at the end of the day it's still predominantly a skill-based game. Some of the best athletes in the world are terrible golfers, some with terrible physiques are brilliant golfers. It's not to be recommended to be like that in pro golf, but if you can hit a 100-yard wedge to 10 feet and hole the putt often, it doesn't matter how many times your opponent went to the gym that week.

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John Rahm looks like he has an athletic frame.  

 

I don't think any of these guys are going to step off the course and onto an NFL field.  

 

Dustin Johnson kind of has a baseball pitcher's build.  Gary Woodland as mentioned appears to be stoutly built.  Shane Lowery has my build.

 

Golf appears to be a sport where bits and pieces of fitness certainly help but is not a requisite to playing good golf all the time.  Guys that play a lot develop strong arms, wrists and hands.  Just the same that masons develop those same muscles.

 

 

Regarding Brady and Manning, my guess is that was an attempt to show the counter argument to what was quoted.  I would say it fits right in and serves as a good example.  Both of those guys are pocket passers that are moving quickest, backwards five steps at a time every 35 or so seconds.  You don't have to be strong to do that.  You don't have to have 6 pack abs.  Brady doesn't air it out any more if he ever did.  He is akin to the old guy that fairways and greens you into submission and when you compare cards at the end of the round he beats you by three strokes.

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Will Zalatoris, Kevin Na and Russell Henley just texted..

 

they said “no” to the OPs question

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1 minute ago, smashdn said:

John Rahm looks like he has an athletic frame.  

 

I don't think any of these guys are going to step off the course and onto an NFL field.  

 

Dustin Johnson kind of has a baseball pitcher's build.  Gary Woodland as mentioned appears to be stoutly built.  Shane Lowery has my build.

 

Golf appears to be a sport where bits and pieces of fitness certainly help but is not a requisite to playing good golf all the time.  Guys that play a lot develop strong arms, wrists and hands.  Just the same that masons develop those same muscles.

What athletic frame? The display frame you'd use to put a signed basketball in? But he used to be in better shape. He seemed to have gain more weight than his wife did during pregnancy.

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3 minutes ago, Frankensteins Monster said:

What athletic frame? The display frame you'd use to put a signed basketball in? But he used to be in better shape. He seemed to have gain more weight than his wife did during pregnancy.

 

Frame and weight aren't the same thing.  Rory and Rickie have small frames.  DJ has a tall thin frame.  Rahm and Woodland have broad shouldered frames.  You build muscle and carry weight differently depending upon frame type.

 

If your body was used to walking 50 miles a week for your job and you stopped doing that for a few weeks you would probably put on some pounds too all else staying equal in your life regarding diet, etc.

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None of the tour players resemble body builders, cross fitters, power lifters, or even your average jacked gym rat. They are shockingly skinny in person (even guys like Koepka and Tiger). They have great core and hip strength but are tiny in the upper body (arms, chest, shoulders, and back). Bryson is the only one who has noticeable mass in his upper body but he's also about 20% body fat. 

 

Clearly their lack of upper body mass doesn't matter when it comes to their ability to generate speed. They are all very fit, have great functional strength with wide ranges of motion. Combine that with excellent sequencing and you see the results. 

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2 minutes ago, smashdn said:

 

Frame and weight aren't the same thing.  Rory and Rickie have small frames.  DJ has a tall thin frame.  Rahm and Woodland have broad shouldered frames.  You build muscle and carry weight differently depending upon frame type.

 

If your body was used to walking 50 miles a week for your job and you stopped doing that for a few weeks you would probably put on some pounds too all else staying equal in your life regarding diet, etc.

 Rahm has a strong, not particularly athletic, frame. He put on at least 20lbs. He's settling into fatherhood perfectly.

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45 minutes ago, smashdn said:

John Rahm looks like he has an athletic frame.  

 

I don't think any of these guys are going to step off the course and onto an NFL field.  

 

Dustin Johnson kind of has a baseball pitcher's build.  Gary Woodland as mentioned appears to be stoutly built.  Shane Lowery has my build.

 

Golf appears to be a sport where bits and pieces of fitness certainly help but is not a requisite to playing good golf all the time.  Guys that play a lot develop strong arms, wrists and hands.  Just the same that masons develop those same muscles.

 

 

Regarding Brady and Manning, my guess is that was an attempt to show the counter argument to what was quoted.  I would say it fits right in and serves as a good example.  Both of those guys are pocket passers that are moving quickest, backwards five steps at a time every 35 or so seconds.  You don't have to be strong to do that.  You don't have to have 6 pack abs.  Brady doesn't air it out any more if he ever did.  He is akin to the old guy that fairways and greens you into submission and when you compare cards at the end of the round he beats you by three strokes.

lol. Brady is a 3 time league MVP (Should have more) who lead the league in deep passing this year. 40 TDs and 4600 yards in a Bruce Arians offense.

Tom aired it out when he was young and he still airs it out

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37 minutes ago, mgoblue83 said:

None of the tour players resemble body builders, cross fitters, power lifters, or even your average jacked gym rat. They are shockingly skinny in person (even guys like Koepka and Tiger). They have great core and hip strength but are tiny in the upper body (arms, chest, shoulders, and back). Bryson is the only one who has noticeable mass in his upper body but he's also about 20% body fat. 

 

Clearly their lack of upper body mass doesn't matter when it comes to their ability to generate speed. They are all very fit, have great functional strength with wide ranges of motion. Combine that with excellent sequencing and you see the results. 

I feel like saying none is hyperbole. So none of these guys even looked strong at all?

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