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Performance Factors
Physical Aspect

It often used to be said that muscular strength had no effect on the distance a golfer could hit the ball. The reality is very different. In fact it would be more correct to say that strength alone is of little use if it isn't combined with an effective technique. There can be no doubt that muscular strength, or more precisely the power (strength speed) of the muscles, does contribute to hitting the ball longer. A child of ten, even one with excellent technique, can never hit the ball as far as he will be able to at the age of twenty using the very same technique. This is also why, using an identical technique, men can usually hit farther than women—though, obviously, this doesn't mean that some women can't hit the ball farther than most men!

Even though an impressive number of muscles are brought into play during the action, only two parts of the body really have to work, namely the shoulders in the backswing and the hips in the downswing.

Certain muscles are used to rotate the body while the others provide resistance (like rubber bands). While the backswing is in progress a potentially increasing energy is stored as resistance grows in these. Ultimately, however, most of the muscles in the body have a contribution to make.

It isn't so long since people used to talk about "quick hands in the impact zone" to explain the long ball. Nowadays, however, in speaking of distance, we refer instead to the muscular tension created during the backswing and the speed of the hip rotation in the downswing. It's unlikely, for instance, that a sixty-five-year-old golfer could ever rotate with the same range and speed as when he was twenty-five. On the other hand it will always be preferable, where performance is concerned, to apply a powerful model (one that brings the large body muscles into play) on a reduced scale rather than a less potent model (one that relies primarily on the hands and arms) at full intensity.

So, in order to determine precisely which muscles are brought into play in a golf swing it's imperative to take the technique used by the golfer into account. This having been said, an effective technique will rely heavily on the dorsal and abdominal muscles that wrap around the waist. Yes, it is possible for a golfer to hit the ball a greater distance thanks to a training program that includes specific exercises. This means that the exercises in question should involve a turning movement of the body similar to the one that should occur in a golf swing.

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