For years the word athlete conjured thoughts of football, baseball and basketball players. The world of golf and the game of golf is changing that perspective. Although Tiger Woods brought the importance of fitness in the game of golf front and center, he was by no means the first. Partly because of his prowess on the course and partly because of his impressive physique, he became the face and voice of fitness in the golfing arena. Now across tournaments everywhere today, the impact of the fitness and golf movement is evident.
Phil Mickelson is not a small man, but it isn’t likely that his generously healthy shape would be cited as one similar to that of an athletic build. Yet even Phil Mickelson took note of the competition (again, mainly Tiger Woods) dropped some weight and put more emphasis on physical conditioning. The result was more than one major title that followed.
The New and Different Generation of Golfers
With an entirely new wave of golfers, now referred to as the next generation of golfers, physical fitness appears to now be the standard not the anomaly. Guys like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are leading the way. Young? Sure. But this new wave of professional golfers aren’t just young, they are fit too.
These guys are new to the scene, but they aren’t the typical golfers seen in years past. It almost seems that all of them are lean, fit and talented. Maybe Tiger was the one who ushered in this new era, maybe not – but either way the game of golf has now officially changed.
A Previously Unused Advantage
To avoid throwing any of the amazing and gifted golfers of past years under the bus, it is safe to say that those who have been the world’s best or in the conversation haven’t always been models of what it means to be fit. It may not even be a stretch to say that many of these talented guys were actually portraits of unhealthy living!
The advantage of fitness has been revealed by the golfers today and what Tiger has done. This in now way should come as a surprise. The physical conditioning alone on the final day of that 4 day major in the blistering heat of August must surely be a bonus. The endurance after walking one of those hilly, physically and mentally challenging courses must be a benefit. Aside from the obvious physical advantages, comes the mental edge. Many of the guys who’ve won on tour, virtually anyone actually, will attest to the fact that winning on the PGA is a boost in confidence and assures them that they not only belong but can win. This and the very real and very practical fact that the body feels healthier and works better in direct correlation to fitness is another mental edge.
So the next time a professional golf tournament is being played, notice who’s playing and who’s on the leaderboard. There is a pretty good chance that it is being dominated by players who are not only playing winning golf, but are also maintaining a winning workout regimen. One of the newest tag lines for the PGA is, ‘these guys are good’, maybe it will soon become, ‘these guys are fit’ too.