Are You "Golf" Fit?

Enhancing Your Golf Experience: The Functional Fitness Revolution


Nick Christensen
Owner of BaseCamp Fitness Center Apple Valley, MN and Fitness Author

This year my  journey to enhance my golf performance goes beyond the glint of pristine golf clubs or the allure of the perfect swing.  I’m finding that there is more than just showing up to the tee box with the brand new box of noodles I just bought on clearance in the clubhouse. There is an intimate connection between you, your body, and the very essence of the game.


Functional Golf Fitness TRaining

There has always been a connection to golf, the course, the feeling, and the experience that golfers have a hard time explaining.  It’s just the feel or the “hang” as Lefty puts it.  But what often we don’t talk about is the part of golf that makes it hard for golfers to actually enjoy the “hang”, and that’s the physical fitness part.  Let’s delve into the heart of Functional Golf Fitness Training, a gateway to not just playing, but being able to fully be present without the aches, tiredness, and fatigue that so many everyday golfers feel at the course, or worse,  the day after.

Why “Golf” Fit?

When you picture golfing this weekend, there is no doubt that the things that come to mind are the sunshine, your group of friends, the cool crisp air, and the relaxation of the morning, the idea of that perfect tee shot, and the hope that this is the day that I will achieve par on that tricky dog leg right hole 12..  Fast forward to hole 11.  You’re tired, you have the start of some low back pain, and for those of you that actually are fit enough to walk the course, your hips and knees are tight and you are wondering for the rest of the round why you didn’t pay the extra 25 dollars to get a cart. Then, hole 12, where you need to focus the most, is no longer nice and easy, but instead it’s the shutting out of the “hips don’t lie” song that they are singing due to the slight pain you are feeling.

Sound familiar?  You yearn to play better golf, investing in top-notch equipment, seeking out lessons, and experimenting with various aids. However, there’s a secret weapon most golfers overlook – the incredible potential within their own bodies. Regardless of age or gender, anatomical deficiencies could be the hidden obstacles impeding your journey to golfing greatness and simply enjoying the game to your full potential.

Tight muscles, weak muscles, and imbalances within your physique can sabotage your swing mechanics, hinder ball contact consistency, and rob you of the exhilaration that comes with a stellar performance on the greens.  

Golf is changing, look at our professionals and you will see that there is a renewed focus on fitness, health and nutrition.  They know what we should all know.   A functioning body is a functioning golf body.  And when your golf body is functioning you are not only at the top of your game, but also feeling great doing it.

Where to Start?

Fitness and health are not a transformative idea, however, when integrated into your life your golf game is transformed. Here’s the great news, you don’t need to do everything to get started, just get started with something.

In the last year I have incorporated two specific pieces of physical training into my regiment to help connect the dots of how well I play and feel.  The first is a continued set of functional movements that are changed periodically. The second is a membership to Basecamp Fitness which is a group fitness gym that focuses on functional strength training with a cardio component.  For the purposes of just getting started let’s walk through the five exercises that you can do right now that will help your golf body from the get go and then we will look at the review of Basecamp Fitness and how it has helped my game.

The Exercises


Pelvic Tilts and Rotations: Goal: Improve hip mobility to better your swing and reduce your lower back pain.  

  • Pelvic Tilts: Tilt your “water bucket” waistline forward and backward at address without compromising posture.
  • Pelvic Rotations: Cross arms at chest, rotate lead and trail hips without shifting body; prevent sway in the backswing.

Lateral Band Walks: Goal: Activate glutes for lower body stability to add power to your tee shot and control on the green.

  •  Loop a band around knees, take lateral steps without upper body movement, focusing on keeping knees pressed out.

Pallof Press: Goal: Enhance lower body stability, upper & lower body dissociation to create control through your iron shots.

  •  Extend both arms from the chest, bring them back in without moving your lower body. Avoid shrugging shoulders.

Single Leg Balance with Core Halo  – Goal: Improve balance and upper & lower body dissociation to again provide strength and control through your swings

  •  Shift hands from overhead to shoulders while balancing on one foot. Engage core for controlled movements.

 Hip Rotation Medicine Ball Side ThrowGoal: Generate ground force production and rotational power to improve power in your swing and stability to your hips and knees.

  •  Underhand throw ball from trail hip toward the wall, engaging hips and core. Focus on squeezing the trail leg glute for power.

The Gym – BaseCamp Fitness

On top of these exercises, the second piece of my golf fitness journey was joining Basecamp Fitness.  When I started constantly walking courses instead of riding in carts, which I suggest, not only for your current health, but also for the longevity of your life, I found that I was really struggling with making it through 18 holes without getting fatigued.  Fatigued in several different ways; knees were aching, hips were worn out, and to be honest there were times where I just wanted to call it quits after the 14th hole because I was exhausted from walking the course.  It had to change, I wasn’t fully enjoying the game because I was engulfed by how my body was aching.

 Enter Basecamp Fitness, which I immediately found out is not your typical group fitness gym.  The unique combination of Air/Assault Bike and functional fitness strength training started to give me the endurance and strength through different movements that has, over time, allowed me to be present in my golf game because I was overall in better shape to walk, stand, swing, crouch, kneel  and many other positions that used to be hard to get in and out of.  

 One of those positions, crouching, to simply see the contour of the green, was at one time just something I watched Justin Thomas do on tv, but now, I can actually get down into that position and get out of it without aching knees and my lower back giving out just trying to stand back up.  With time spent with Basecamp Fitness my overall cardiovascular fitness has improved, which I can track with their app, and my joint pain has slowly started to fade with a mix of strength moves that I would never do on my own.

Get Started-Today

Now, you’re reading this and thinking well maybe … .maybe I should start something like this … .I would encourage you to just start.  Not only is this your health that you are investing in, but this is a pastime that you spend hours on each spring through fall (unless you live in the south and then lucky for you its all year round) 

Whether you’re a devoted golfer eager to elevate your game to new heights or someone simply yearning to look and feel better, functional training movements to help your golf game is an aspect that needs to be considered part of your golf game.  No longer is golf just a pastime lounging at the tee box and chatting on the greens.  There is more to it, especially if we want to fully enjoy the experience and continue to have the experience well into our older age.  The goal is to be playing golf until the day that we are done on the this earth.  Don’t settle for watching it on tv when you are in your 70’s, live golf to its fullest experience for as long as you can!

Learn More from Nick: BaseCamp Fitness, Apple Valley, MN

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