Golf Digest editors picks

Heath 101: Fit at 50

It's time to break out of that old shell and get on the road to a better body and swing

November 2007

We believe there are a number of ways to swing the golf club, but there's only one way to swing it efficiently, and it's based on what your body can do. As you approach 50, things such as making a full shoulder turn on the backswing and staying within your posture on the downswing aren't as easy as they used to be. The reason is, without maintaining the body's strength and flexibility, you can't do the things you used to do.

We hear all the time from golfers, particularly middle-age ones, that they keep getting the same lesson over and over, but they aren't getting any better. It's not that they're slow to learn, it's more likely that they can't physically do what the teacher is asking them to do.

We have identified five typical flaws that amateurs have in their swings -- and the physical limitations that might be causing them. You might have one or more of these swing flaws, but if you perform the prescribed exercises, you'll soon find you can improve your swing and counter the effects of aging at the same time.

Strength-and-conditioning experts Gray Cook and Mike Boyle believe that the body is a series of mobility and stability joints. When a mobility joint is weak and malfunctioning, then a stability joint has to compensate and move the body. This causes instability, dysfunction and pain. So if your hips (a mobility joint) are inflexible, then your lower back (a stability joint) has to perform the movement, which can lead to lower-back pain.

Test Yourself

Dave Phillips (left), ranked by his peers among Golf Digest's top-10 golf instructors in California, and Greg Rose, a doctor of chiropractic, are co-hosts of "Golf Fitness Academy" on the Golf Channel and teach at the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif.

Stuff You Need

You can buy all of this equipment at mytpi.com.

Dumbbells

Two five-pounders from Hampton Fitness are $38.

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