124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Tiger's fitness key isn't what you think

September 25, 2019

You might think golf workouts should focus on moves directly related to swinging the club faster, like getting a bigger shoulder turn or increasing hand and arm speed. Sure, those things can help you generate power, but there’s perhaps something even more fundamental in the distance equation: strong legs.

“In all sports, it’s about the legs,” Tiger Woods says in his new 12-part video series “My Game: Tiger Woods,” produced by GOLFTV and Golf Digest. “Have you ever seen a home-run hitter with small legs? That just doesn’t happen. It starts with the base.”

Tiger talks about running and how he used daily runs as a release but also to boost his endurance for long stretches of competitive play. “I was never very big, but my legs were strong, and they could go forever. I just never got tired,” Tiger says. “And because legs feed the wolves, the more I ran, the better I played.”

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Physical fitness is a much bigger priority for tour players today than it was even a decade ago, and Tiger was one of the first to adopt it. “If you’re playing baseball or running track or cross-country, if you’re not training, you’re not going to be able to keep up. I brought that same mentality to the game of golf.”

Besides endurance, a less obvious benefit of training is having the ability to hit difficult shots. Golf instructors and commentators often cite Tiger’s fitness as a reason he can get out of trouble better than other players. “By lifting, getting stronger, I was able to handle more lies and different scenarios because I was stronger,” Tiger says. “I derived a lot of my confidence of being able to handle different situations from my training.”

For the full picture on Tiger’s fitness and how he used it to drive his success, watch “Episode 6: My Fitness.” Experience the entire “My Game: Tiger Woods” series by clicking here for Golf Digest Schools (in the U.S., China and Korea) or here (for everywhere else).