The Golf Fitness System - Level 2


"The Golf Specific Functional Testing and Golf Drill System to Enhance Correct Swing Patterns in your Lesson Plan"

By Ramsay McMaster, and
Mark Holland Head Coach of the Australian Institute of Sport Golf Unit

Key Words:

  • A good physiological model
  • A good technical model
  • Common technical Breakdowns
  • Body Segments
  • Kinetic Chain Theory
  • Golf Specific Tests and Drills
  • 4 Point Breakdown System


It is clear to see that after databasing over 4000 golfers and working closely with PGA Professionals specific patterns are common in golf swings. In assessing poor swing patterns in golfers and matching them up against their musculo-skeletal screenings, we have found that specific physiological breakdown can cause technical problems or inhibit technical improvement.

From this information we have produced a Functional Testing System which can be used to confirm diagnosis of these patterns.

Breakdowns within these functional tests would confirm that the golfer has physiological breakdowns in their body which can inhibit or restrict the ability to maintain good form when practicing or trying to improve technically.

The functional tests are graded from level 1-6. At each level a four point system is put into place to identify common breakdowns. Obviously, the less points accumulated, the less the breakdowns in that functional position.

Examples of the four breakdowns are seen in the paper on the A4 worksheets. If there is a consistent inability to reduce the point system, physiotherapy, massage and myotherapy intervention is recommended to ensure quality of movement and positioning in each test is achieved. This in turn should enable the golfer to achieve and maintain good technical positions by perfoming the test which then becomes a golf specific exercise.

The golfer can then move from a base level to a more difficult level of the same functional test and keep improving once they have good patterns of movement and have good associated physiological form within their diagnostic drills. This will, through their specificity, produce golf specific exercises moving golfers away from generic exercises which have minimal relevance to coaching and the golfer's swing.

Results have shown the following positive outcomes:

  1. The software system inter-relates golf technique with the golf specific physiology of the individual athlete.
  2. Coaches and golf associations can use it immediately to identify coaching problems related to physiological weakness and breakdown.
  3. The four-point system can be used by the coach to identify breakdowns in the different body segments. It can make the player aware, ensuring good form throughout these exercises and goal-setting the golfer/athlete to reduce these points to improve quality of movement.
  4. It makes the golfer accountable for their own physiological testing and exercise prescription. As stated, golf specific exercises can then be prescribed and gradually the loading can be increased. This is obviously crucial for tour players and traveling high-level amateur players.
  5. These drills can be integrated to the golf drills and practice regimes to ensure these muscles stay activated, and good functioning of this pattern is enhanced through practice regimes.
  6. It promotes good duty of care.

Introduction | The Golf Fitness System Level 1
The Golf Fitness System Level 2
| Training for Golf | The Body and Golf
"Get Fit for Golf" books - Part 1 and Part 2
| Club Golfer CD

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