GEORGE BRYAN COLUMN - The "Why Fitness" Question
The Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission is holding its first Family Golf program at its new park on Barr Road.
In the first 2 weeks of the program, 1 of the most common questions - "Why is there fitness in this program?” - could end up being the best yet.
In the 3rd week last Sunday, the 'Why Fitness?' question was posed again. This week, because of light rain showers, the program moved inside the gym and focused on this most frequently asked question.
What other sport is fitness not at least involved in the introduction or the conclusion of the actual event?
I am sure there are sports out there, so email me those please. From the Olympic sport of skeet shooting to NASCAR for not just the driver but also the pit crew and all the major sports, athletic conditioning is an integral or fluid ingredient. In fact, physical conditioning is such an important part in many sports, minimum levels of fitness are required just to be able to complete practice.
Here are a few facts about golf that may be surprising;
• A 9 hole round of golf ranges from 1.5 to 4 miles, while 18 holes could be in the range of 3 to 8 miles. If 1 is walking and pushing or carrying the bag, hundreds of calories are burned. The biggest surprise to me is how much walking is involved when riding in a cart. I personally have walked 3-plus miles while riding in a cart for 18 holes. The course rules during these rounds were 'cart path only' only and I hit my ball everywhere.
In a round in January, I walked over 4 miles and truth is probably 5. However, I did not check steps immediately after the round to get specifics. So I can’t be exact, but the course rules were 'paths only'. There were 4 of us hitting the balls everywhere and constantly in trouble, so we were looking every hole for balls.
•Another fact is typically there are hills and terrain to negotiate, so this will add work load to the exercise output result.
•Playing 9 holes could encompass 2 hours while 18 holes 4+ hours so there is an endurance factor.
• If there is excitement, nerves or frustration, this will impact cardiovascular output!
•For a final interesting fact, the vast majority of the world class amateurs and professional engage in athletic training for golf but there are numerous different philosophies and expressions of such training.
Now to offer an explanation to the 'Why Fitness?' question. It’s to enhance the mind-body relationship. If striking or swinging the club over an extended period of time is the requirement of the game, then turning and twisting the trunk torso while swinging the arms vertically and horizontally along with transfer or shifting body weight in balance side to side are the physical swing requirements.
The club head could travel through a space encompassing 20 or more feet so the 'eye to hand to club to ball' relationship is the games magical attraction. Ben Hogan said "there is nothing like the feeling of striking a golf ball correctly. It’s why I play the game."
So in its simplest explanation, the reason for athletic fitness training is to allow our bodies to perform better while practicing and playing the game.
Here is what a couple of participants had to say about the new GolFitness Impact Conditioning curriculum.
Hunter Bass, 11, said “it’s fun getting tired” and mom added that he's definitely working on eye hand coordination and we all are having fun.
In closing Part 1 of "Why Fitness?", ere is some great news for locals.
There is a brand new technology that is manufactured and distributed right here in West Columbia that's having tremendous impact in all of sports. The technology was created for the football lineman in the Clemson Football weight room in 2011. The Tsunami Bar rubber thermal bendable bar material called 'Live Weight' was invented for the lineman, but a huge residual beneficiary is the golfer.
More will be discovered in Part 2 where a local PGA Tour player, Wesley Bryan is the 1st to integrate the tsunami bar technology into his training.