Probably the question that first comes to your mind when you read this title is: what is S.A.I.D. and how does it help my golf game? The reality is that S.A.I.D. is very connected to your golf swing and is a very important principle if you want to hit the ball farther and lower your scores.
Before introducing S.A.I.D. let us discuss improvement in the game of golf. Improving your golf game requires developing several disciplines. Generally speaking you must develop proper swing mechanics, practice every aspect of the game (putting, short game, chipping, pitching, short irons, long irons, fairway woods, and driver), develop your course management skills, play practice rounds, create understanding for the nuances of the game, develop confidence, and finally develop your body.
Understand that the entire list of golf disciplines works as a unit to improve your golf game. No one facet can be eliminated from this list without having an effect on your overall improvement. For example, if I were never to practice putting, how well would I play? I may play great from tee to green, but when it comes to putting, look for my scores to go through the roof.
The last discipline mentioned was your body. Quite often this is the forgotten aspect of improving your golf game, but it is equally important. Let me ask you a question. What swings your driver? Some answers may be your swing. In reality, your body swings the club. Yes, your body swings the club, not the other way around. Developing your body in relation to the swing allows for a foundation to be created. This foundation is where you are able to develop the proper mechanics of the swing.
If your body does not have the needed flexibility, balance, coordination, or power to swing a club, how well are you going to swing a driver? Not very well. If your body is weak and inflexible developing an optimal swing will be next to impossible.
The development of the body in relation to the swing is where S.A.I.D. comes into play. S.A.I.D. refers to the principle of “specific adaptation to imposed demands.” This principle states that the body will adapt to the demands of the training stimulus but will not adapt beyond the scope of that training stimulus (NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal, pg. 18, August, 2005).
Did I loose you in that last paragraph?
Let me explain. This principle pertains to developing the body’s level of fitness in relation to any sport or activity. For example, if I were to perform a bicep curl with a 25-pound dumbbell 15 times the curl could be difficult in the beginning, but over time it would get easier and eventually I could crank out 15 repetitions with no problem. This is a result of my body adapting (muscles getting stronger) to the resistance placed on my body by the dumbbell.
Now here is the kicker, if I continued to only lift a 25-pound dumbbell over the period of a year what do you think would happen? I like to use the phrase “diminishing returns” to explain this situation. Once the body adapts to a resistance, the body plateaus and does not get stronger. At this point it can even get weaker!
Now how does this pertain to golf? Think about it for a moment. Greater distance off the tee is always a desire of every amateur playing the sport. Amateurs go to great length to hit the ball 20, 10, or even 5 yards farther. They will buy new drivers, new golf balls, new anything! Now if an amateur’s clubhead speed is somewhere around 85 mph, how is that clubhead speed going to improve with a new driver or new ball? The answer is it will not.
Hypothetically, let’s assume you have fairly efficient swing mechanics. How are you going to increase your clubhead speed? (Remember clubhead speed stays the same even if you buy a new driver.) Someway or somehow you are going to have to generate greater clubhead speed.
Increasing the efficiency with which you swing the club is one way. But the efficiency with which you swing a club has an end point, and once that end point is reached it won’t go any farther. What is the other way by which you can increase your clubhead speed? Implementing a golf fitness program into your routine can help.
A golf fitness program will develop the “foundation” to improve your swing mechanics. This type of program will develop your flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and endurance capacities to improve your swing.
Additionally, it can develop greater clubhead speed. Clubhead speed is a result of power development. Power development is contingent upon your swing mechanics and body. Improving the power outputs of your body will enhance your clubhead speed. And greater clubhead speed equates to greater distance on your drives.
If you have never developed a level of golf fitness, your body is set at a certain level of power-generating capabilities. Until you force the body to increase its power-generating capabilities through the S.A.I.D. principle, your club head speed will stay the same. A golf fitness program will place resistance on your body forcing it to adapt and improve its power capabilities. The end result will be greater clubhead speed, and that can equate to longer drives.
Looking for a golf-specific fitness program to improve your clubhead speed? Look no further than my manual Your Body & Your Swing. This program is filled with golf-specific flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power exercises to enhance your golf swing. My program implements the S.A.I.D. principle with the goal of improving your scores and your driving distances.
Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour regularly working with PGA Professionals, most notably Masters and PGA Champion Phil Mickelson. To learn more about Sean and his golf fitness programs go to http://www.bioforcegolf.com