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Staying sharp off the course: remain golf-ready during isolation

Older man in a mask during isolation

Typically, golfers become more relaxed during the off-season, yet most will still make the effort to keep themselves in some kind of physical shape - albeit with a much less stringent regime than before.  However, during this period of pandemic induced isolation, many golfers are finding it hard to maintain themselves physically, without access to their local course, driving range, or gym.

Not only that, but since golf is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, something we could all do with less of; not being able to get out on the green can have an adverse effect on our mental wellbeing too. Because of this, I have compiled a list of my favorite exercises that can be easily performed within the comfort of your own home.

Each exercise has a specific focus and is simple to perform. This is by no means an exhaustive list of movements that you can perform, rather they are the exercises that will provide you with the foundation you need to golf for extended periods, free of pain. Think of it as fine tuning your body, ready for golf.

By taking the time to perform a couple of sets each day, you will be able to pick right back where you left of – and maybe even improve in some areas.


Focus: Shoulders – the shoulder is a complex joint and as such is prone to impingement or stability issues. When we make a swing, we generate energy from the hips, transferring it through our core via rotation, ending with the shoulder joint to follow through.

If any link in that kinetic chain is weak, we aren’t working to the best of our ability, as our capability to transfer power into the ball when teeing off is compromised.


There are many wild and wonderful exercises people recommend for shoulder health, but I like to keep my routine simple; and that starts with shoulder dislocates. Shoulder dislocates are a great exercise for all around shoulder joint mobility and health, strengthening the smaller supporting muscles and promoting strength within the tendons throughout the entire arm.

I like to take my time when performing dislocates, and instead of focusing on reps or sets – I set a timer for a minute and slowly go through the motion, ensuring quality of movement throughout; I will normally do this 3 times with a short rest in between.

Focus: Hip Mobility & Rotational Core Strength – the generation of power starts with the lower half of our body, transferring through our core and is delivered through the upper limbs. Because of this, we need to make sure that not only are we capable of generating the necessary power, but have the required mobility to transfer energy efficiently.


I like to start by opening up my core through supine spinal twists to stretch and strengthen the back muscles through rotation, these are easy to do and require no additional equipment or excessive space. Since I am already on the floor, I follow this up with some glute bridges to further strengthen the back, and promote power transfer from the hips.

Like shoulder dislocates, I choose to perform these movements slowly and for time, focusing on the efficiency of movement over anything else.

Photocredit Pixabay
Photocredit Pixabay

Next, I move myself into a plank position, and tap my shoulders with alternating hands while holding the position – i.e., tap my right shoulder with my left hand, then alternate and touch my left shoulder with my right hand. This not only helps promote core strength and stability, but strengthens and tests the shoulder joints also.

Once you are comfortable with that, I like to throw plank variations in to mix it up and target different muscle groups – my favorite being the side plank.


Finally, I do lunges with rotation, preferably with a small weight; although your club will do. These are great for building your lower body strength, and promote a solid rotational strength for golfers. I will perform 3 sets of 20 reps of this exercise, although you may want to start with a lower number; especially if your mobility is poor.


Staying in shape is important not only for our physical health, but for our mental health too. Focus on your return to the course when you perform these exercises and remember why you’re doing them.

Staying ready to golf while unable to will significantly reduce the chance of suffering an injury the next time you get to play. The last thing you want is to break free from months of isolation, only to injure yourself and remain unable to play golf for even longer.

Staying mentally engaged and ready is just as important as keeping physically prepared. Search the internet for golf tips, dust off those old golf books you’ve been meaning to read forever.

Watch videos of your favorite players, and examine their technique; how do they do what they do?

I hope you have found this article helpful, and I urge you to at least try out some of the exercises contained. I look forward to seeing you on the course, stay safe.

Guest post by Mark Woods. Mark is an avid golfer & blogger at