or at least the fun (and lack of pain) you may experience.
Through the years, I've read a number of articles discussing how to improve your golf game through fitness. Clearly, if you look back 10, 20 or 30 years, professional golfers today are clearly, on averages, better physically fit and better athletes than their earlier counterparts. I doubt John Daly, in his prime, was spending very much time in the gym. He has during the latter years of his career made some adjustments to his exercise and diet but during his prime, that wasn't as much a concern.
Then, Tiger Woods stormed onto the scene, physically fit and disciplined and everyone took notice. If you were going to compete, you'd have to be a great golfer and in pretty good shape. Flexibility helps add distance. the "X-Factor" that's been written about is about flexibility.
Next there's improving your strength because core strength and joint strength keep you stabilized and aid in keeping your golf swing in control and possibly lead to more distance.
With lots of options at the gym to try and improve your physical fitness, which ones might give you the best bang for your buck?
For Flexibility, consider Yoga (http://yogaforgolfers.com/flexibility/). My completely unprofessional opinion is that many of us (me too for a long time) have not given Yoga it's just reward. As I get older, and I feel it more dificult to reach my toes to put on my socks, I have begun to think Yoga might actually really help me as I get older. Training my muscles to flex in ways they never have (I think) will help me with my golf swing as well as my everyday life skills. Working on straightening my spine, being able to move my knees and hips in ways they should be able to move, what's wrong with that.
Other options T-Spine twists, medicine ball twists and lunges. Don't overdue the weights if you use them. Too much weight can put you in bad form leading to worse habits and conditioning.
Consider the rowing machine. Beyond the cardio gains, a high elbow row works several muscle groups including those in your back and promotes better posture.
Planks will help build your core muscles which in turn help you build increased power and stability
Kettle bells are a great thing! There are a number of websites that have developed kettle bell workouts for building arm, shoudler and forearm strength, all of which help you better control the club during the swing. From http://www.brandonricheyfitness.com,
"One single exercise that I guarantee will amp up your game and improve your golf swing is the kettlebell swing. If you aren't familiar with kettlebells by now then I'm going to do my best here to get you caught up. The kettlebell originated in Russia. They have been around for over three centuries and world strongmen, athletes, and even the Russian military have used this hard hitting ancient device to build the fittest bodies in history. The cool thing is that the base lift that is executed with the kettlebell is known as the double arm kettlebell swing.
This particular lift is performed by you swinging the kettlebell from between your legs up to your chest level. This is done by you engaging your hips in a movement known as the hip snap. The hip snap is performed by you fluently flexing and extending at both your hips and knees in order to create the necessary momentum to properly swing the iron cannonball. This one single exercise integrates hundreds of muscles (just like the golf swing) and effectively trains your body through resisted MOVEMENT which is essential for any athletic task."
So during this off-season, take some time to consider some changes you can make to your physical fitness regime to help improve your golf game for 2014