Over the past 20 years golf has seen a dramatic increase in the number of professionals beginning to pay attention to fitness, nutrition and other areas of wellness. In short, the modern golf professional has become an athlete. Building muscle like Bryson Dechambeau to improve your game, is that really a avenue to explore?

I posed this question to my golf fitness expert: Scott Shepard, owner of Driven Golf Fitness and Sports Performance in Lake Mary, Florida. Scott is a two-time Golf Digest Top 50 Fitness Instructor and a 2021 Golf Fitness Association of America award winner.

Scott began with a question: “What type of strength training is best for golf and what are the pros and cons of these methods?” He then went on to say, “When it comes to the muscle hypertrophy or ‘bulk’ method of training, there are some key things you need to know.”

“First, getting bigger means you get stronger. Increasing muscle size means more force is produced, which can lead to an increased ability to apply that force to the golf club and be able to move it more. quickly and better control the clubface at impact.

That being said, I asked Scott one thing that might be of concern to people considering this type of training… Will the “bulking” cause tension in the body? He explains: “There’s no reason to believe this will happen as long as you work the muscles through a full range of motion, allowing good recovery between sessions, and continue to work on your mobility and flexibility. specific to golf.”

Basically, if you’re a good golfer and can handle the moves, you should be able to add mass, unless you just stop training and decide to spend that time in the weight room.

Scott and I agreed that golf really is a sport for everyone. Almost every body type has a top professional example of a skilled golf swing being produced. So adding more mass will never disqualify a golfer, regardless of shape or size, from participating in the game…as long as they follow the fundamental practice of golf skills.

“If you don’t already have good efficient movement, bulking up probably won’t help or hurt your situation,” Scott said. “The only harm to your game might come from removing skill practice time to work on something generic like gym-based muscle strength instead of skilled practice.”

In most athletic endeavors, there is a saying that if all things are considered equal, one would rather be the stronger athlete. In golf however, it is always the rule that if all things are considered equal, a golfer should prefer to be the more skilled athlete! It requires swing drills, specific movements, and sequencing drills, as well as playing and practicing on the course. So if you make sure your training program doesn’t take up all of your skill building time, you may very well be chasing those muscle gains!