The role of strength and conditioning in sport has greatly evolved over the last 10 years as the understanding and research into the science behind performance has evolved. Golf is now a sport in which professionals and juniors alike have put additional emphasis on the importance of strength and conditioning and Golf At Goodwood’s Steve Gent is leading the way.
With a reputation for innovation and in striving to keep Goodwood at the forefront of sporting excellence, Golf At Goodwood is seeking to identify ways to improve a golfer’s performance, longevity and enjoyment of the game through the use of ‘High Performance’. Steve Gent runs the ‘High Performance’ conditioning studio at the Goodwood Golf Academy, which focuses specifically on improving a golfer’s flexibility, strength and aerobic qualities.
The role of strength & conditioning
Although the purpose of working on these three qualities may seem solely to improve a player’s handicap; strength & conditioning contributes significantly to a player’s fitness and longevity in the game by making them more robust towards injuries. Fitness is often an undervalued part of golf, something Steve Gent is positively teaching on the scenic West Sussex estate.
“Good aerobic fitness improves your energy management, helping increase your mood, focus and concentration during play. For elite players it also makes you more fatigue and illness resistant to the demands of a tour. Walking the course and playing rounds back to back can be surprisingly tiring. The most consistent golfers are often the fittest,” commented Gent.
Having coached athletes to numerous Olympic, World and European medals, Steve Gent graduated from Chichester University before working with Britain’s Olympic Sailing Team for three consecutive Olympic Games and having worked in golf for 10 years, he understands that strength and conditioning isn’t an aspect commonly associated with golf.
The physical requirements of golf
On the changing role of strength and conditioning, Gent went on to say: “I guess it’s acknowledgement and understanding of how important it can be. From Gary Player to Tiger Woods to Rory McIlroy, there have always been players that have considered the physical component of the game essential but I think that has filtered down through the pro’s into the amateur level more than ever.
“Players spend a long time working on ‘skill acquisition’ trying to adjust their technique but sometimes it’s simply a case that their body cannot get into the position that is required or have the strength and stability to hold it. That’s why conditioning and drills can be massively useful.”
Steve is integrating his services with all the golf pro’s at Goodwood to help golfers of all abilities and ages benefit from the advancements that can be gained from improving their physique. Such are the qualities of Steve’s work and Golf At Goodwood’s facilities that players from along the South Coast of the UK are visiting the Sussex Downs as many golf clubs don’t have access to such expertise.
Steve Gent runs the ‘High Performance’ conditioning studio at the Goodwood Golf Academy. For more information about his work and to get in contact please visit https://www.goodwood.com/golf-at-goodwood/the-academy/golf-conditioning.aspx