I would like to share with you what I consider to be the 5 areas that the competitive club golfer can learn from Cam’s approach to physical preparation. If implemented properly these will not only help your golf but benefit your long-term musculo-skeletal health too.
Cam’s approach is particularly relatable and applicable to the club golfer because he isn’t the biggest guy, or the most gifted athlete, or the hardest worker. Cam likes to keep things simple and use practice and training approaches that can be completed in a short amount of time with the minimum of fuss (leaving more time for messing around on the range apparently!)
A selection from Cam’s large repertoire of comedy golf swings
1) STICK TO THE PLAN
Cam doesn’t wander from the prescribed plan; this is for three main reasons. Firstly he wants to avoid the excessive post exercise soreness that prohibits him from practicing and performing effectively. Sticking to familiar exercises and loads helps ensure this. Secondly, performing the same exercises allows him time to get familiar and comfortable with the technique, ensuring absolute best form and resultant outcome. Lastly, golf is a tough mental sport especially at the very elite level. Being able to go into the gym and carry out a familiar routine means that there is no excess mental energy being used up unnecessarily.
How you can apply this – find a good training program and stick to it. Only change up exercises when performance isn’t a priority (e.g. off season).
Banded back squats have been a staple for off season training, great for power development.
2) WARM UP CONSISTENTLY
Cam recognizes the importance of warming up properly to not only prevent injury, but also help ensure he is moving correctly. His 15-minute routine of self-massage, stretch and posture setting is quite literally a daily habit. Pre tournament rounds, it’s also a great time to get his head in the right place and start mentally preparing for the upcoming challenge. The equipment used is a spiky ball, lateral resistance bandand the GravityFit TPro.
How you can apply this – Get yourself some basic warm up equipment, identify the key areas to release / stretch / activate and allocate 15 minutes before you play to go through the routine.
Cam warming up at the Bay Hill Invitational, 2017
3) TRAIN FOR SPECIFIC POWER
The keys to hitting the ball a long way are widely considered to be combination of vertical thrust and rotational speed. Since 2015 we have focused specifically on training these areas through jump variations along with rotating against resistance. The jump variations progress from small drop jumps to squat jumps with 20kg to trap bar jumps with as much as 60kg. The rotational speed approach doesn’t change much, normally working with a strong resistance band that challenges Cam to try to move at around the same speed he swings driver. This contributed to Cam placing third on tour for distance gained from 2016 to the 2017 season.
We use an accelerometer to quantify progress and drive intent by measuring speed, jump height and power output. If you are tech minded and like your training easily quantified then check out the Push Band by Train With Push.
How you can apply this – incorporate basic jump movements into your gym sessions along with some fast rotational work against resistance bands. Just remember to work on your landing mechanics (land soft) to minimize the risk of injury and work up slowly to top speeds for the rotations.
Cam working hard on his rotational speed (push band on his arm)
4) TRAIN POSTURE AND STABILITY
To my knowledge, GravityFit make the only equipment designed to specifically train the deep muscle system responsible for holding posture and stabilising joints. The combination of axial load and the immediate feedback system means that when using the GravityFit equipment Cam is always aware of when he is in good posture and what that feels like. We combine using the equipment with simple movements that challenge his ability to maintain balance and posture. This forms part of daily routine that can be done around the house, in the gym or on the range.
How you can apply this – Start training your posture and deep muscle system, preferably using GravityFit equipment and exercises. Your joints and golf swing will thank you for it.
Cam is aiming to absorb the landing load softly whilst maintaining stability in spine and shoulders
5) KNOW WHEN TO REST
The physical, mental and emotional demands of a tournament week make it tricky to continue to train with the same volume and intensity as usual. This makes it the ideal time to reduce the intensity and volume of gym work, focusing on posture, speed and mobility. I will often prescribe a watered down version of the usual program, reducing reps, sets and load whilst still focusing on great technique.
How you can apply this – moderate your training load to suit your performance needs. Try doing the heavy stuff earlier in the week, leaving you fresher for the weekend.
Cam making the most of the massage chair in the locker room at CIMB Classic, 2016
My recommendations might seem pretty simple, and with good reason; golf is a complex, frustrating and often confusing game. I believe that golfer’s training should be straight forward, easy to implement and repeatable. In the is un-predictable sport, some consistency around physical preparation can go a long way to minimizing variability in performance.
If you would like to access training programs that Cam Smith has used to train his body, then check out the following products and services from Nick at Golf Fit Pro:
DROP THE MIC ON HOW THE WRISTS SHOULD LOAD AND BE POSITIONED FOR COMPRESSIVE POWER, ACCURACY, AND LONGEVITY!! Come on, stop finagling your wrists into knots trying to square the clubface and stop slicing. THERE IS A WAY BETTER WAY!!
00:00 Shawn introduces the Golf Lesson w/ Mu
01:05 Power backhand with a tennis racquet & baseball swing analogy w/ Mu
03:14 Hammering a nail analogy /w Mu
05:14 Which golf grip helps you stay anatomically sound towards the target
12:34 Mu demonstrates some shots from the lesson
14:24 Shawn concludes the golf lesson with Mu
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Date: April 11, 2021.
Table of Contents:
This series is specifically about facilitating the engage- ment of a kinetic chain. Throwing an object, throwing a punch, etc., is a timed sequence of movements – or in other words: a kinetic chain. The proper sequence is demonstrated in extremis by Bryson DeChambreau. ”I jump up, and then I pull”.
A Centered And Catapulting Throw
To remove the restriction of the lower body in the back- swing do the feet-together drill; this is really important. Place your feet next to each other, the arches touching, forming a single ‘suction cup’; keep your knees together, no ‘Elvis Presley’. Feel very solid contact with the ground, feel ’glued’ to the ground with your feet. Then heave your arm club unit towards the trail side. Immediately to keep balance your rear will swivel into the opposite direction, ‘facing’ the target. If not, you will lose your balance.
Rise And Heave, Fall And Throw
Imagine heaving an axe and letting it fall into the stem of a tree. Upon heaving the axe back you will notice that your knees stay above your feet and the rear will immediately move in the opposite direction. Both legs will extend, you will rise up, and your head will go up – ”I jump up”. Then you let the axe fall and the movements will reverse. When you let the axe fall, you go to the ground, the head goes down, the knees flex – ”I pull”. Also see: the axe drill. Nothing about this needs to be learned. But it needs to be allowed to happen in a proper golf swing.
THE MASTERS IS NEXT WEEK!! And the defending champion has a very enviable skill that so many of us would love to acquire: HOW TO FORGET THAT BAD SHOT AND MOVE ON WITH POSITIVITY AND CONFIDENCE!! The subject comes up often as to how the number 1 player in the world, Dustin Johnson, has the uncanny ability to forget bad shots immediately like water off a duck’s back, to allow him to bounce back with barrages of Birdies to keep his chances of winning very much alive.
This is an incredibly important skill to acquire and it is important to understand the science behind it to help with this difficult task. A couple of real experts in this field from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and the University of Southern California, Gabriele Wulf and Rebecca Lewthwaite, have some terrific info on motor skill learning at this website: Gabriele Wulf Podcast
CHECK OUT THE NEW GOLF LEGACY CHANNEL BY BY OUR DIRECTOR OF INSTRUCTION FOR EUROPE, EDOUARD MONTAZ, and this week he is talking about Fred Couples and his Legacy! Golf Legacy Wisdom in Golf specializes in creating Golf Legacies, what will be your’s??
PLEASE GO CHECK OUT THIS NEW INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE FROM OUT FRIENDS AT RETRIEVE FOR THE BEST INTERACTIVE GOLF COACHING IN THE INDUSTRY. SIGN UP RIGHT NOW FOR WHAT BEST SUITS YOU AT:
• BEGINNER SERIES: Beginner
• CONSISTENCY SERIES: Consistency
• SENIOR SERIES: Senior
00:00 Shawn Introduces the Lesson w/ Sav & Mu
00:44 How to observe and analyze your golf shots w/ Mu
04:26 How the human mind utilizes its motor learning skills in relation to golf
09:00 How to observe and analyze your golf shots w/ Sav
11:20 What you should adapt to when you practice or play golf
12:57 Shawn summarizes the Lesson
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Talk about a fun thing to practice!! To have the permission to top the ball is very liberating because you are actually trying to miss the shot and you will realize you can be very precise doing it mainly because you don’t care how bad you top it! The great news is that you can be equally as adept at hitting the ball solidly and smoking your irons pure like Colin Morikawa!
PLEASE GO CHECK OUT THIS NEW INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE FROM OUR FRIENDS AT RETRIEVE FOR THE BEST INTERACTIVE GOLF COACHING IN THE INDUSTRY. SIGN UP RIGHT NOW FOR WHAT BEST SUITS YOU AT:
• BEGINNER SERIES
• SENIOR SERIES
00:00 Shawn introduces the lesson
00:38 Task: Cutting grass with the grass whip
02:13 Drill: Perpetual Motion to find the low point of the club
03:00 Topping the ball!
05:17 Task: Cutting the stem of the dandelion or cut grass
07:19 Ball Position, Release of the club & PM – Drill
09:40 Shawn concludes the lesson
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Golf’s Perfect Imperfections Podcast Episode: The Science Behind Dustin Johnson forgetting his bad shots
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TALK ABOUT BIG FINISH POSITION; You have seen the swash buckling HELICOPTER finish in ARNOLD PALMER’s golf swing and there are a few more HALL OF FAME PLAYERS like BERNHARD LANGER and BUBBA WATSON that come to mind as well! They all have a few things in common such as DOMINANT TRAIL HANDS and STRONG GRIPS that make their DISSIPATION OF EXCESS energy in their follow throughs WHIRL UP TO THE SKY LIKE A HELICOPTER. We also talk about the standard and traditional wrap around finishes that are equally as good for handling the big momentum that pounds through the ball and towards the target, so stay tuned, this video is going to be a lot of fun!!
00:00 Shawn Clement introduces the Lesson
01:17 Swinging at The Ball vs. at The Target
02:41 Drill: Throwing the club – Shawn Clement
04:59 The Helicopter Finish
06:52 Shawn hits some R-H shots with the Helicopter Finish
10:21 Shawn hits some L-H shots with the Traditional Finish
12:46 Shawn Clement ends the Lesson
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