Golfers haven’t always been known as the most “in-shape” relative to athletes in other sports. They’re usually skinny instead of muscular. Full of mental toughness instead of physical strength. Tiger Woods was one of the first golfers to actually put a ton of time into his physical golf fitness.
Related: Tiger Woods Daily Workout Routine
Utilizing his built-up strength to crush the ball further than any of the other golfers when he first arrived on the scene. This helped Tiger dominate early in his career.
New Age of Golf Fitness
Recently, there have been many players who can hit the ball longer and more accurately, giving them a leg up on the competition. This is because golf strength training and conditioning has burst onto the golf scene over the last decade or so.
Focusing on lower body, core strength, and weighted swinging exercises (to name a few), players optimize their shot distance and coordination. Two guys that stick out regarding the new age of golf fitness are real-life buddies Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
Brooks Koepka Workout
Johnson and Koepka abide by a strict workout regime in order to keep up with the most powerful hitters on the PGA Tour. They dedicate much of their time on the road during tournaments and back home to getting in the best possible shape for their craft.
Related: Brooks Koepka’s Workout
Their home facility is the Joey D Golf Training Center located in Jupiter, Florida run by Joey Diovisalvi. Workouts range from weight lifting to stability exercises to coordination work to biking to paddle boarding. Koepka says that “In an average day, I’m spending about four to five hours just on my body”. Now that’s pretty impressive for a golfer.
Dustin Johnson Heavy Lifting
The heavy lifting aspect is something I don’t think many fans really know about. Obviously, these guys are lifting on the off days and throughout the off season. But many of the golfers that are in great shape on tour lift before playing in PGA events.
You heard that right. For a regular four-day tournament, they will do something along the lines of a lower body/core day, upper body/core day, and then a full body day to stay fresh.
Both DJ and Brooks can put up some heavy weight in the weight room. On the Sunday that he won the 2018 U.S. Open, Koepka spent the morning bench pressing. Putting up a a cool 225 lbs fourteen times. “I can get 315”, Koepka mentioned in an interview with Golf.com.
Now, that might not come off as too impressive to the average gym rat but I don’t think the average gym rat plays 18 holes of golf under the pressure of a major championship after lifting.
Johnson’s leg power is impressive and spends a day every week completing many sets of squats. He usually starts out by doing warm-up sets with 135 lbs and works his way up towards 185 lbs. He then climbs the ladder up to around 255-275 lbs to finish his squat workout. Dustin then will hit dead lifts, starting out around 135 lbs and finishing up a little over 200 lbs.
Again, not crazy weight but these guys are golfers and most golfers wouldn’t and couldn’t do that weight. Form is key and there is no need to do tiny rep sets at high weight to show off. They have their skills on the course to do that.
Cardio & Endurance
Other than weight lifting for power and strength, DJ and Brooks like to sprinkle in some cardio work on top. Both of them will try to get in either biking on the street or on a spin cycle at the gym. DJ has gotten into SoulCycle recently. He tries to hit up 30 minutes on the bike before intense lifting workouts.
Balance & Coordination
Koepka and Johnson’s trainer, Joey Diovisalvi makes sure that the golfers spend time on balance and coordination. Doing exercises like box jumps, pistol squats with dumbbells, and dumbbell press on a stability ball to name a few. “Dustin’s constantly challenging his balance, giving the body the opportunity to work”, Diovisalvi says.
Joey D makes sure that the duo has a wide variety of exercises to do to fit their needs as professional golfers.
Tossing a medicine ball into a wall with a form that resembles a golf swing. Using cables to do the “wood chopper” move to replicate a weighted swing like a baseball player who’s on deck to bat.
Ground based activation exercises that focus on the core for a stronger base to help power their golf swings. These include side planks with one leg extended and arm extension variations, as well as single leg raises with arms extended.
Wins to show for Golf Fitness
With all of the fitness work Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson put in, they’ve seen results on the golf course. Koepka won both the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open, along with the 2018 PGA Championship. Johnson won 10 tournaments over the last few years, including the 2016 U.S. Open.
Both ranked as the number one golfer in the world at some point in 2018. Johnson was number one for 81 weeks in an 87 week stretch from 2017-18. Both golfers cracked in the top 10 for the longest driving distance on tour in 2017 and 2018, averaging over 310 yards per drive.
So, you tell me if this golf fitness works.