The Complete Golf Workout Program to Level Up Your Game

Have you ever wondered if there’s anything you can do off the course to improve your game? Well, you’re in luck because there is. Several studies have found that weight training for golf is an effective way to improve your form and power.

I’ve personally experienced the benefits that weightlifting can have on your golf game. When I was in high school, I was on the golf team. During the offseason of my sophomore year, the weightlifting bug hit me. I hit the gym like crazy and improved many of my major lifts, like the bench press, squat, and deadlift.

When our next golf season started, I returned and noticed a huge improvement in my golf game. I was hitting farther and with more control than I ever had before. After seeing so much improvement, it made me research deeper to learn exactly what I could do to improve my game even more.

After years of golfing and being in the gym, I’ve learned much about what makes a great golf workout program. I’m going to share everything you should know in this article. This article will cover:

  • How strength training for golfers helps
  • A workout plan for golfers
  • The best exercises to implement in your routine
  • The best types of training for different points of the golf season

There’s a lot to cover here. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to know to design the best golf workouts for your needs. Let’s get started.

How Golf Strength Training Benefits Your Game

Golf, smile and portrait of black man stretching arms on course for game, practice and training for

As you may have noticed, there are a lot of health benefits of golfing. It’s a good way to get some cardio in and simply reap the benefits of being outdoors.

Even though golf is good exercise, you may have noticed that you start to feel pretty gassed as you get into the back 9. Your form starts to break down, and your swing doesn’t have the same explosiveness it did at the start of the round. Strength training and implementing some cardio into your routine can help with that.

What the Research Says About Golf Strength Training

One prominent study found positive correlations between upper body strength and power output in the golf swing. Participants in the study who could bench press more weight had higher velocity and power output when swinging drivers and irons. In essence, they were able to hit the ball farther, which is what everyone wants to do.

Another study found that explosive power in the lower body helps with power output in the golf swing as well. Participants in this study tested the height they could jump. Those with higher, more explosive jumps could also generate more velocity on golf swings.

Another comprehensive review analyzed 20 different studies on weight training for golf. The majority of those studies found positive correlations between physical strength and power output on the golf swing.

With all that research, it’s clear that strength training will likely significantly impact your golf game.

An Effective Golf Workout Program


Knowing that a golf strength training routine will help, you probably want an effective program you can implement right away. Here’s both a 2-day and 3-day workout program you can use to improve your golf game.

2-Day Golf Exercise Program

The 2-day program will be divided into upper and lower body days. You can do these workouts two or four days per week, depending on how much you want to train. Just alternate back and forth between upper and lower body days.

Workout #1 – Upper Body & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 6-10
Barbell Row 4 6-10
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 5 10-15
Lat Pulldown 5 10-15
Face Pull 5 15-20
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 4 10-15
Cable Tricep Pushdown 4 10-15
Plank 4 30-60 second hold

Workout #2 – Lower Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Squat 5 6-10
Romanian Deadlift 5 10-15
Dumbell Lunge 5 10-20
Glute Ham Raise 5 10-20
Kettlebell Swing 5 20-25
Barbell Calf Raise 4 20-25

3-Day Golf Exercise Program

Now let’s get into the 3-day workout plan for golfers. This workout plan will be split into days consisting of push, pull, and leg workouts. You can do this program 3 days per week or work up to 6 days per week if you’re more experienced in the gym.

Workout #1 – Push & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 6-10
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 10-15
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10-15
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly 4 10-20
Cable Tricep Pushdown 4 15-20
Plank 4 30-60 second hold

Workout #2 – Pull

Exercise Sets Reps
Pull-Up 4 6-10
Barbell Row 4 6-10
Seated Cable Row 5 10-20
Face Pull 5 15-20
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 4 10-15

Workout #3 – Legs & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 5 6-10
Romanian Deadlift 5 10-15
Lunge 4 10-20
Glute Ham Raise 4 10-20
Kettlebell Swing 4 20-25
Barbell Calf Raise 4 20-25
Hanging Leg Raise 4 10-20

What Are the Goals of the Training Program?

Typically, you will want to do this program for 2-3 months to see significant results. Aim to increase the amount of weight you can lift on each exercise over time to see improvements in your golf game. Some of the main goals upon completing this program are:

  • Improve the distance of your shots
  • Improve the stability of your stance and form
  • Get better hip rotation during your swing
  • Increase the accuracy of your shots

Regular practice on the golf course and in the gym will help you achieve all these results.

The 7 Best Golf Strength Training Exercises

As you can see from those workout programs, there are plenty of golf exercises you can use to improve your game.

To give you a better idea of the ones that will give you the most benefit, here are the 7 best weight lifting exercises you can do in the gym. That way, you can implement these in your current lifting routine if you have one or create your own program that fits your needs.

#1 – Barbell Squat

  • Body part worked: Legs
  • Equipment needed: Barbell, weight plates, power rack

The barbell squat is one of the best all-around exercises for your golf game. Studies have shown that your lower body explosiveness contributes greatly to your golf swing.

In addition, if you squat at or below parallel (legs at a 90-degree angle), a good amount of flexibility is needed. That will help get full hip rotation on your swing, contributing to power and accuracy.


  1. Bracing the barbell on your back, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body.
  2. Keep going until your legs are at a 90-degree angle or slightly lower than that.

#2 – Bench Press

  • Body part worked: Chest, shoulders, and triceps
  • Equipment needed: Barbell, weight plates, bench, and bench press rack or power rack

The bench press is the ultimate exercise for explosive upper body strength. If you build a big bench, it should translate to your golf swing nicely.

Optionally, you can substitute a dumbbell bench press or push-ups if you don’t have access to all the equipment needed.


  1. Grip the bar about shoulder width or slightly wider apart and unrack it.
  2. Lower the weight down until it touches your chest while keeping your elbows tucked in at a 45-degree angle. Then, press back up.

#3 – Barbell Row

  • Body part worked: Back
  • Equipment needed: Barbell and weight plates

Your back muscles contribute a lot to the stability of your form. They’re used to brace and help you keep good posture. In addition, they’ll put that extra power behind your follow-through. The bent-over barbell row is a great way to train that. It builds a lot of core stabilization muscles while working your back.


  1. Grab the barbell about shoulder width or slightly wider apart.
  2. Push your hips back, brace with your core, and lower your upper body to a 45-degree angle.
  3. Pull the bar up until right before it touches your stomach.

#4 – Romanian Deadlift

  • Body part worked: Hamstrings and glutes
  • Equipment needed: Barbell and weight plates

Training your posterior chain (back, hamstrings, and glutes) will be very beneficial to your golf swing. These muscles help with the stability of your form for accuracy. They’ll also be highly beneficial when you load up your swing for power. The Romanian deadlift will help you get those results.


  1. Grip the barbell shoulder width apart and stand upright.
  2. Push your hips back, brace your core, and lower the weight down until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.

#5 – Lunge

  • Body part worked: Legs
  • Equipment needed: Barbell and weight plates or dumbbells

If you’re struggling with hip rotation on your shots, the lunge is a great choice. This exercise will get your legs a nice weighted stretch while building strength. It’s very versatile and can be done anywhere with a barbell, dumbbells, or even body weight.


  1. Start standing upright and take an extended step forward.
  2. Lower your body like you’re kneeling down and stop just before your back knee hits the ground.

#6 – Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

  • Body part worked: Shoulders
  • Equipment needed: Dumbbells

Another one of the important stabilization muscles of your golf swing is the shoulders. The shoulder press is a great way to improve the stability and power behind your swing. You can also alternatively do this exercise standing or with a barbell if you prefer it that way.


  1. Hold the dumbbells up on both sides of your head.
  2. Press them up until your arms are fully extended.

#7 – Plank

  • Body part worked: Abs
  • Equipment needed: None

To maintain proper form throughout the golf swing, your core muscles do a lot of bracing. The plank will effectively work your abs while practicing holding a bracing position. Plus, it has the added bonus of not needing any equipment, so you can do it anywhere.


  1. Start laying on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your forearms and feet on the ground, raise your body up until it is in a straight line.
  3. Brace with your core and hold that position for the desired time.

How To Plan Your Golf Workout Program for Different Parts of the Season

As you go through the golf season, it can be taxing on your body. That means you’ll want to plan your strength training program accordingly. The 4 main phases of the golf season are:

  • Early pre-season
  • Late pre-season
  • In-season
  • Offseason

The following sections will go over proper training protocols for each.

Golf Strength Training in the Early Pre-Season

You’ll want to kick off your main training phase in the early pre-season. Start getting in the gym and out on the course regularly. You may first want to lift at about 90% of your usual max capacity during gym workouts. It can be a lot on the body as you’re just getting back in the swing of things.

The main exercises you’ll want to do during this time are the bigger compound lifts:

  • Squat
  • Bench press
  • Deadlift
  • Barbell row
  • Shoulder press
  • Plank

These compound movements work many muscles simultaneously, which are a great introduction to your main training phase.

Golf Strength Training in the Late Pre-Season

Once you get into the late pre-season, you’ll want to ramp your training up to max capacity. You should be going 100% on your lifts and trying to improve strength whenever possible. You may also want to increase the number of days you hit the gym if you feel capable of doing so.

You’ll want to continue doing the previously mentioned compound lifts here while adding in some accessory movements like:

  • Lat pulldowns
  • Face pulls
  • Lunges
  • Glute ham raise
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions

These accessory movements will give you extra volume on top of compound lifts to increase your training capacity. It’ll help prepare you for a taxing 18 holes of golf as you near the in-season phase.

In-Season Golf Workouts

Once you’ve made it to the in-season, you’ll be golfing quite a bit. You’ll want to pull back on your training here and focus on maintaining the strength you already built. Limiting some of those accessory lifts and focusing on compound movements like the squat and bench press here will be key. Typically, you’ll lift at about 80% of max capacity during in season.

Additionally, adding in some extra stretching on off days can be helpful to stay loose during the season.

Offseason Golf Workouts

Here, you’ve made it to the offseason. You’ve put in a lot of work and deserve some rest at this point. The best practice is to take a couple of weeks off from working out or go very light. Then, you can start at about 60% of max capacity and work your way up to your next full training phase.

Additionally, doing some extra cardio in the offseason can be helpful. Any kind of aerobic exercise like riding a bike or running, will keep your conditioning up. It’ll help improve your work capacity as you get into the next season.


There you have it. That’s everything you need to know about designing an effective golf workout program.

Following the programs and implementing the exercises outlined in this article will have you on your way to success.

Obviously, there isn’t a one size fits all program. So if you get into training and feel you need to adjust to your needs, go for it! Over time, you’ll figure out what works best for you. The most important thing is to train hard and stay consistent. You will see progress if you do that.

Now all that’s left is to get out on the course and in the gym. Good luck out there!

Pierce is a passionate golfer and has recently been a part-time instructor. He enjoys sharing his golf knowledge and helping beginners get started. He's also out on the courses whenever I have a chance. You can connect with Pierce on LinkedIn or his website.

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