The humble Corkonian is at the forefront of the golf fitness movement

The humble Corkonian is at the forefront of the golf fitness movement

An amateur rugby player will jump at the chance to work with a strength and conditioning coach in Leinster. Similarly, a young and ambitious footballer might only dream of training with a fitness coach in the Premier League.

If golf is your sport of choice, regardless of ability and skill level, training with the best hand is a very real possibility.

Mike Carroll, just a humble Cork lad, is at the forefront of the S&C golf movement. The pro instructor – Seamus Power, among others – offers a service in which anyone can benefit from the expertise.

Through its application and website, FitForGolfMike offers personalized training programs for those who sign up, along with free blog posts, podcasts, and workout videos on his social media pages (he currently has 109,000 followers on Instagram, 62.5k on Twitter).

We’ve come to associate S&C with adding volume and quantity, but when applied to specific sports with specific skills, it becomes a lot more than that. Combined with advances in data analytics and the advent of wearable technology, golf is in the midst of a revolution, and while unknown to many sports fans, Carroll and the work he does, should be seen as an integral part of it.

Beginnings

“Like a lot of people in Ireland, I was in a nice sports house,” says Mike Carroll, “a lot of GAA games, soccer. I did a little cross-country in high school and picked up early high school golf as well.”

After his brother inspired him to enroll in a sports and exercise science degree at UL, and gain a weekend job at Fitness Works Cork, Mike gradually began to find a job.

“I started training in the gym too, I was interested in her. I could kind of quickly see that I was interested in taking her into the sport. So I noticed after two months of lifting weights I was hitting the golf ball even further, and I was much stronger on a ball court. foot.

“While I was learning in college, I was also training to create programs for the general public and people interested in different sports. And then towards the end of my undergraduate degree I had the idea that there was such a big gap in golf here that no one was really doing it. At least I didn’t know about any Someone who does a good physical preparation for golf.”

Mike’s natural progression was to obtain a TPI qualification. The program, which is run by Titleist golf equipment company, is completed by the majority of top golf fitness professionals, and its website claims that “18 of the last 20 major championships have been won by players advised by a TPI-certified expert.”

During the tournament, which was held in Belfry, Mike first met Simon Keelan, future canister holder Seamus Power.

California

His TPI certification opened up a whole new world for him, and his youthful ambition and adventurous nature would take him to California, soon after finishing at UL.

“I finished college in 2014, then in 2016 I saw an online job listing for a TPI certified strength and conditioning coach to work with golfers in Irvine, California.

“I was in my early twenties, single, and had no real ties to home, so I thought it was a great opportunity to work full time with golfers. I called up a job listing that was at a place called Hansen Fitness for Golf, which was a phrase About a small studio in Irvine, which is very close to where I’m still.

“He had two interviews with the president there, his name is Mike Hansen, and he was able to apply for a visa to sponsor me and work with him. It was in October 2016, when I moved.”

Then FitForGolf started to take shape. With a growing need to earn some extra cash on the side, and keep up with the high cost of living in California, Mike started building subscribers, while developing the website and app.

With his experience from Hansen Fitness, and his portfolio from FitForGolf, he was able to apply for a green card in 2021 and become a self-employed, making FitForGolf his full-time job.

Working with the pros

In the meantime, he’s got to work with some pros, starting to work with Charles Howell III in 2020, who discovered Mike through his online content and videos.

The current world does not. 78 Mackenzie Hughes copies Howell III to enlist the Corkonian’s help, before his most famous client, Seamus Power, follows him.

“I think it was about three or four months later. My friend Simon [Keelan] He started making cases for Seamus, and I think Seamus has expressed an interest in possibly changing his physical training and possibly getting a new coach.

Simon suggested he talk to me, and that I was working with a few different guys on the PGA Tour. I’ve probably dealt with maybe four or five of them at this point. And Seamus just one day basically texted and asked if we could have a conversation. I think. That was around the summer of 2020.

“I was really trying to help him with his physical training programs, to help him get elbow surgery. Try to get him a little stronger in there so he doesn’t have any annoying pain for that, and basically just make sure he’s in the best shape possible to withstand the rigors of the PGA Tour season.

“And then most of the players they come into contact with are also interested in increasing their head speed in the racquet so they can hit the ball a little bit more and hopefully have the knockout effect of hitting lower scores.”

Power, currently ranked 41 in the world rankings, jumped from 459 in April 2021 to a career-high of 36 in June of this year.

While Mike isn’t credited with Power’s phenomenal rise, we do know that margins at the highest level in golf are corn-sized, and therefore every change in one’s game and preparation has a huge impact.

Mike explains how he sees his professional clients 2-4 times a year in person, and may qualify for tournaments with 3-4 training sessions during the week. The rest of the contacts are online and through text messages, and he’s currently working on an off-season training plan with Power.

Big Hitters

Distance: distance. It is a topic that has had a significant share in the field of golf, and it has brought happiness/awe and doubt.

While we can’t help but get sucked in by Bryson DeChambeau turning evil numbers into driving holes and half-wedges, there are concerns that courses won’t be able to adapt to the ever-increasing average driving distance.

Knowing Mike and his insight does nothing to dispel feelings of joy/awe nor doubt.

He talks about Mark Brody, inventor of the Strokes Acquired Data Analytics System, which is used by the PGA Tour. The system showed that those who scored high on strokes benefited from the tee, and were the most successful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQA3fXwe6o4

A growing number of golfers on the PGA Tour are averaging over 300 yards, while those under 290 will still be left behind.

Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, once the world’s No. 1 at just 44, finds himself 566th in the world with an average driving distance of just 286.5.

Matt Fitzpatrick was once a short hitter, who poked fun at DeChambeau’s quest for power. Then he saw the light, and worked tirelessly on swing speed and distance, which led to him winning the 2022 US Open.

Young golfers are taught to increase ball speed and putter head speed, above other attributes such as accuracy and style of play.

The result is that players fresh from college, some of whom are still in college, hit the ball much longer than they have in years past, and that leads to greater success on the PGA Tour at a younger age.

One of the names that Mike mentioned is Chris Gotrop. A fresh out of college, Gotterup talks about bending an iron at the speed of his club’s head, while his ball speed can reach over 200mph (Cameron Champ, the PGA Tour’s leading man in this area, has a top ball speed of 194mph). this season)

Another interesting point Mike made, is to increase the “cooler” of golf. The cool young athletes who might once have chosen a different, more charming sport are now making the choice to stick.

“Golf is now more and more cool and popular. So the athletes who once chose basketball, or football, or baseball, or something like that when they were teenagers, may now decide that I want to play golf. So the group of athletes that will go into The American college system would be more athletic.

“And then the people who end up in college and go out on tour, they’re going to have huge raw materials that give them the tools they need to compete.”

See also: Shane Lowry opens up about friendship with Rory McIlroy


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