By: Coach Rachel
Golf has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started playing golf when I was about 8 years old and I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it at first. I come from a family of golfers, so it was expected that every Thursday morning growing up, I would go to junior golf and play 6-9 holes with either of my grandparents or my dad until I was old enough to go out and play on my own. I wasn’t very good at it when I started, so it was tough to stay motivated to play when I really could barely make contact with the ball, let alone get it to go in the direction I wanted it to, in less than 25 strokes a hole. Over time though, my love of golf grew as I became more mentally tough. By the time I got to high school, my love for the sport had grown so much that I decided to play on my high school team my junior and senior years.
I didn’t start CrossFit until my senior year of high school, after my golf season had ended. But I continued to work with my golf coach after the season was over, because as every golfer knows, there’s always something you need to work on. I remember going to her for my first lesson of the spring and she looked at me and asked what I did over the winter because all the sudden I was driving the ball 70 yards farther, straighter, and I had way more control in my swing.
Before starting CrossFit, I would say I was a mediocre golfer at best. I didn’t have very good control over ball flight, my aim was spotty at best, and I really didn’t hit the ball all that far. Sure, I could swing okay and I enjoyed golf, but I wasn’t really improving despite taking lessons and practicing pretty frequently. Mentally, I struggled on the course. I would hit a bad shot and I would get in my head and shut down. After starting CrossFit, I learned that this was a self-destructive habit and as soon as I thought I would miss, I did. It’s just like a heavy lift. Picture yourself crushing it and chances are way better that you’ll hit it.
Golf and CrossFit might seem like two opposite pairs: high intensity vs low intensity; high impact vs low impact; short duration vs long duration; different muscles required, etc. But when you look at them, there are a lot of things that complement each other and here’s what I’ve found:
- A stronger core leads to a stronger swing. (Core to extremity movements!)
- Working on coordination and accuracy in CrossFit translates to coordination and accuracy of ball flight.
- Mental game in the gym helps mental game outside the gym.
- Low intensity and low impact helps to recover and reset from the high impact and higher intensity rush of CrossFit.
My golf game has benefitted in so many ways from CrossFit and similarly, CrossFit has benefited too. I know that if I get in my head about a missed rep, it doesn’t do me any good. When I started CrossFit I didn’t do it to make my golf game better, but I’m not complaining that I’m reaping the benefits of it!