Golf Fitness Special: Speed drills in the desert

Photographs by Farooq Salik

High-intensity training can unlock potent speed in your golf swing – and the desert dunes of Big Red make the perfect playground

By Claudine Foong-Riggs
Speed is the essential raw material required in any powerful golf swing. When you can control it through balance, stability and good mechanics, that’s when you unlock explosive power. But without speed, a golfer will always have limitations. So how do we increase our dynamic power? We do it through high-intensity training, and a trip to the desert dunes on the Dubai-Hatta road provides the perfect environment in which to train. The soft sand and dramatic contours of the dunes make the following exercises especially challenging, but your focus should be on quality, not quantity. High-Intensity Interval Training and dynamic control for a golfer is beneficial for improving conditioning, strength, power and anabolic response to build muscle and reduce fat.  Each of the following exercises should be performed for no more than 20-30 seconds with a rest period of 30-60 seconds. Remember to always do a full warm-up before getting started.

Spiderman Crawl (main image)
This is a great exercise to do in the desert. Begin in a strong push-up position and bring your right knee to right elbow, left hand out in front and keep your body low to the ground. Alternate your hands and legs to continue to crawl forwards.
3 sets of 8


Speed Parachute Training
Once you have mastered the sprint technique, the parachute can be an excellent tool, which provides resistance in the drive phase of sprinting. You can do this exercise without a parachute.
Perform 3-5 sets of 30m sprints


Hill Sprints
Hill Sprints require an athlete to use a lot more leg power to drive hard into the ground. Sprint UP the hill and run back down, focusing on looking forward. Experiment with different hill lengths – short, medium and long.
Perform 3-5 sets


Bound with Med-Ball Pass 
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Hold a light medicine ball (or basketball) at your chest. Hip hinge and push off the ground as hard as you can, jumping forwards. Push away with your arms and release the ball. Land softly and sprint to the ball and repeat.
3 sets of 5


‘180’ Jumps 
Your lower body is the driving force for this movement. The sequence is: lower body, core, then arms. Load and drive off the ground to rotate and face the opposite direction. Land softly, stabilising your body and immediately load and jump back in the other direction.
3 sets of 10

Claudine Foong is the Brand Ambassador of PXG Middle East. Instagram: @claudinefoong

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Golf Digest Middle East

Launched in 2008, Golf Digest Middle East is the #1 golf magazine in the region, featuring local content and exclusive articles from the world's leading professionals

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