As the final putt rolled into the cup for the IU men’s golf team at the Princeville Warrior/Wave Invitational, the offseason officially began for the Hoosiers.
Winters in Bloomington are not conducive to outdoor golf activities, so many of the programs the Hoosiers will go through are in the weight room or indoor practice facilities.
Freshman Max Kollin said the workouts in college were eye-opening when he arrived in Bloomington this fall.
It took him some time to adjust to the strenuous in-season workouts that are now ramped up as the offseason is in full swing.
“I would workout in the offseason,” Kollin said about his high school routine. “I would not do as much during the season because of soreness.”
He said he knew the workouts were important to his success but did not realize they were going to be so challenging.
He has to work through the soreness, as the team has a year-round regiment in strength training.
“(Strength and Conditioning) Coach (Je’Ney) Jackson thinks of some good ways to work us out,” Kollin said. “If we’re not sore the next day, it’s very surprising.”
Jackson is the head strength and conditioning coach for both the men’s golf and basketball teams. He is in his third year at IU and has an extensive background in strength training as well as a love for golf.
Prior to his arrival in Bloomington, Jackson was the assistant women’s golf coach at Wyoming. He said he has worked with several students who have gone on to play professional golf.
“I have developed my program through all those different experiences,” Jackson said. “I think it helps me being a golfer. I play golf. I love golf. It helps to know what will help me in my game so I can help those guys.”
Many of the workouts are golf-themed to work on key parts of the body that will improve their game, including their legs.
“That is your stable base,” Kollin said. “Your legs (are) where your golf swing comes from. Everyone thinks it is your arms, but it is your core and your legs completely.”
They perform a task that requires them to stand on a foam roll shaped like a log while using a resistance machine.
“What we are trying to do there is a rotational activity with some resistance on top of a foam roll,” Jackson said. “The foam roll is unstable, and it is hard for them to get their balance.”
The exercise is one of many they do to work on the core of the body, balance and lower body strength.
“There is a lot of flexibility in stuff we have to do,” Kollin said. “We are focusing on balance and our core because that is so essential in the golf swing. If you don’t have good balance, there is no way to get any power at all.”
Jackson pulls from his strength training background as well as experience as a golfer and golf coach to design his programs.
“It is a combination of things I have done over the years working with other golfers and some new things you learn,” Jackson said. “A lot of the things we do involves working on our core stability and proper posture.”
He incorporates weight training to build upper body strength and helping their swing power.
“What I always tell them is that I am trying to get them stronger so their old 100 percent swing is their new 85 percent swing,” Jackson said. “What that is going to do is allow us to hit the ball the same distance but swing easier.”
He said the idea behind that is that it is an easier swing brings the shot pattern in and increases shot accuracy.
Jackson explained just how important strength training is in golf.
“It is huge,” he said. “Tiger (Woods) really changed the fitness in golf, but before him, buys like Gary Player and Greg Norman have always been fit, which helped their longevity.”
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