I have a nice amount for a 45 year old man, but not nearly enough to win a World Long Drive Championship.

I have made this comment before and I did something about it, but not nearly enough. I am up to 134 MPH of club speed and 200 MPH of ball speed. If you look at the Trackman numbers from last year’s senior division, I should have a shot this year, as the rest of my numbers are optimized, as well.

The problem…

I probably hit 133-134 in my first round today and blitzed the field. I was probably 130 in round 2, 127 in round 3 and 125 in round 4…if that. The conditions got better and I got shorter.

That’s four chances at one ball making me exempt in the last 4 months. I hit the ball solid all four chances in the winners bracket and losers bracket to get me to the final 8 at the World’s last year and the winners and losers bracket for spots in the world this year.

It wasn’t a choke job Sunday, I would admit that. I hit 20 of 24 balls in the grid for the day and all of them solid. I could feel myself fatigue and my arms get heavy as each round progressed.

The thing that makes it worse is every other competitor was bombing balls on the range in between rounds and I was conserving energy.

I have been arrogant. Back in the day, I didn’t have to train and was still the best in the world. That is no longer the case. The only thing this weekend cost me, was more money to go to further qualifying events. It won’t be a problem to make the world finals, as I won’t face competition this stiff at any of the other places I go to. However, if I don’t do something about this fitness issue, I am looking at another 9-16 place finish this year.

All of the other competitors fall into one of three categories. Guys who are fit, guys who have bulk and guys who are both. I am neither.

Knowing what fatigued, I need three things. Overall cardio stamina, greater upper arm and shoulder strength and stamina, and greater core strength and stamina. I found a trainer I trust and I start Tuesday on my journey to win a world title. I have the speed and the brass…none of my fellow competitors would question that. I had Senior guys and even Open division guys telling me how great my sets were and I should compete in the Open too.

I gave an honest answer. “I am too tired.”




  1. eric

    your mind may change once you get started with your trainer Monte,
    I just started working out for the first time in my life at the age of 34 and it is doing wonders for me.

  2. woody

    Have you ever thought of a Gazelle?

    If you have room for it, like an exercise room where a toddler won’t get sideswiped, this has several advantages.

    1) You can do it while watching TV (if there’s anything to watch). Makes exercise seem like less work.

    2) It strengthens interior muscles…like what people call “hip flexors,” which are very important for core golf strength and performance.

    3) If you get creative with it, you can do resistance as well as cardio. There’s a way to do pull-ups and push-ups, which are good for shoulder and back muscles. Therefore, there’s variety. You can “run” for a while, switch to push-ups, switch to pull-ups, and go back to running, etc.

    4) It doesn’t have any impact. No pounding on knees, as in jogging. Resistance is applied gradually, unlike grabbing a bar-bell.

    5) There’s no set-up, as with free-weights. All you have to do is hop on.

    6) They’re relatively cheap.

    Main drawback = space hog. They come in various models. Fancier isn’t always better. I think mine cost about $99.

    • Mike Divot

      What’s that thing on the Gazelle?

      If it makes me look like a mutant freak from a Disney cartoon, count me out.

  3. Geoff Dickson


    I just what to challenge your belief that you require more ‘cardio stamina’. Given the nature long driving contests, I am not buying it. Long driving comps have more in common with weightlifting…long gaps followed by (less than) a second of all out exertion. It’s very periodic/episodic and is not continual. There just isn’t an aerobic component to it.

    Running, rowing, swimming, cycling…now they are the sports that need ‘cardio stamina’. So long as you don’t carry too much excess weight and have a healthy diet, both on the day and in the lead up, you will have all the cardio stamina you need.

    The name of your game is to maximise your body’s ability to store (and replenish) ATP and phosphocreatine. Your training needs to be ‘high intensity, intermittent exercise’. Translation: Balls out. Rest. Repeat. Lots.

    Supplementing your diet with some creatine monohydrate might also be an option.

    Have a chat to your trainer about these.

    • woody

      “Long driving comps have more in common with weightlifting”

      –You could be right…or, not. With golf you are trying for speed. How much brute force do you need to drive a 1.62 oz golf ball?

      –Something else to consider is the question of slow-twitch vs. fast-twitch muscle. Do they recover the same, and is the same training regimen good for both? Do you train abs the same way you train quads? Monte mentioned “stamina” several times.

      –This being said, nobody questions the idea of fitness. Zuback worked-out, and he has several trophies. Joe Miller works-out and it doesn’t seem to hurt him.

      On the other hand, you want to play into the wheelhouse of your own body type. Jeff Gavin looks slim. Dominic Mazza didn’t look musclebound.

      • Geoff Dickson

        Fair point…let me re-phrase…..Long driving comps are structured like weightlifting comps….they need brute force (and speed), you need speed….the point is that neither golf nor weightlifting required prolonged, constant. sustained efforts, which is what i normally associate with terms like stamina.

        Bottom line: you need to train like a power athlete and improve your ‘repeat big-swing ability’…this is a play on words of repeat sprint ability (which measures the time taken for an an athlete to run multiple sprints, not just one)

  4. Jason

    I have a steel shafted driver as one of my backups. Maybe you could use it as a training tool by doing swing reps with that, then alternate swing reps with a graphite shaft only. I don’t use my steel shafted driver for strenght training though, I use the weight to track my arms on a better plane in the downswing. You could use it for conditioning the muscles used for swinging hard.

  5. Dan

    I’ve been doing crossfit for over a year….it’s a combination of strength/high intensity training. It also requires a lot of mental focus and toughness…I’d check it out if you don’t see results with your trainer.

  6. calvin

    Maybe it’s related to your recent health problem. Training: try to find something you actually enjoy. It will make all the difference. Stay away from all the pharmaceutical crap and supplements. It is absolutely without question that you cab do this.

  7. Lawrence

    Monte, you’ve been gifted with a talent only a few in the world have. Take advantage. I applaud your decision to get yourself in shape. It will not only give you a shot at winning but also possibly prolong your life and quality of life. Kudos to you for taking the right step. 🙂

  8. Tony

    You need to build your endurance.Build your heart muscle to take the extra work.Walking is a good start.Start with a mile build it up to four miles it won’t take longer than an hr a day it’s easy an it will do what your looking for..This is not walking an stopping like on a golf course.It’s getting your heart rate up to a decent level and maintaining it for a prolonged period of sounds easy Do the mile as fast as you can.My bet is you’ll be a little tired after that for a week you’ll start to feel better..then take it to two miles.increasing as you start to feel better..
    Short interval training will not give ya what your looking for.Yes it’s good but it’s different.I also do’s a great conditioning program but it really does nothing for my stamina on the golf course..Like 36 hole match play events.I walk for that an actually I now do some running 5k’s an such.I really hated running till I learned how.anyways..You don’t like walking ride a it in timed intervals.A stationary bike is actually better as you don’t coast.start with 15 mins an work to tha 60 min time’s pure drudgery on a stationary bike but it will get the work done.Thats is if your up to getting the work done yourself..Good Luck Monte


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