My name is Michael Scholz and I am a 21 handicap

By Michael Scholz – The 40-Year-Old Rookie

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Michael Scholz

By reading the heading, you must be thinking that all of the research and all of the specialists with whom I am consulting in my quest for golf supremacy, a few wires must have crossed and welded themselves together.

Even after recently shooting a 29 on the back nine of The Els Club at Copperleaf with 8-under par for the last seven holes?

What happened?  How could he have gone out to a 21?

Well here it is:

I summoned the expert services of golf’s “body” and “fitness” guru, Garth Milne and he has turned my whole world upside down … in an unbelievable way.

The handicap that I am writing about is actually my golf fitness handicap which is a relief to share since my golf seems to be improving, but very worrying in terms of my physical condition that I find myself in whilst slapping the little white goon around the course.

So what’s the scoop here?

Well, let me share my newfound knowledge and findings with you.

I arrived at Wanna Be A Champion at the Serengeti Golf Academy not really prepared or knowing what to expect.  All I was told was to bring gym kit for my assessment.

Garth (Smiley as many know him) greeted me and observantly noticed that fishmoths had eaten part of my gym kit which has been hibernating in my cupboard for the better part of six years.

He then went straight to it … for the jugular!

The assessment involved bending, stretching, deep-squatting, tossing medicine balls, jumping like a wounded kangaroo, lifting tons of weights, trying to splatter my helpless body against the wall whilst trying to stretch into seemingly impossible positions.  Every little moment, stretch and bend was meticulously measured and recorded.

An hour and a half later, puffing, wheezing and sweating like I’d just completed a sitting of the world’s hottest vindaloo, my results were revealed. 21 handicap (rated per the TPI system)!  Very disappointing.  I thought that over the years I had kept myself in reasonable golfing shape and would be close to single-figures.

So that’s it then!  Ruined for the rest of my golfing life and clearly I am not “fit” to be a decent golfer…

No! Not the case at all.  In fact this is good news!

My assessment hasMichael Scholz revealed a few simple facts and has pinpointed golf fitness aspects that now explain many of my shortfalls.

Having eliminated the technical major “medi-speak”, the synopsis is as follows:

Limited external shoulder rotation in the 90/90 test, results in a flying right elbow and compromised release.

Reduced mobility of the thoracic spine as characterised by the increased Kyphosis (yup, I have a hunch … me and Quasimodo together in the bell tower) of the upper back. This restricted spine rotation effects the amount of rotation in the golf swing, especially in the backswing as less mobility is seen to the right side.

Poor control of the lumbar spine results in greater extension of the lower back. Basically my lower back arches, to help out my dodgy upper back, to assist in overall rotation. Extension in the lower back is extremely detrimental to repeatable ball striking. The weakness in the core is a major contributor to this.

Limited internal hip rotation on the right reduces ability to load into the trail side leg, combined with weakness in the lateral stabilisers resulting in unwanted lateral shift.  Yup, dead on!  I sway like a Redwood in a hurricane!

Sufficient strength present but a distinct lack of power is evident; in push, pull & vertical thrust patterns.

Definitely ruined then! No again!

The result is that I am going to be embarking on a new “golf fitness” journey involving “home-based” workouts that I’ll commit to completing four or five times a week and I will be cured! I will be rid of my weak core and lateral action.

I will be able to convert strength to power. I will be able to make a massively improved spinal turn on my backswing, not slide my hips like Michael Jackson in “Thriller”. I will be able to whip some young pro golfer butts on the course again!

Eight weeks and if I stick to the program I should be up there with the likes of the youngsters who thread those 330 metre drives down the narrow fairways.

With the advice and sound assistance of Garth, I am going to become a FINELY TUNED ATHLETE!

Many of you are asking, “Who is Garth Milne?”

Garth holds a BSC with Honours in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics. He is also qualified as a CHEK Golf Biomechanic, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist and is also TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) certified.  He heads up the Sport Science division of the PGA of South Africa. He is also a “scratch” handicap on the fitness handicapping system that finds me a 21.

As you can see, he is a sports fitness guru and South Africa’s foremost golf fitness instructor.

I am looking forward to sharing my new fitness program with you next month so that you too can benefit from my newfound epiphany for better golf.
For more details or to book an appointment with Garth, you can contact him on

011 552 7200 or via / email on garth@wannabeachampion.com

For feedback or any queries, please feel free to contact me on 0789051547 or email me on olddog@40yearoldrookie.co.za.
Here’s to us all getting “Golf Fit” my friends!

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