How Ryan O’Toole’s focus on fitness propelled her to her first LPGA win

After years of hard work, Ryan O’Toole finally earned his first LPGA victory.

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Ryan O’Toole’s first LPGA victory at the Scottish Women’s Open was a long time coming.

11 years, or 228 starts, a long time.

That’s a long time to do anything, especially when being a professional golfer is such a chore, which O’Toole alluded to after her win.

“I’m excited and happy,” O’Toole said. “The hours, the pain and heartache that this sport brings, the constant travelling, for now, I hope it will only happen again and again.”

O’Toole barely spoke in code there. Being a professional golfer has many benefits, but it also takes a lot of hours on the course, at the range and especially in the gym to be successful on tour.

For O’Toole, those hours spent in the gym with trainer Andrew Hannon finally paid off.

O’Toole is extremely athletic – surfing, running, yoga, basketball – you name the activity, and she probably does. She is also extremely health and fitness conscious when it comes to golf.

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“Where I come in, I can hone in on some of the specific things that she’s been working on golf-wise,” Hannon told GOLF.com. “It’s a mix of plyometric work, getting your joints moving the right way, and strength work.”

So what can you learn from an 11-year veteran of the LPGA Tour who is coming off the first victory of her career?

1. Plyometric exercises have a ton of carry over to the golf swing

There’s a reason Hannon spends so much time working with O’Toole on plyometric exercises, including “two-sided jumps, one-sided jumps, upper body landmines and medicine ball throws.” “.

There are a ton of crossovers between how you load your body, shift your weight, and move through these exercises and the golf swing. Plus, because plyometric training is designed to produce fast, powerful muscle contractions, the same way your body would during the golf swing, it has enormous potential to help boost your game.

2. Paying attention to your joint health will pay off on the course

O’Toole is an extremely active person, but she also spends a lot of time traveling, which can take its toll on the body.

This is another area where Hannon comes in. Each week, he provides O’Toole with mobility drills and stretches based on how she feels to help her optimize her performance on the course.

“Ryan tends to stick in his hips and hip flexors, so we tend to do a lot of hip capsule and glute work,” Hannon said. “His shoulders also get sticky, so we work both ranges of motion – retraction and protraction.”

While you may not have a personal trainer on the speed dial, you can definitely take note of how your body is feeling and work on areas that feel tight. For most average golfers working a 9-5, focusing on your hips (like O’Toole does) is a good place to start, because your hips are a huge power generator in the golf swing.

Watch the video below for some hip mobility exercises from Hannon himself.

3. Keeping it simple goes a long way

Hannon’s biggest lesson is that golf practice doesn’t have to be complicated. “We often complicate fitness in golf,” he said. “Focusing on the basics – strength, mobility and proper movement patterns – will go a long way” to improving performance on the golf course.

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Rachel Bleier

Golf.com Editor

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