The answer is a resounding YES!! The old misconception that strength training will "hurt" your golf swing is not true. That may have been true in the past because people didn't know how to strength train in a way that was conducive to their golf game. Today research and time has proven that you can train with weights (even heavy weights) and improve your game. There are a few keys that make this possible.
Always Remember to stretch before AND after your workout. Golf is unique in that you need flexibility and power therefore you need to stretch as much as you strength train.
Do a variety of exercises that mimic the golf swing.
Exercises such as a wood-chop will help strengthen golf specific muscles in a way that simulates a golf swing. Also do combo-moves, such as a lunge holding a medicine ball with a twist (just like the picture with 2007 Masters Champion Zack Johnson). This will strengthen your lower body, improve balance and help train rotation in your lumbar spine (lower back) under control.
Train the muscles that are involved in the golf swing the most.
The muscles that do the most work in a powerful golf swing, according to EMG analysis, are: Abs, Obliques, Lats, Pecs, Rotator cuff muscles (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis & Teres Minor), and Glute maximus and medius.
Don't put the Cart in front of the Horse!
Many times people will train out of order. Always Remember that the proper progression for any sport specific training is: Stability – Strength – Power. Make sure you first train your core to support your back, and then work on adding strength to the muscles that are "movers".
Increase Flexibility in the areas that need it.
Your hips and your shoulders are designed to move a lot during the golf swing, therefore, they should be stretched and "loosened-up". The most common problem I see is when people have stiff hips and they then try to get more rotation from their low back, thus causing an injury. Each vertebra in your low back can only rotate a few degrees so don't try to force too much movement there.
Keep it in the Short Grass!
For more information on how you can improve your golf game through proper golf fitness, please contact In Motion Spine and Joint Center at (615) 302-4747.