The Pectorals Major (the ‘Pecs’ or chest) is an important muscle group for golf. I think often demonised, due to many peoples posture (desk posture and/or Kyphotic/hunched over posture) and the pecs being a little ‘tight’ or ‘short’. However, the problems here could be the misconception that tight and/or short is synonymous with being strong.
This is not the case!
Research on golfers has shown the Pec Major to be very active during the golf swing (particularly the downswing and acceleration phases. Therefore, an important muscle for developing Club Head Speed (CHS).
Additionally, other research has shown that strength in the Pec Major (or more specifically pushing/pressing strength) has correlated with greater CHS. This is not to say that if you increase chest strength, you CHS will increase… it might, it might not. This isn’t just maximal strength either, push up strength or max push ups in 60 seconds (so, strength-endurance) is somewhat correlated with CHS too.
The take home point here is that training the Pec Major and/or pushing/pressing movements is an essential part of a golfers exercise program. This being said, for many golfers who have poor posture in and around the upper back and shoulders, pulling exercises should probably be prioritised to improve and optimise posture.
Training Tip – if you have poor posture try performing two pulling exercises for every one pushing exercise, or twice as many sets (i.e. twice as much volume) of pulling compared to pushing for the upper body. For example, 4 sets of 10 reps of seated rows and 2 sets of 10 reps of DB bench press.