In sports, it is somewhat ironic that many of the most successful athletes and coaches have a near equal share of fans and naysayers. It almost seems to be an unwritten law in the sports world that if someone is extremely successful, many will root against him or her, while others will cheer.

Few figures in the 21st century display this better than Tiger Woods, who has enjoyed a comeback year in 2019, winning his fifth green jacket at The Masters Tournament in April. Although Woods burst onto the scene as a young, slender 20-year-old, he has long since bulked up and now boasts a muscular frame, filling out his Nike polos on the green.

Still, the most important part of his impressive physique is largely obscured during competition. Woods discussed the emphasis he places on targeting his legs during physical training, according to a recent article from Golf Digest. Story author Peter Morrice detailed the workout, writing:

You might think golf workouts should focus on moves directly related to swinging the club faster, like getting a bigger shoulder turn or increasing hand and arm speed. Sure, those things can help you generate power, but there’s perhaps something even more fundamental in the distance equation: strong legs.

“In all sports, it’s about the legs,” Tiger Woods says in his new 12-part video series “My Game: Tiger Woods,” produced by GOLFTV and Golf Digest. “Have you ever seen a home-run hitter with small legs? That just doesn’t happen. It starts with the base.”

Tiger talks about running and how he used daily runs as a release but also to boost his endurance for long stretches of competitive play. “I was never very big, but my legs were strong, and they could go forever. I just never got tired,” Tiger says. “And because legs feed the wolves, the more I ran, the better I played.” 

Physical fitness is a much bigger priority for tour players today than it was even a decade ago, and Tiger was one of the first to adopt it. “If you’re playing baseball or running track or cross-country, if you’re not training, you’re not going to be able to keep up. I brought that same mentality to the game of golf.”

It is easy to see the importance of a golfer maintaining strong legs, yet the value remains high for just about any type of athlete, or an ordinary person for that matter.

To read Morrice’s full writeup, click here.