Many people have dealings with the Hamburg designer and interior architect Klaus G. Schreiber, even if only unconsciously: his practical spice jars on the railing hang in almost every second kitchen. And he has also designed other objects, from drinking glasses to forklift trucks.
Now he ventures into the golf sector. He had an idea when he tried out golf: Schreiber realised that a swing that was a bit too spectacular from an ergonomic point of view could lead to overstraining the spine and cause unpleasant complaints. More than a third of golfers complain about a particular handicap: back pain.
Klaus Schreiber learned that when playing golf, the back muscles in the lower spine area are not or hardly ever trained: Back problems and similar complaints are treated in water during the rehabilitation phase. Since water offers eight hundred times more resistance than air, jerky movements that lead to overstretching and incorrect loading can be avoided. And he thought further: Everything happens more slowly in water, the movement sequence is economized, one-sided movements are counteracted. Wouldn’t it make sense to let beginners in golf try out the right swing in the water? The first self-tests were started in a friend’s swimming pool and a new training method was invented – aquagolfing.
The president of a Hamburg golf club was spontaneously willing to put together a training group. Subsequently, Schreiber developed various prototypes of underwater golf clubs, which were tested by the training participants. The result of the design development: special golf clubs made of carbon fibre composite and aluminium, which are suitable for use under water. The hydrodynamic design took into account the controlled resistance of the water, the simulation of the golf swing and specific training forms.
Six experienced golfers experimented with the clubs in shoulder-deep water. After an eight-week test phase, participants came to the Hamburg Back Centre for analysis:
– The new training method is easy on joints and tendons (especially important for beginners)
– Compared to reference data, the participants showed a muscle gain of 10 -15 percent.
– The participants confirmed a significant increase in concentration, coordination, condition and mobility.
– Golfers with back problems were able to play golf again without pain after an initial training phase.
– On the green turf, the training method improves the precision of the moment of impact, which in turn results in accuracy. In addition, the club head and ball speed (measured in the golf laboratory) is increased, resulting in longer distances at the tee.
After these initial results, an interdisciplinary team – a medical doctor, an aquatherapist, an ergonomist and golfers – was put together to develop a professional training concept. The completely new training method Aquagolf is now being taught in further training courses for golf professionals.
The training effect in water is much more effective than on land. Strength, agility, coordination, balance, speed and endurance – the most important golf-specific training goals – are improved in a shorter period of time through specially developed training forms to optimize the golf swing. A 30-minute aqua training session is equivalent to a one-hour training session on land due to the water resistance and the associated higher energy expenditure.
Like any water training, aquagolf has positive effects on the biological balance of the human body: the skin becomes firmer due to the massaging effect of the water, the lymph flow is stimulated, the blood circulation is promoted and the immune defence is strengthened. In addition, the water pressure supports a stabilization of the blood circulation system. In this way, an anti-aging programme is set in motion in passing.
In order to enhance these benefits, the training contents of aquagolf are integrated into a concept that creates a balance between stress and relaxation. The result: physical and mental vitality is increased. The slow and flowing movements of this special form of training are in turn linked to targeted breathing exercises, which increases one’s own concentration – essential for a good game of golf.
However, the new method was not only created to optimise golfing and as a relaxation measure, but is also recommended as preparatory training before the beginning of the golf season, as warm-up training shortly before a tournament or as balancing training in winter.
Some golf clubs and wellness resorts already offer aquagolf. Further information is available on the Internet at www.aquagolf.org.