Doctor Stephen J. McGregor of Sport Science Solutions Limited first started working with Lee in August 2006.
"We have been working on various aspects of Lee's game which has included assessment and programming in the areas of sports medicine, physiology and biomechanics. Initial assessment included the work that we did at the BMW event in Germany. The main objective of that work was to provide feedback on current practice and outline a proposal for the development of a scientific support programme for the forthcoming year.
During the 5 day investigation we did an analysis of variables such as Lee's diet, the distance he covered during each round (using a GPS tracking device), sweat composition and fluid loss. I have since taken him to a biomechanics lab where we looked at the force he produces during his golf swing, the muscles he uses during his swing, grip strength etc.. I have included some images from our visit in October" ( You can see a difference in his physique ).
"From this data we have developed a specific programme for Lee with the ultimate goal of helping improve his performance. The programme includes physical training, dietary changes and recovery advice. The aim of the twelve month programme is to increase the stability and power in his golf swing, improve his endurance during rounds and help his recovery between tournaments.
Lee now has a specific year-long programme that is divided into various phases relating to his tour schedule. For the past 6 weeks Lee has been in his "preparation phase" doing a lot of stability and proprioception work to try and give him an improved foundation for his swing. In addition to this gym work he has also been in the pool working on his aerobic conditioning. His diet has been focused on increasing his lean muscle mass and reducing his body fat. He has made some key changes to his diet but in a controlled way to make sure he has the right nutrient balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As he goes into his tournaments the emphasis of his nutrition is on carbohydrates and fluids to help prevent glycogen depletion and dehydration".
Steve will send us an update every couple of months to let you know what phase Lee is currently in and what sort of training he is doing.
Update March 2007 - After spending the majority of the winter on his aerobic conditioning and general stability, Lee has moved into a strength endurance phase of training. In addition to some general work this has also included specific exercises that target areas identified by Lee, his technical coach and biomechanical analysis.
This phase of training has had a lower limb and core focus with the aim of providing Lee with a stronger base from which to generate additional force throughout his swing. Now that Lee is in the early part of his season the length of time he spends in the gym has been reduced but the intensity of his sessions increased. Lee is also incorporating key exercises into his weekly playing schedule to try and maintain and add to the gains that he acquired during the off season.
Update September 2008 - Since the previous update we have been continually developing the conditioning work Lee does to support his swing. This has involved reassessment and programming and focussing on key areas that Lee and the testing data has highlighted. Some of the major areas for Lee have included increasing his leg strength not only to help his swing but also to strengthen the muscles surrounding his knee. As with many golfers, Lee has had problems in the past with his knee due to the large amount of force that golfers generate around that particular joint. One of the key aims is to increase the muscle strength within that area to lower the forces being transferred to the joint capsule, cartilage and surrounding ligaments.
During the past months Lee has been in his "power phase" which he was able to progress to as a result of the stability, strength and proprioception work he had completed earlier in the season. This power phase has included explosive, sport specific exercises that have been supplemented with his continued injury prevention routine. Lee has not only increased his strength and power in the gym but most importantly has felt this has translated into his golf swing helping increase control and distance.
Following the WGC and USPGA Lee had some recovery and holiday time away from the gym and range. This was important as player's can not sustain large training volumes over the course of the entire season as this can lead to overtraining and injury. It is important that these breaks are planned and structured around key parts of the season.
When Lee returned from his holiday he was straight back into his scheduled programme and we are currently reviewing the work that will take place when Lee returns from the Ryder Cup. In addition to preparing for next season Lee's training also has to focus on the important events remaining in this seasons schedule.
LEE AND FITNESS
I do really feel like I've turned the corner now. The last round of The Belfry was great, it was great proof to me that I can take what I've been working on on the range, and the putting green and the stuff I've been doing in the gym, and produce it on the golf course when I'm leading and under pressure.
I've been working in the gym and on my fitness for nearly a year now with Stephen McGregor, and the stuff that I work on with him enables me to work on the things I need to work on on the range. My body is in the right shape now, so that I can use the muscles in the correct way on the things I'm trying to implement, and the changes I'm trying to implement on my swing. Stephen knows everything you would need to know about biomechanics but didn't know much about the golf swing until we started working together. I showed him what I wanted to do with my swing and he showed me the muscles to work on. I never thought I'd say this but I really enjoy going to the gym.
Working with Mark Roe on my short game has helped me when I approach final rounds and has increased my confidence. I'm not so worried about missing a green, because I do feel like I can get it up-and-down 90 per cent of the time now. I've worked with Paul in the lab and with my dad, and I'm looking at 25-footers now, feeling like I should make them. My Dad acts like my eyes. He has watched my game for so long that he can spot anything out of sync. So it's all coming together at once and the hard work I've done away from the golf course is paying dividends. I don't feel like I've got a weakness in my game and I can go out and attack the golf course more. I think that's where rounds like the 61 in Germany come from. Mentally you're more on a high and you approach the tournaments and a round of golf differently, more aggressively and more positively.
I decided to get fitter because the game of golf has changed. I realised I needed to be bigger and stronger but I kept putting it off because I'm lazy by nature. Players in general are physically a lot stronger and also, they set up golf courses for players so that you need to be physically strong. You have to be able to hit it a long way, and you have to gouge out of the thick rough. My increase in strength has probably added ten to twelve yards distance this year.
We play a lot more tournaments now than I think players in the past would have done. And as you're travelling a lot more, you're obviously crossing a lot more time zones which take more of a toll on your body, so obviously you have to be stronger.
I'm much stronger and fitter than I was a year ago and have become more muscular. I haven't really been on a diet, just cut out crisps, biscuits, chocolate and don't drink much alcohol. I have a glass of wine or beer or glass of champagne now and again but tend to stay off it as it's full of calories.
I've even lost six inches off my waist!