Lindsay Becker is a Board-Certified Physical Therapist and Golf Fitness Instructor at Buckeye Performance Golf in Dublin, Ohio.
I always knew that I wanted to be a physical therapist. So, after graduating from The Ohio State University, I attended The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University for my Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy. Although I grew up with cross country and track as my primary sports, I played golf, as well. Entering the workforce, I had aspirations of being “the runner’s physical therapist,” but after a short time working in Gainesville, Florida, I gravitated to the golf side of the field.
I attended a four-hour TPI seminar in 2006, which provided a plethora of great information on golf fitness, something that was rarely addressed in Florida. Increasing my knowledge and growing my own business came out of continued education, as well as networking with TPI professionals through additional seminars. They’d host a lot of events in Orlando, which was only two hours from my initial workplace in Gainesville.
When I went back to Ohio in 2010, there were no professionals addressing golf fitness as part of the player development process. Since that time, I have enjoyed working with golfers, whether recovering from injury or seeking game improvement through fitness. After all, the golf swing is complex and everyone’s is a little bit different.
When starting out working at Ohio State, I was cold calling local golf professionals to introduce myself and ask to visit their facilities to demonstrate what I was doing in the business. Larry Dornisch, the PGA Director of Golf at Muirfield Village Golf Club, was more receptive than most. He invited me in and immediately saw the benefits of golf fitness for his members. There were other local PGA Professionals who allowed me to discuss my training and how my efforts could benefit their golfers, and word started to spread. Building relationships has been very important to my growth in the industry. Working with a young Jason Day years ago enabled me to travel on Tour a bit and develop additional relationships that would have an impact on my career, as well.
Today, I work most mornings with Muirfield Village Golf Club members in their beautiful gym that was built just before hosting the 2013 President’s Cup. I also have my own facility in Dublin, Ohio that I utilize with the majority of my clients. My clientele at Buckeye Performance Golf runs the gamut of skill level, experience and body type. But what I look for in the golf swing is the same across all clients. The difference in dealing with a high-level player versus an everyday golfer, however, is how what we do physically affects them mentally. For instance, I have to ask myself “Is what I tell this Tour pro, or strive to fix in their swing, going to mess them up so close to a tournament? Is it going to get in their head? Is it going to negatively affect their swing?”
It’s a similar premise with golfers who seek more intense instruction during the winter, rather than during the summer golf season. You have to weigh the pros and cons of applying fixes and tweaks while a golfer is active, rather than during the winter, perhaps, when they have a clearer head to commit to the work at hand. In fact, a mentor of mine once told me, “It’s easy to take a great athlete and make them good,” when the opposite is what we strive to do. As fitness instructors, you have to know your client, know what to say and when and how to say it.