Ryan Callicott is the Fitness Director at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club in Montgomery, Alabama
I’ve been at Wynlakes for seven years, serving as Fitness Director for the past two. And through that time, golf fitness has become a staple in many player development programs. When I first got here, our Fitness Director at the time spearheaded a gym renovation to make it more modern and appealing to our members, more of a place where they would want to be. That old space had a lot of equipment, but very little room to train people.
With the renovation, we went to a more functional approach that would enable us to engage members in small groups, or even one-on-one. Most would agree that any amount of work you can do with members will help them, whether golf-specific or not, and we wanted to focus on things that would positively affect any physical activities they might pursue, including golf, of course.
Promoting these efforts is sometimes a challenge, however. Unfortunately, most of our members’ initial visits are triggered by pain of some sort. From there it becomes word of mouth, as we achieve results with members, and they tell their friends, and so on.
For most of our members, it’s about the basics of general fitness training, which almost always transitions to improvements in their golf game. Disseminating information is the key to getting them through our doors initially, and then establishing those vital relationships. In fact, I’ve been a recurring guest on a podcast that one of our members started when she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. Her organization, The Joy to Life Foundation, was formed and has blossomed out of the will of Joy Blondheim. Together with Wynlakes trainers Ashley Jenkins and Clinton Adams, we do the podcast quarterly, and talk about topics like fitness and nutrition. Our segment is called the Trainer Trio.
The podcast is produced live right in our group exercise room at the club, and we take listener questions, which often run the gamut of topics like libido and kids and keto and making your own fitness program when you have little time to see a trainer at the club – quite a variety.
We get very positive feedback on the podcast each time it airs, which often serves as a catalyst to conversations, questions and answers and even appointments to work together in our fitness center. Our facility has a large staff of floor attendants, group exercise instructors and personal trainers who engage the membership on a personal level at every opportunity. After all, this is when we can demonstrate our expertise.
I use the True Coach app to further engage and communicate with members, and can even load workouts and programs so members know what’s in store for them at their class or session the next day.
In addition, I get our message out to members via email blasts, and even our club’s newsletter. With events, tips and info to provide, it is important for members to get to know their fitness team, seek us out to remedy pain and, ideally, prevent it.