Stephen Sefchick is the Director of Fitness at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fitness is a very busy aspect of life at Carmel Country Club. With a newly-renovated fitness center and a great staff of fitness professionals, we strive to provide fitness programming that meets our members’ needs and helps them achieve their goals in health and wellness, as well as in golf. In fact, gym participation is up nearly 30 percent over last year as members increasingly understand the benefits of our programming.
We offer 25 weekly group classes, massage services and many personal training opportunities that cater to our members’ busy schedules. Ninety-five percent of this engagement is facilitated by club employees, but we do have a couple of highly-skilled and successful personal trainers whom we bring in for their extensive expertise.
I’ve been the Director of Fitness at Carmel Country Club for almost three years after spending several years at clubs in Florida, and have been TPI-certified for almost a decade. Ninety percent of my clients are golfers who want to increase mobility and flexibility, develop the stamina to play longer, gain the power to hit the ball farther and recover from injury to play pain-free.
My work with members differs based on the time of year. Most of our in-season work is one-on-one, whereas our winter programming is chock full of fitness opportunities that keep members in golf shape year-round and help prepare them for the upcoming spring season. We’ll offer golf stretching classes and TPI-based small group clinics that include a TPI assessment and subsequent exercises and drills that address their individual issues. These off-season sessions cover all the major components but focus on one particular point each week, including mobility, balance, cardio, strength, power, stamina and recovery. After all, golfers use the whole body when playing the game – they should be doing the same in their training.
With my TPI training and that of our newly-certified Fitness Manager Ashley Roberts, we are able to provide a tour-level fitness assessment and put programs in place to improve any deficiencies and limitations that our members are dealing with. There is no guessing in our analysis. We collaborate with our golf pros to deliver a multi-pronged approach to our members’ well-being. I joke with my clients about how they don’t want me teaching the golf swing – I’m the fitness guy. I can teach them how to correct their body, but rather leave the golf swing details to the PGA Professionals on our Carmel Country Club team.
The demographic of my golfing clientele includes a small group of elite college-bound golfers, but predominantly consists of members in their 50s and 60s. They tell me how they’re starting to lose distance, how their body is starting to ache and how they “just want to keep playing.” If I can give them an extra ten years of playing the game they love and also help them gain ten yards on their drives, why wouldn’t we do all that we can to achieve these objectives?
We continuously strive to get the word out on our many golf fitness offerings through collaboration with our PGA Professionals, as well as through member conversations that tout our efforts and highlight the many accomplishments we’ve attained together. Member referrals have been a huge aspect of our growth in recent years.
Members want to be in the know when it comes to the many fitness opportunities we offer. In fact, we’ll host presentations that include our golf and fitness pros and address what golf fitness is and highlight the wide array of benefits possible. We hosted one event recently that saw 30 members sign up in advance and every one of them showed up for the event, a clear demonstration of our members’ drive to do what it takes to improve their golf games and their overall health and wellness.