Dr. JP Guidry is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a TPI-Certified Fitness Professional and the Owner of Guidry Golf & Sport in Abita Springs, Louisiana.
I got into golf during physical therapy school in Florida and fell in love with it right away. It became my escape from the pressures of school and I knew I wanted to work in the game someday.
I am now a physical therapist and got TPI-certified a decade ago. At that time, I started doing some golf fitness rehab in the clinic where I was working, growing that engagement to a point where I could go full-time with golfers. I worked with the members at Tchefuncta Country Club for three years before outgrowing my space there and opened my own facility. I’ve been working with golfers exclusively for six years and have seen a dramatic uptick in demand for golf fitness programming.
My clientele includes several high-level juniors, some college golfers, a few mini-tour players and many high-level amateurs. That’s only 50 percent of my customer base. The other half are the weekend warriors, the aging golfer, the ailing golfer, guys with shoulder pain or back issues who are losing distance on their drives and money to their buddies every weekend. We help them rectify these ailments and get them back on the course to play without those painful limitations.
I maintain relationships with most of the golf professionals in my area as an effective referral process to continue to build my business. In addition, word-of-mouth from current clients helps boost business, as does my extensive social media activity.
When I see a client for the first time, I put them through a hybrid assessment that incorporates some TPI concepts with other ideas that I’ve formulated over my years of experience. We look at their mobility, conduct some thoracic spine, hip, shoulder and neck assessments, analyze the dissociation of their upper and lower bodies and do some strength testing. I may do some power and jumping tests with the client, but that’s based on the individual’s current level of physicality and tolerance. If they have specific complaints, I’ll address those issues directly before creating a personalized program of any sort. It is important to gain a history of the individual – medical, injury, surgical, etc. – before aggressively moving forward. We’ll also discuss the level of commitment of time and money they’re willing to invest and what equipment they have access to between our one-on-one sessions.
We have an indoor hitting bay at my facility where I gather swing speed and ball speed data as a baseline to build upon. I look at their golf swing to gauge how the physical limitations that we’ve uncovered are affecting it, and I collaborate with their golf pro or teaching professional to compare notes and determine the best course of action for each individual client.
I offer several levels of programming that range from full in-person engagement to less frequent virtual sessions. I use an app where I deliver workouts that I’ve built based on the many data points we’ve attained in our assessments and testing. These online individuals come in every 4-6 weeks to reassess, and we might adjust our approach if needed. I check in at least once a week so they know I am accessible to them, even if working through an online program. I want to find the best fit for their goals, finances, schedule and equipment and put together a doable program that they can adhere to on a consistent basis.
In gauging progress, I’ll conduct mini reassessments with each in-person session. I’ll test their swing or ball speed goals weekly to ensure we’re moving in the right direction. We’ll discuss current pain levels and how they’re doing with their stamina and ability to get through a full round of golf.
Regardless of age and ability, I want to get my clients moving better, help them create force quickly and focus on speed training as well. The level of intensity and the exercises chosen will hinge upon the individual in front of me, but my general approach is consistent across my entire clientele.