Fitness & Performance Centers:
Being a Good P layer Only Goes So Far

Matt Keller is the PGA of America Owner/Operator of York (PA) Indoor Golf & Training Center and Lancaster (PA) Indoor Golf & Training Center. He also manages the golf operation at Bridgewater Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania.

I own and manage two indoor golf training facilities in York and Lancaster, Pennsylvania and manage the golf operations at Bridgewater Golf Club in York. Our bread and butter at my indoor facilities is golf instruction and custom club fitting. With five hitting bays and some of the best technology in the game, we promote player development on a one-on-one and group basis, provide expert custom fitting to boost club sales and ensure golfers are playing in properly fit equipment and organize great indoor golf leagues to reinforce the social and competitive aspects of the game during our cold Pennsylvania winters.

As an avid runner, I understand and appreciate the benefits of being fit for the activities that we enjoy. I ran over 2,000 miles last year alone – the work I put in made the endeavor that much more enjoyable. Golf fitness is a similar concept. Golfers want to hit the ball farther, play better, play more and play pain-free – but what are they doing to ensure their bodies can deliver those goals? Exactly.

We opened York Indoor Golf & Training Center in 2017 and branched out to Lancaster and Bridgewater Golf Club in 2021. Our indoor facilities are ever-growing, and the idea of providing a holistic approach to player development (instruction, fitting and fitness) is one I strive for going forward. Being TPI-certified, I implement golf fitness into my coaching sessions in a less formal but still motivational manner. My juniors get it. These teens and high school golfers are working out and are aware of how their health and wellness affect their golf game, and thus their goals for the future. Many of my adult students, however, can use more encouragement.

Understanding that I’m not a trainer, I’ll perform functional movement screens with my students, and I know enough to recognize problems and their impact on the golf swing. “This is the problem and this is the result,” I tell them, “and you’re going to continue to do this until your mobility or stability issues (for example) are fixed.”

We partner with some mental coaches and a ‘yoga for golf’ instructor who come into our facility for group sessions to bolster their businesses and increase our own engagement with our clientele. While building this awareness among our adult clients is a continuous task, we always emphasize the importance of fitness and playing other sports to our juniors. This is how they’ll become better athletes and better golfers. After all, they all want to play in college and are super motivated to do what it takes to level up to achieve their goals.

Being a good player only goes so far. Many of my juniors are working out on their own and going to some personal trainers in the area. I am educating my adult students on the value of properly stretching. In fact, we have the GolfForever Training System at our York location that clients can utilize on their own to learn the benefits promoted by Scottie Scheffler, the world’s #1 golfer, and our staff is very good at showing clients some basic moves and stretches to promote a health and wellness mentality, as well as sales of the product.

Educating golfers about golf fitness goes beyond the game – it’s important for life. As we get older, we sometimes adopt a less active lifestyle, especially if our jobs call for us to sit at a desk all day. The glutes are a use-it-or-lose-it muscle, so avoiding muscle imbalances is vital to our progress as golfers. Communicating what’s happening to a golfer doesn’t mean they’re going to fix the root cause of the problem, though the mentality seems to be changing across the industry, and we’re doing our part here as well. Doing some squats, stretches or stability exercises will help people move better on and off the course.

When I was in 8th grade, I played golf in a local church fundraiser with three of my friends and experienced a defining moment soon afterward. There was an 81-year-old gentleman who sat down at the table with us and started talking and asking us questions, most memorably “What sports do you guys play?” Now, I grew up with many great athletes, including my friend in the group who went on to be a second-team Pennsylvania all-state wide receiver during our senior year. So, we rattled off baseball, basketball, football, track, cross country and probably a few others. The older gentleman looked at us and said, “I don’t know many 81-year-old people who can still play those sports, but I shot an 81 today.” The lightbulb went off – I can play golf for the rest of my life and still play at a reasonably high level. I was hooked on golf from that point and understand today what one has to do to achieve those objectives. Be fitness-minded and understand that your body is the most important piece of golf equipment you have.