Thor Parrish, the 2020 South Florida PGA Section Youth Player Development Award recipient, is the Co-Owner of the Junior Golf Performance Academy in Naples, Florida and founder of Thunder Performance in Fort Myers, Florida.
As the summer winds down, I look back on our biggest summer to date at our Junior Golf Performance Academy in Naples, Florida. Here, we taught and trained over 225 junior golfers during a nine-week period. In fact, this year’s summer sessions were sold out before we even started.
Heading into the fall, I have an exciting new endeavor kicking off in collaboration with my wife, Jenny Parrish, and our business partner, David Ochoa. With our permits approved and build out in progress, we anticipate a mid-September opening of our 4,400 square foot golf performance facility in Fort Myers, Florida called Thunder Performance. Our facility will offer CrossFit training and golf-focused instruction to clients of all ages and skill levels. As I write this article, we’re definitely in the long-awaited homestretch!
I discovered CrossFit when my dad took me to my first 5 a.m. class nearly a decade ago. I’ve experienced firsthand the physical, mental and emotional benefits of CrossFit’s programming. And as a golfer, I understand how it changes the lives of golfers – both recreational and elite. From that first workout on, I knew I wanted to open my own CrossFit facility and blend golf into it.
As a CrossFit affiliate, we will run CrossFit classes and facilitate CrossFit personal training sessions. Part of our mission is to provide a home base for our clients to become their best selves. Whether they’re a teenaged football player, an aspiring college golfer, 35-year-old mother of two or a retired grandfather striving to play with his grandchildren again, we will offer a general fitness program that prepares participants for life at any stage and creates stronger human beings. CrossFit trains every muscle group, every modality and every range of motion. It also fosters a great community – literally and figuratively – a great group of people who are willing to work hard to make their lives better.
Thunder Performance is also incorporating golf into the overall programming via an indoor hitting bay that has a TrackMan, Swing Catalyst, 3D cameras and more. We have selected the top-tiered equipment and technology to enhance the client’s experience and maximize our effectiveness within their player development program. We’ve also secured some wonderful partnerships, including one with Callaway Golf that will provide club fitting opportunities, and another with Dr. Orlando Harvard, who will be our in-house Doctor of Physical Therapy. After all, our vision is to have a gym that will not only cater to the general population through CrossFit and community classes, but also the elite golfer who is looking for the next level of engagement and attention to their body and performance via injury prevention, recovery and club fitting services on the spot.
Of the 4,400 square feet available in our location, two-thirds of that will be dedicated to the CrossFit gym space, with 1,000 square feet set up for golf performance specifically. We’ll also have a retail shop, smoothie bar, showers and locker rooms.
In addition to myself, Jenny and David, we’ll also have three personal trainers, and a head coach for programming of group classes and my virtual clients. Of our elite level golfers who come into the facility for fittings, evaluation, assessments and consultations, Derek Newman, Thunder Performance’s Head Coach, will schedule their remote follow up and program their virtual workouts, so they can stay on top of it while they’re traveling.
We’re not just looking at the best of the best competitors, however – we want to help all aspiring athletes. Being as incredibly active in junior golf in Southwest Florida as I am, we will use Thunder Performance to further engage our many juniors and bring their golf games, bodies and life experiences to the next level.