Chris Ownbey is a Certified Golf Fitness Trainer at Highlands Performance Golf Center in Carrollton, Texas.
I was one of the first TPI-certified fitness trainers back in 2006 and started working at Highlands Performance Golf Center the following year. Having been a trainer for more than half my life, I’ve been heavily involved in four different modalities – powerlifting, bodybuilding, mixed martial arts and golf, and was introduced to golf by comedian and actor George Lopez when I was working with some individuals at the Improv Comedy Club in Dallas.
As an independent contractor, I approached the team at Highlands to express my interest in developing a holistic approach to total golf performance – golf instruction, custom club fitting and fitness. They were all for it – so I chose a room and created a golf-specific space that would be effective for my purposes and render the desired results for each client.
I believed from the start that to train golfers and make a significant impact, you have to understand the movements of the game, as well. So, in addition to maintaining and increasing my knowledge of fitness concepts, I strove to fully understand how to marry golf and fitness to help our clientele improve their scores and play longer.
Over the years, I’ve developed a niche in working with men over 50 years of age – business executives and avid golfers seeking a better game to take to their high-end country clubs. Many of these individuals are determined business owners who work hard to attain their goals in our golf-specific facility. I give them a reason to work out again – to improve their bodies and their golf games.
My relationships with clients begin with an initial assessment, where I look at their kinetic chain. I observe their golf swing using V1, FlightScope and K-Vest technology to best assess these metrics and get a baseline from which we will gauge progress and improvement.
My fitness space contains a free motion cable crossover machine, massage table and a stretching cage. We use machines, free weights and resistance bands. Each session generally includes a five-minute warmup, a 20-minute circuit-style workout and five-minute post-stretch. We measure progress predominantly via client feedback.
Programs begin with 10 sessions, and as we see results, clients inevitably want to continue our work together. In fact, I am very proud of my high retention ratio, and much of my business has become retainer-based, as I engage with these golfers twice per week on an ongoing basis.
Many of my clients are also seeing a PGA Professional at our facility or at their country club to focus on the mechanics of the golf swing, short game, putting and more. The PGA Professional and I will join together as a team to discuss our mutual client and ensure the approach to golf fitness training that I envisioned from the start.
My fitness studio is located inside the Highlands Performance Golf Center. If I were based at one country club, I would be limited to that membership. This arrangement is the most beneficial to my clients and my business as a whole.