Kevin Meixner is the PGA Director of Instruction at Chicago Highlands Club in Westchester, Illinois.
I’ve been at Chicago Highlands Club for 11 years, joining the team as an intern after graduating from Coastal Carolina University, and working my way up the ladder to the PGA Director of Instruction role in 2017. With a long-time passion for health and wellness, I earned my personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in 2018.
We are a young club of families, juniors, high school students and college golfers, and as such, it is important that I ensure fitness is on my lesson agenda. To address the physical aspect of golf with my students, I started a training program to benefit members and help them stay active and physically fit.
The program started a few years ago with two sisters in our fitness center on Mondays when the rest of the club was closed. We’d do 30 minutes of speed training, swinging Mach 3 Speed Training equipment, and follow that up with 30 minutes of weight training for golf, introducing our young athletes to various lifts with which they had no previous experience. This engagement quickly developed through word-of-mouth promotion, and the very next year we had several groups, including adult males, high school boys, high school girls and middle school boys. That’s growth in a short period of time!
I attained TPI certification in 2020, which has only enhanced the opportunities I have to help students with their swing and also address their fitness regimen. After all, as beneficial as it is for members to have a team of golf and fitness professionals at their club to help them with their golf instruction and health and wellness needs, I appreciate being able to serve both roles for our Chicago Highlands membership, knowing that no information will get lost in the communication process. I have this mission, a great fitness center and an eager group of students who have bought into the fitness side of the game – a true formula for success.
One of those students, my first junior golfer to play big time college golf reaches out to me from Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts. She says their trainer is very impressed by her knowledge of golf fitness and her understanding of the golf benefits of spending time in the gym. That’s the fulfillment that makes my job fun.
I haven’t had to market and promote our Monday fitness groups due to the chatter that spreads throughout our facility. In addition, when parents sign their kids up for golf lessons because they want to make their high school golf team, I will let them know what we’re doing in the fitness realm and tout the progress of the participants we’ve had thus far. Everyone who has participated in these sessions has loved it and seen excellent results.
People ask me what I do to stay in shape, which is a marketing factor in itself. As a professional interested in fitness, it is important that I also keep my conditioning up and lead my students by example. Using our gym space for these purposes has also buoyed the value of a Chicago Highlands Club membership, which certainly aids in our facility’s retention efforts.