GFAA Best Practice: Build Upon What Works

Evan Wright is a PGA Assistant Professional at Tonto Verde Golf Club in Rio Verde, Arizona.

Evan Wright on the importance of building upon what works:

It is important that PGA Professionals convey the importance of golf fitness to our students and members. When I originally pursued TPI certification a few years ago, I intended on working with young golf professionals and highly-skilled amateurs. However, with an older membership, our main goal with golf fitness is to keep our members playing without injury, so we can extend their time enjoying the game. Spreading awareness and education about golf fitness is a key aspect in building a program. So, I chose a few influential members with whom I would conduct free TPI screens, share some workout plans and measure their progress. The next year I put together a more formal group fitness program called “Men’s Golf Fitness.” Soon we had upwards of a dozen members in our multi-purpose room focused on stretching and addressing the limitations in their shoulders and hips. We used exercise balls, bands and yoga mats to help add stability and increase mobility. Our early success with these hour-long sessions convinced me that there was a need for this at our club.

Evan Wright on the business s impact of building upon what works:

We moved our golf fitness sessions onto the range when the pandemic hit so we could adequately spread out and ensure everyone’s comfort and safety. Rather than view this as a setback, I saw our new setting as an opportunity to grow. With the equipment that we used indoors not as readily available on the driving range, we saw the benefits of being able to actually swing a golf club to focus on in-swing movements. I made sure to tell members not to force our efforts into their swing immediately, and to let the changes happen naturally over time. As talk around the club increased, I hosted two golf and fitness classes that were open to all members and were well-attended by our women’s golf association members – another step forward. Unfortunately, we faced another hurdle with limited availability on the range due to member usage and morning frost delays. Now, we’ve taken bits and pieces of the successful aspects of our golf fitness programming to implement a performance series. We focus on pre- and post-round body preparation that is critical to avoiding injury, and each of the weekly classes has a theme – flexibility, stability, mobility, strength, endurance, etc. This regular engagement provides a flow that is integral to members’ improved health and game improvement.

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