GFAA Best Practice:
Distinguish Between Golf Fitness
and General Fitness

Scott Shepard, a Golf Digest Top 50 Best Golf-Fitness Trainer in America, is a Golf Fitness Trainer and Physical Therapist at Driven Sports Performance and Director of Fitness at the Mike Bender Golf Academy, in Lake Mary, Florida.

Scott Shepard on the importance of separating golf fitness from general fitness:

When implementing a golf fitness program and performance center, it is important to focus on golf-specific concepts and goals, as well as exercises and equipment. Golf instructors should collaborate with fitness trainers/therapists who understand the golf swing and the body movements that go into it. Trainers should be able to pinpoint the individual limitations of each student and communicate such information to the teacher, who will work with the student to develop an efficient, repeating golf swing that maximizes the student’s physical abilities. Helping golfers to correct poor movement and build better physical capacity for golf is important for progressing golf skill. Golf fitness is comprised of training methods that help golfers improve their positions, their sequence, and their speed, and you can do those things in the gym. Other benefits include overall improved strength, reduced chance of injuries, and general health. Understanding that many golfers struggle with movement and motor control, general fitness is more muscle-specific, whereas golf fitness is more movement-specific. An on-site performance center should incorporate an appropriate selection of tools and equipment to support this concept, including a cable system and bands that allow you to train through a full range of motion, as well as medicine balls that help encourage speed and power through the key movements. There should be a focus on balance and stability exercises for the lower body with various training tools that support this need. Use of speed-training aids like underweighted/overweighted speed sticks and ropes can teach golfers how to increase speed. These tools and concepts help golfers get in game shape, making them golf-strong to provide the best opportunity for improvement. It’s not about how strong you are; it’s about knowing how to use your strength.


Scott Shepard on the business impact of separating golf fitness from general fitness:

Offering a golf fitness program is one of the best ways to help members and clients achieve better performance and extend the life of their golf game. The collaboration between golf and fitness professionals in creating specific programs for both the individual and the golf swing is the key to success. The overall goals should be to support a healthier membership and improve golf performance. Adding a golf fitness program to a club’s amenities is an added value for any membership, and also creates another facet to their lessons and player development programs. It is crucial that members understand the need for specific golf fitness and how it can help their game more than general fitness methods. By solving specific problems and building golf-specific capacity, you can help clients become fit for the game. Clients will see the results and stay more engaged in the process of continual improvement.

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