GFAA Best Practice:
Implement a Fitness Aspect in your New Student Assessment

Noah Horstman, Three-Time Northern Ohio PGA Section Award Winner and a GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, is the PGA Co-Owner/Operator and Director of Instruction at Southern Oregon Golf Academy in Medford, Oregon.

 Noah Horstman on the importance of implementing a fitness aspect in your New Student Assessment:

 Each new relationship at our academy starts with a New Student Assessment. Having worked with fitness professionals in my coaching for the past ten years, I wanted to ensure sufficient attention is paid to fitness within these assessments. Over those years I realized that the fitness side of coaching is just as important to player development as the golf technical side. This knowledge became so important to me that I attained TPI certification and became certified in Nike Golf 360 so I can understand more about the body and movement, and how they affect the golf swing. As a PGA Professional and golf coach, this knowledge has helped in my golf coaching, but I wanted to surround myself with experts in the field. Together, we would all play a role in creating a plan for our students. The two-hour New Student Assessment starts with putting, chipping and pitching and leads into a full swing analysis, using K-Vest technology. With a fitness trainer, or Golf Performance Specialist as we refer to them, present, we get baseline data that tells us what their body can and cannot do. The Golf Performance Specialist will then put the student through a half-hour functional body movement screening and attain information such as recent injuries or ailments, or limitations that the student faces in his or her mobility.

Noah Horstman on the business impact of implementing a fitness aspect in your New Student Assessment:

When the process is complete, we come up with a plan for each student that addresses the shortfalls found in his or her technical golf skills, as well as any shortfalls in their physical capabilities. After the New Student Assessment, based on our findings and their goals, we create a package that meets the plans for progress that we feel will be needed to achieve their objectives. Coaching session packages run from six sessions to 52 sessions, and within any of our coaching session packages, the number of sessions held with our golf coaches versus those held with our Golf Performance Specialists will be determined by that initial assessment. This is an important aspect of our business to highlight – the connection between golf coaching and physical training. For instance, if we have a new student whose current physical condition will obstruct the progress we seek in his golf swing, we’ll have the student work on the fitness side of the academy until he or she can adequately swing the golf club and realistically strive to attain their goals. The New Student Assessment lays the foundation for this long-term relationship.

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