GFAA Best Practice: Implement Golf Fitness into Your Lesson Plan

Helen Kurtin
, the 2015 Gateway PGA Section Teacher of the Year and Golf Fitness Association of America Advisory Board Member, is the PGA/LPGA Owner/ Operator of St. Louis Golf Academy in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

Helen Kurtin on the importance of implementing golf fitness into your lesson plan:

As a long-time proponent of fitness for golfers, I believe that instilling fitness within a golf lesson package is important to the overall progress of the student. In fact, when I opened my facility in 2006, I had a full 600 sq. ft. fitness center and dedicated equipment that offered a holistic approach to game improvement. I moved my business to a green grass facility in 2015, but still teach with that philosophy in mind. To ensure a continued golf fitness presence in my students’ curriculum, I perform an initial TPI assessment, enter specific bits of data into the program and build a workout regimen that they access through Every workout contains instructional videos that show students how to perform the various functions being dictated. I will conduct a reassessment in 8-10 weeks to gauge the progress made and adjust the program as needed. This is one of the added benefits that I bring to the lesson tee. With my knowledge of golf fitness, I have developed a reputation among my colleagues as “the body person”, and am proud that they entrust their golf students to me, even if for one specific aspect of the education process. This background comes from years of education and efforts to market my experience and expertise.

Helen Kurtin on the business impact of implementing golf fitness into your lesson plan:

Students often ask about stretching exercises they can perform prior to practicing on the range or stepping up to the first tee. I do them one better by setting them up on the program for a full assessment and ensuing workouts, videos and follow up. Though the vast majority of individuals going through the TPI process are my own golf students, the fitness-minded aspect of golf instruction has also brought golfers my way who are learning under other PGA Professionals – pros who may not have golf fitness on their menu of services. Building upon these efforts, I invite my fellow PGA Professionals to partake in an assessment of their own during the offseason, so they are not only increasing their education and experience around fitness, but are confident in sending their students my way for their fitness assessment. I conduct the same evaluation for these individuals and provide them and their coach with the results, so they can formulate a plan that is conducive to the student’s physical capabilities (and deficiencies), but also works into their overall goals and agenda. Through education and collaboration, I’ve built a business around golf instruction and fitness. These factors are more prevalent than ever, as golfers pursue greater distance on the golf course and healthier lifestyles every day.

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