Golf Fitness Best Practice: Engage Members in Golf and Fitness on the Golf Course

Robin Boretti is the PGA/LPGA Head Professional, and Nadine Moody, a Palm Beach Post “Best of Palm Beach County 2021 Personal Trainer,” is the Director of Fitness at The Club at Ibis in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Robin Boretti and Nadine Moody on the importance of engaging members in golf and fitness on the golf course:

Back in 2016, PGA Director of Golf Ben Bauer and I started a program where we’d bring members on the golf course for a special walk and talk. It was all about golf in those days – rules, etiquette, short game discussion, demonstration and trial. When they registered for the session, we told them to wear comfortable shoes and bring one golf club to chip with. We’d usually have 10-20 members sign up, walk a few holes and really get in the weeds (literally and figuratively) on many topics they may encounter during a round of golf. We would even talk about things like what side of the box to tee up based on the intended shape of their shot, and would delve into different types of chip shots – high with a lob wedge or low with a 7-iron. It was always an excellent education for members and great engagement. After a successful first year, we implemented a fitness component by adding our Director of Fitness Nadine Moody to the program. Since then, we each come to these sessions with a plan for our own presentation, but don’t necessarily choreograph the back and forth and actual discussion. We play off each other and it becomes a more relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. We take turns holding court as we end up walking three or four holes. After some golf talk on the tee box, we’ll proceed down the fairway, stopping to spread everyone apart so Nadine can conduct various exercises. We use their club as a prop and will do all kinds of movements, including stationary rotation, addressing mobility and power as we build. We’ll do linear leg swings with the club, side-to-side leg swings and several varieties of flexibility exercises. We’ll work on balance and shoulder strength, including isometric shoulder external rotation. These exercises are directly related to the golf swing, which makes the program really valuable to our older members who want to sustain their skills, play longer and do so pain- and injury-free.

Robin Boretti and Nadine Moody on the business impact of engaging members in golf and fitness on the golf course:

Early in this collaboration members would have trouble retaining all the information discussed. So, we developed several information cards that contain illustrations and details of each exercise. Participants can take them home and refer to them at a later time. With such topics as a dynamic golf warmup, the cards are the size of a scorecard, so members can clip them behind their scorecard on the golf car or pushcart and warm up properly before each round. Walk with the Professionals sessions are held monthly in-season here in Florida, and we’ll use the summer months to plan and evaluate the program since it’s too hot to conduct the sessions. With 54 holes of golf, one of our three 18-hole layouts is closed each Monday afternoon, allowing us to coordinate with our superintendent to offer these 90-minute golf-fitness-engagement sessions unobstructed on the course.

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