Golf Fitness Best Practice: Implement a Three-Pronged Approach to Golf Fitness

Dr. Cody Hafner PT, DPT, is a Physical Therapist at The Omega Project PT and works at their satellite office at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.

Golf Fitness Association of America Best Practice: Dr. Cody Hafner on the importance of implementing a three-pronged approach to golf fitness:

I’ve been with The Omega Project and DuPont Country Club for just over one year, after having worked at another outpatient orthopedic physical therapy company. Over my six-plus years as a physical therapist, I have treated many golfers and understand their needs. With new owners, a refurbished fitness center and a renewed focus on the member experience, there is a large and diverse membership that is playing golf at record levels. The Omega Project maintains an office within the new fitness center, and I currently serve our membership as the sole physical therapist, though demand seems to be calling for a second PT in the near future. We have developed a program through which our PGA Professional team, personal trainers and physical therapy department work together and coordinate efforts to improve members’ golf skills and overcome specific pains and injuries. This collaborative effort often ensures no deficiency is overlooked or hindrance in their game ignored. In fact, the foundation of this program is based upon the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) curriculum. The physical therapy component of this three-pronged approach deals with many of the injuries and nagging pains that affect golfers’ performance during a round of golf, or act up incessantly afterward. When I meet with a member, our engagement starts with a TPI assessment. And once we have a beat on what ails them, I put them through a one-hour evaluation that looks at their range of motion, strength, joint mobility, movement patterns and so much more. After identifying the deficits, I utilize an array of targeted techniques to treat them, including deep tissue work, joint mobilizations, stretches, movement re-education and dry needling, which is a powerful technique that helps alleviate musculoskeletal pain. A lot of what I do is hands-on. Treatments are one-on-one in the clinic; however, we often use the fitness center, depending on the golfer’s needs.

Dr. Cody Hafner on the business impact of implementing a three-pronged approach to golf fitness:

While these issues are at the forefront, I may see these individuals a couple of times per week. But once we make progress, and they see the benefit of working with a physical therapist, understand how much better they can feel and experience increased mobility and function, the engagement will taper off to once or twice per month. With the pain gone and the golfer feeling good, it’s at this time that they’ll work with our golf or fitness professionals to apply their newfound flexibility and physical skills to their golf swing and/or strength development. We help them play better, with less pain and with more enjoyment.

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