Golf Fitness Best Practice: Introduce Golf Fitness to Your New Membership

Justin Kraft, the 2022 Minnesota PGA Section Youth Player Development Award Winner, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota.

Justin Kraft on the importance of introducing golf fitness to your new membership:

I took on the PGA Director of Instruction role at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota late last winter, but have long promoted the merits of golf fitness at my previous club in the Minnesota PGA Section. After implementing a speed training program last year, and seeing some positive results among my previous membership, I tweaked the program a bit and engaged a few golfers from a nearby college, as well as our members. With my new club being a “golf club,” our members are die-hard golfers – so any programs that promote “added distance off the tee” and improve their golf games are certainly always embraced and will be successful. I now use my TPI certification at Spring Hill to introduce golf fitness to a whole new group of golfers. After all, I believe you need to understand the body’s effect on the golf swing to be a premier instructor. The speed training program, for instance, is a great introductory program that establishes the concept of game improvement through fitness and not just via the traditional golf lesson on the range. We kick off the program with a TPI screen of each participant, testing their strength in three different places to determine where their deficiencies are most prevalent. The program has historically been two sessions per week – one 30-minute session was with me, swinging a Rypstick speed training tool and working on mechanical aspects of the golf swing that add speed and distance, and the other 30-minute session a fitness professional targeting areas like stability, mobility, flexibility and strength.

Justin Kraft on the business impact of introducing golf fitness to your new membership:

This program is an effective way to marry the golf and fitness aspects of player development and incorporate professionals from both teams as well. It’s important to me to understand what my students can and cannot do within the golf swing, and my plan as I moved into this new role was to utilize my TPI background to assess their swing. Based on their level of commitment to focusing on their body, as well as their swing, it is always important to prescribe an appropriate level of fitness exercises within their game improvement program based on their TPI physical screen. Some golfers remain resistant to implementing any aspect of fitness into their practice, but I will always emphasize the importance of the body-swing connection and stretching at the very least. Spring Hill Golf Club has a world-class teaching facility on the range with three heated TrackMan hitting bays equipped with BodiTrak, video analysis software with tour swing comparison and garage doors that open up to the range when our unpredictable Minnesota weather allows. I also spread golf fitness awareness through personal engagement with members in the form of fireside chats and meet and greets. I promote the speed training program as a way of gaining 5-10 percent more clubhead speed but have amended it somewhat, as we don’t currently have a fitness team on staff.

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