Program Design & Implementation: Harness Strengths and Identify Weaknesses to Maximize Success

Ben Blalock, a PGA Master Professional, is the PGA Director of Instruction at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Golf fitness is an essential part of any golfer’s plan to improve his or her ability to play the game. With current trends at the professional level moving toward a power game off the tee, everyone who plays golf wants to hit the ball as far as possible. The result? Helping our golfers learn to create more force.

At North Ridge Country Club, we work with the training staff to find times during the off-season to help our golfers boost their strength profiles. Over the past two years, we’ve built a program for adults and juniors that begins with an assessment of the golfer’s swing profile for force production using SwingCatalyst. We then run a series of tests without a club that isolate the player’s ability to create force vertically, rotationally and horizontally.

Once we have determined strong and weak areas for each player, we build a program of exercise in cooperation with our fitness team to give participants the best opportunity to enhance their weaker movement groups—and maximize the areas in which they’re already strong.

These programs have worked well, creating interest in learning more about the swing, but also finding more power. We’ve had increasing participation each year, growing from just a few participants in the first year to having a waitlist in year two. As you might expect, members have made new connections through these programs, and there have even been some new golf groups that have developed as a result.

We’re looking to enhance the programs by bringing in guest speakers who work with players on the professional tours to help our membership understand the importance of implementing fitness into any golfer’s development program. We’d also like to develop a leaderboard for players in the program so they can see their percentage gains during the training season.

Lastly, making these programs a year-round option would be great, as well, helping our golfers keep getting better – we’ve just got to make them aware of the benefits and keep getting them hooked on the process.