Eric Cottrill is the Lead Golf Fitness Trainer at The Hasentree Club in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
After owning and managing a fitness training studio in Florida for six years, I moved to North Carolina and started a new golf fitness program at The Hasentree Club at the end of 2020. In my role as a TPI-certified Golf Fitness Trainer, I officially work under the fitness team, with Bradley Stoetzer our Fitness Director, but have a definite focus on golf performance and improvement.
When I came on board, there was an opportunity for us to engage members in a unique way, implementing fitness into what is essentially a golf player development program. I start clients with a 16-point TPI screening to identify their limitations and better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
We discuss the members’ goals during those initial assessments to formulate the most-effective program possible, taking into consideration the results of the screen and the goals themselves. With almost 1,000 members, their goals and needs run the gamut for sure.
If I have members with medical concerns, I’ll refer them to our physical therapy team, and those with focused fitness goals work with me. Of course, when it comes time for any technical golf instruction, they are shifted to our PGA Professional team, led by Brian Cresto, Director of Instruction, and Philip Leddy, Head Golf Professional. It’s a true collaborative effort all around.
In fact, I’ll sit in on an occasional golf lesson that my clients are having with their PGA Professional to witness firsthand what they’re doing, so I can better work with them on these movements and desired positions in the golf swing.
To bring awareness to the program two years ago, we gathered the membership and provided a detailed presentation and demonstration of the 16-point assessment. We don’t simply tell them the what, but we show them how and most importantly, tell them why this engagement is so important. Beyond the obvious better physical health of the members, this golf fitness program improves their flexibility, mobility, balance, strength and stamina, all factors that contribute to a better golf game.
We delve into muscle groups and explain where the strength comes from in the golf swing. We educate them on the importance of the legs and glutes in the swing. This program is not about “one and done sessions” – it’s about long-term relationships that are educational, informative and beneficial to the member.
We continue to utilize the club’s newsletters and emails to get our message out. In addition, I’ll spend some time at the range when I can, talking with members and engaging them in conversation that is relevant to their improvement, but from a physical aspect. I’ll ask them to toss a football around for a few minutes, emphasizing the feeling of that drive from the back leg, that push-off when throwing the ball. I’ll ask them if they have a similar feeling when striking the golf ball, and the answer is usually no. “This is the movement that you’re trying to create,” I’ll tell them. Just throwing a football gives them a feeling of that rotational movement that should be happening in the golf swing from the ground up. By engaging members in conversation on the range, I’ve gained new clients and developed some valuable long-term relationships.
For more information about the TPI program at The Hasentree Club or even about joining our club as a member, please visit our website.