Program Design & Implementation:
Champions Are Made in the Off-Season

Michael Katz, is the Owner/Operator and Lead Trainer at MAD Fitness in Southampton, Pennsylvania.

Off-season golf-fitness is critical to maximizing performance. Programming, however, is dependent upon the client’s degree of skill, level of competition and what low hanging fruit is ripe for improvement.

A golfer with “tour-potential” will be addressed differently than the “weekend warrior”. If they are a casual golfer, we need to determine their starting point. Have they been working with a golf performance specialist or strength coach already?

That said, there are many things that are consistent across the board, such as load and intensity. We follow a general off-season framework, but remain flexible around that model based upon several individualized student variables – strength, speed, mobility and stability, for example.

When we look at customizing a program, we start with his or her goals, strengths and how much time they are willing to devote. If they’re already in one of our programs, we don’t need to start from scratch in our evaluation and analysis, however we may rescreen to get baselines on off-season gains.

We confer with any PGA Professionals the clients are working with to compare notes and ensure we’re on the same page. After all, it’s important to focus on the right things as a team, always staying in our own lanes and focusing on our areas of expertise to do what’s best for the individual.

The winter is an opportunity to work on things that clients don’t want to tinker with during the golf season. We have over four solid months in the Northeast that are best served focusing on these areas of untapped potential.

We’ll have a plan in place by mid-October that we’ll launch in November. From that point through mid-December, it’s wise to slightly scale down regular activity and allow the body to recover – phase one, if you will. We get back to basics during this time, focusing primarily on some foundational patterns and movements, as well as self-care.

Mid-December to mid-March represents phase two, where we’ll significantly increase the intensity. We’ll lift heavier than in-season, albeit perhaps less frequently, and we’ll look for some range of motion gains, as well. We will coach a client as often as necessary, impressing upon them that the results rendered really depend on the time and effort we put in.

We utilize Toptracer technology on our heated driving range to monitor improvement of important metrics, such as dispersion, distance, ball and clubhead speeds, etc. We will do the same thing with our fitness screens and markers.

Before we wind down our off-season program, we increase our focus on power, functional stability and bringing it all together. After all, a mark of a championship level offseason is not only developing a more powerful athlete, but rebuilding resilience for another successful year of doing what we love.