Program Design & Implementation:
Educating the Golfer is the First Step to Securing a Fitness Client

Zane Bickler is the TPI-certified Fitness Director at The Club at Ravenna in Littleton, Colorado.

As the Fitness Director at The Club at Ravenna in Littleton, Colorado, I manage a team of 14 fitness and service professionals who cater to almost 400 members every day. In addition to my management responsibilities, I am a personal trainer and also train many of our golfers to not only maintain better health on the course but in their daily lives away from the club.

The Club at Ravenna is predominantly a “golf-centric club,” but has recently built diverse amenities, including a fitness and wellness center that provides an effective bridge between golf and lifestyle.

With a background in rotational movement as a former college football player, quarterback coach and baseball hitting coach, I bring a unique perspective to the golf swing and feel it’s important to break down that swing to make it better and more efficient.

Golf is huge at our facility, so we offer two free clinics per month and educate them to see the “why” in fitness. Once we get them in the gym and show them how our services can benefit their golf game, they sign up and are eager to do the work to see the results.

One example of our topics is “losing distance with age” and how to combat this inevitability. We educate members on how the reduction in their distance is an effect of dwindling mobility, stability and strength. As a result, we help them retain these traits and their golf skills through a focused plan of action that is specifically geared toward the individual.

With so many members more inclined to beat balls on the range than spend a fraction of that time with us in the fitness and wellness center, it’s important for me and my team to educate members on the merits of fitness in golf and an overall healthier lifestyle. We offer free TPI testing to all members to show them the characteristics of their swing that are ill-affecting their progress in golf, and as a result, the enjoyment they have in the game.

Even though they swing the golf club a lot, the results gained in the fitness and wellness center can often take their game to a level they hadn’t had before. It’s about convincing golfers that they’re helping their bodies perform the golf swing, rather than actually exercising or working out.

Next steps with members who’ve now committed to getting better include a workout series that addresses the issues and deficiencies isolated in the TPI screen and collaboration with the club’s PGA of America Golf Professionals. We emphasize the importance of a proper warmup before swinging the golf club, as well as before performing the swing exercises prescribed in our sessions and the drills the golf pros give them as well. As the fitness team, we stress the effects of better rotation and dissociation within the swing, aspects of the swing they may have never considered before. We break it all down for them and help them understand that they’re working on their health and wellness as much as they’re working on their golf game. It is important to note that the exercise plan does not hinge upon the age of the participant but instead on their experience in the fitness center and the injuries they have incurred over the years.

Our onsite physical therapist is instrumental in ensuring that we’re not exceeding the current capabilities and future potential of our clients. The collaboration between our medical team, fitness staff and PGA of America Golf Professionals offers an effective holistic approach to game improvement and health and wellness.

We communicate our services, which also include yoga, pilates, barre, longevity trainers and strength classes, to members through a monthly fitness newsletter and weekly email updates. We provide winter services that address issues not often considered during the peak playing season and strive to prepare our members for their best golf come spring. Golfers who play better enjoy it more and play more frequently. This is beneficial to the members who will not only experience a higher level of golf, but grow in their fitness and wellness journey as well.