Kolby Tullier is the Performance Director at Joey D. Golf and Hit It Great in Jupiter, Florida.
I’ve been in golf fitness for over 20 years, having always been interested in rotary sports. I wanted to create a system and training regimen that checks off all the boxes from a functional standpoint. I tell my students that the club doesn’t move until you pick it up, and it’s all about movement patterns and planes of motion – how your body moves is a big deal in golf. I look at the sports that each of my clients plays and the intricate movements needed to play that sport at a high level. We want to work on those movements in the gym to better apply them on the field of play.
Fitness and performance are increasingly becoming part of mainstream player development programming. After years of golfers spending hours in search of that smooth and powerful swing, they are now engaging their local fitness professionals who can help them attain their goals through precise movement training. In fact, I tell golfers all the time that they could spend 15-20 minutes in the gym every day and ultimately hit a draw on command by addressing the limitations they have in their lead or trail hip, how they load the club or what stops them from being able to shallow the club in their downswing and hit the ball more from the inside.
We assess the body to identify any imbalances or weaknesses in the kinetic chain. Once isolated, we address these issues in the gym, which means I can get an athlete to perform at a level that he or she never dreamed of.
I work with numerous elite swing instructors in the golf industry to address the movement limitations that their golf students may have. We address it in the gym, and when I send them back to their swing guru, the coaches can now do what they need to do. I’m trying to create an athlete for the coach where there are no limitations, compensations or restrictions in their golf swing. Each golfer has his or her own swing characteristics, so we have to address them all individually. Human movement, however, is constant. Barring injury, trauma or limitations from birth, all human bodies move the same way. The beauty in the way we train, and in the way golf fitness has evolved, is that this type of training works for everyone. We base everything on science and everything is backed by proven principles of science.
If I test you and you’ve got limited internal hip mobility, I’m going to give you the same exercises that I gave to Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals. After all, internal rotation is internal rotation. And no matter who you are, you have to get the glute to function properly and get the knee stable, and that’s going to give you more hip mobility.
I put all new clients through a 32-point screen based on human movement that assesses every joint they have – from the ankle up to their neck. As far as the head goes, I believe that nothing unlocks the brain more than a body that moves correctly. When you think about it, the most frustrating part of the game is knowing what you need to do, but being physically unable to do it. To remedy that scenario, we design programs for each individual based on what they need, and they get better as a result. If I can get you to move better, and get your body to function better, then golf is going to become a lot easier.
At our facility all of our clients get a Tour-experience, regardless of their skill level when first arriving. The screen that I do on my high handicappers is the same screen I did on Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.
Golf fitness professionals should be able to work with all individuals, and that’s made easier by working with as many people as you can. Don’t limit yourself to one specific demographic. At the end of the day, it’s about how many people you can help.