Brian Newman is the Co-Founder of Orange Whip Golf Fitness X and the Director of Instruction and Fitness for Orange Whip Golf. He is based out of Eastwood Golf Course in Ft. Myers, Florida.
After graduating from the PGM Program at Florida Gulf Coast University, I developed a background in golf instruction, even having my own golf school in Ft. Myers, Florida at one time. During this period, I was bouncing back and forth between North Carolina, where I was the PGA Director of Golf at the Elk River Club, and my academy in Southwest Florida. As I was doing that, I started building my program called Golf Fitness X.
The program combined my knowledge as a teaching professional with the expertise I had as a personal trainer. In doing this, I was able to target functional movements and fitness elements, like mobility and strength in golf-specific areas. Through the program, we were not only improving the student’s body, but his or her golf swing, as well.
As I worked with my students, and their deficiencies were exposed, I had to decide whether I would work around their limitations or take steps to improve upon them within our 60-minute session. I was creating short-term positive changes, while the Golf Fitness X programming would provide the long-term solution with its focus on golf and fitness.
This is important because there are many golfers who are dedicated to a fitness regimen, but haven’t trained their golf swing to match their physical improvements. I can get my students to throw a medicine ball harder into a wall, but I’m just training them to be a better med ball thrower. It’s all about how we apply the change in body to the golf swing. Former PGA Tour Professional, Bryson DeChambeau is a good example of this concept. As he was building mass, he was also swinging a golf club. His transformation was not only in his body, but in some substantial changes in his golf swing. This is called functional golf swing training, and I have always felt it was important to apply this concept so students would leave a lesson hitting the ball better than when they entered it. After all, we can’t expect the everyday golfer to have an unlimited amount of time to work on his or her fitness and golf game, with little regard for the plethora of other responsibilities that they have in their lives.
During those early years, I was so booked with functional golf training that I had to start conducting many of my lessons in class form so I could address several students at once. And that’s where my GFX program truly took off.
Understanding that the differences from student to student are vast, there are still some consistencies. In fact, every golfer, no matter what swing concepts he or she applies, will have five major body movement patterns in their golf swing:
• Bending (posture)
• Weight shift balance
• Swing plane
No matter what physical condition a golfer maintains, these factors are still a part of his or her swing, albeit at significantly lower levels than physically fit golfers, better players or professionals, of course. Our golf-specific programming is designed to address each of these and make the golfer better at all of them.