Justin Kraft is a PGA Player Development Professional at Medina (Minnesota) Golf & Country Club, Minnesota.
I came to Medina Golf & Country Club last fall, and quickly implemented a speed training program that utilizes much of the information I learned when getting TPI-certified a few years ago. Through that education, I have developed an understanding of the body-swing connection, and can work around certain physical limitations or use golfers’ physical strengths to improve their golf swing.
Our club recently opened a new fitness center that will bring golf fitness awareness to our members, and I look forward to the collaborative efforts of our golf and fitness teams to maximize the performance of our members.
Earlier this year, I started a six-week speed training program that hosted almost a dozen participants for 90 minutes. This was a chance for me to get to know some of our members after a long winter, and discuss topics that some of them hadn’t heard before.
We took everyone’s baseline clubhead and ball speed with a driver and explained how the speed training would work. I emphasized the importance of going through the exercises three times per week during the program, and even demonstrated how to perform the actions. I gave them a handout that explained what to do so they had something to reference. During the initial session, we had them go through the routine themselves after my demonstration, and then measured their clubhead and ball speeds again. Even though they were tired by the second measurement, speed numbers increased almost across the board.
For the next five weeks, our PGA First Assistant Professional Lance West and I welcomed each participant individually into our Golf Lounge simulator room, and we spent a half hour with each of them to measure their swing and ball speeds. We saw dramatic progress among those who were doing the work between sessions. In fact, by the time we were four weeks into the program, one 60-year-old member had increased his clubhead speed by 12 mph.
With each measurement, we were able to provide technical instruction, in addition to the physical guidance that the program was created for.
The six-week program ended in early April, just as members were gearing up for another great golf season at Medina. Now that this group is hitting the ball farther, they couldn’t wait to get out there and see it on the course.
We have plans for a Level II program later this year, and early in 2023, to further expose our members to the benefits of swing speed training. This has been an effective fitness program, and will lead to added fitness engagement, as we help our members play their best golf.