Where to Start:
Finding the Right Partnership

Mike Bender, the 2009 PGA Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Owner/Operator of the Mike Bender Golf Academy and Scott Shepard, a Golf Digest Top 50 Golf Fitness Trainer in America, is a Fitness Instructor at the Mike Bender Golf Academy in Lake Mary, Florida.

When starting a golf fitness program at your facility, collaboration between golf and fitness professionals in developing programs, communicating goals and initiatives and building the physical space that will be utilized is vital from the outset. In creating your team, consider a trainer who is certified in golf fitness and, if possible, has a background in physical therapy or athletic training in order to offer a complete service.

The golf and fitness professionals should be coachable, and ready and willing to understand each other’s approach to golf fitness. They should also have a working knowledge of what the other does. It is important that the trainer understands the specific needs of the golf student based on the teacher’s philosophy. It is equally important that the teacher trust the trainer to identify physical problems that will impede the golf swing performance. They should have similar philosophies on the needs of golfers, as well as the golf swing. As professionals, leave your individual egos at the door, understanding that the shared goal is to help students play better, feel better and stay in the game.

Understand that promotion is a significant aspect when starting a
new golf fitness program, too. Highlight your collaboration and promote each other’s side of the business to truly grow. Golf fitness differs from regular fitness, and students and
members should be educated as such. When building a fitness or performance center on site, be sure to incorporate golf-specific machines and exercises. With so many choices for fitness right now, your students should understand that what you’re providing is a much more directed program that is specific to the golfer and the golf swing itself.

Shepard recommends golf-specific machines to consider when building a fitness or performance center; click here see his list.

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