Godelieve Babey is a TPI-Certified Fitness Professional and Functional Golf Specialist at Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman, New Jersey.
I started working at Cherry Valley Country Club late in 2021 when we opened our refurbished fitness center, housing the best in Technogym equipment. This is the perfect new amenity since the fitness aspect of golf development has become as mainstream across most skill levels as the mechanics of the swing itself.
However, being new at a golf club always poses a challenge when seeking to grow one’s clientele. And when you throw a topic like golf fitness at them, good luck breaking down that barrier. After all, the trust that golfers place in their PGA Professionals is earned, and who am I to come in and try to “change their golf game?” Needless to say, spreading awareness of the topic is an uphill battle, but a vital one.
So, I collaborated this spring with one of our PGA Professionals, Adrienne Hogan, a long-time teacher in the game, to present a six-week course that was geared toward improving swing mobility, coordination and sequencing of the golf swing through a series of functional exercises specific to golf.
Golf Fit, as it was called, helped improve participants’ core, balance, flexibility and strength to aid in injury prevention and promote pain-free golf.
Adrienne has been a great proponent of golf fitness, as she’s seen huge effects within her own game. Having her involved in Golf Fit was a positive first collaboration between the golf and fitness departments at Cherry Valley.
We had a light turnout for this first endeavor, but saw significant results among those who did attend. One participant has been a golfer for many years, and he was thrilled with the improved balance, control and flexibility he experienced, as well as the reduction in pain he had while active in the class. He never thought the exercises we did together would have made that much of an impact.
And therein lies the eternal dilemma – how do we convince our membership that our concepts and philosophies on golf fitness will benefit them in ways they never considered?
Well, when you’re the new person at a club, you grind away one success story at a time. We impact one golfer today and another tomorrow, and let them sing your praises to the rest of their peers.
The Golf Fit program has actually opened again, and more members are reaching out to enquire because of the positive reputation that I, and the program itself, have gained as a result of the early impact we’ve had on our members.
After all, I administered the Golf Fit class when I had my own studio in a neighboring town, as well as at a nearby public golf course, with positive results at both facilities. I know the results will be effective – it’s just a matter of getting bodies in the room and earning the trust of your new clientele.