Mike Tabbert is a PGA Certified Instructor and Club Fitter at Ironworks Golf Academy in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Athleticism in golf is a bigger focus than ever, as golf fitness has become a mainstream aspect of most player development programs. As a TPI Level 2 Certified Power and Junior Golf Coach, bringing attention to the fitness component of game improvement is important to me. However, as recently as five years ago, there was no dedicated or structured fitness presence within our academy’s list of services.
Over the past three years, we have really grown that area of focus for our students by not only instilling fitness in our traditional golf instruction packages, but also by offering specialized programs that shine an even brighter light on the benefits of better fitness on one’s golf swing and lifestyle, for juniors and adults.
At our first meeting with a student, I use today’s innovative technology, like K-Vest, BodiTrak and TrackMan to conduct a comprehensive assessment. There, I assess their fitness, swing, ball flight and equipment, and I use this information to accurately measure and baseline their performance. With their goals in mind, we discuss the findings and the different paths to improve their game. During this discussion I introduce the topic of fitness training, and I highlight the benefits of working on these limitations in combination with any technical changes needed. Once they understand how their swing performance goals are being affected by their physical limitations, it opens their eyes to the importance of improving their body to improve their game.
It is ultimately the student’s decision on which improvement path they follow – improve their fitness to improve their swing performance or work around their physical limitations. More often, students want to reach their full potential and they decide to improve all areas to take their game to the next level. Educating the student through this process builds the framework upon which all future improvement is built.
This education of the student is the first vital step in implementing and further developing a golf fitness presence at your facility. Between the technology utilized and the continued engagement with students through regular instruction or specialized fitness training like Speed Schools, Power Golf Academies, Junior Sports Academies or 3D Swing Evaluations, we can effectively grow golf fitness as a concept at our facility – but we can’t do it without education. Continued education and knowledge in fitness, equipment, technology and the golf swing allow us to accurately convey the crucial information that helps students grow and improve.