Justin Doyle a 2020 GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional and TPI Certified Golf Coach, is the PGA Associate and Golf Academy Director at Woodbridge (California) Golf & Country Club.
In 2014, our General Manager at the time recognized the need for a fitness presence at our club, believing that golf fitness and golf performance would be prominent going forward. A long-range plan was brought to our voting membership in 2017, as we wanted Woodridge Golf & Country Club to be more family-oriented and offer more than just golf. We have tennis and aquatics that engage members throughout the year, but saw room to grow in health and wellness, creating a space to promote a healthier lifestyle and the benefits that fitness has on one’s golf game.
Our main focus in 2018 and 2019 was developing the concept of the fitness center and we were able to be part of the project from its inception, working with architects to design the building and select the equipment. It was educational to be part of the process from the outset and very rewarding now, as the vision finally came to fruition when we opened in April of 2020.
After a year of uncertainty and limited member use due to the pandemic, we are happy to see some normalcy settle in and increased member participation, as many COVID-19 protocols are lifted and fears eased a bit.
With a new 4,000 square-foot gym, dedicated cycle studio, group exercise room and cardio program, we are still developing programming and figuring out what our members want. We have two personal trainers and eight group exercise instructors, as well as TPI-certified PGA coaches on staff. From a player development standpoint, golf fitness has always been a topic within our programming, but now we have the facility and team in place to better facilitate the steps golfers must take to gain more distance, develop better balance or have more stamina during an 18-hole walk.
We kept members in the loop throughout the process and were transparent in regard to budget and timeframe. We communicated any changes and latest developments, as well as ideas for the space and programming that might be implemented. After building up a lot of excitement throughout the years of development and construction, we are now seeing the fruits of our labor.
Creating awareness among members has been a collaborative effort between our golf and fitness teams. New students coming for golf lessons receive performance evaluations that include a TPI movement screening, and game improvement packages now have a fitness component in place. Many clients come for golf lessons not thinking about improving their physicality, so it’s our responsibility to educate them on how golf fitness affects their playing goals. Our hope is to continue to expand our capabilities of golf and fitness working together.