Stefanie Ferguson, the 2021 Colorado PGA Section Player Development Award recipient, is a PGA Teaching Professional at Experience Golf in Aurora, Colorado.
Golf fitness doesn’t have to mean a huge performance center with a full team of fitness professionals. Golf fitness is about raising awareness of the physicality of the golf swing, and the importance of stretching and warming up before play. It’s about sustaining a base level of physical standards that help you on the course, rather than prohibit the vital moves needed for an efficient and effective golf swing.
At Experience Golf, we conduct many private lessons within an array of long-term coaching programs offered to golfers of all skill levels and experience. Golf fitness is present from the start via a 90-minute TPI assessment of every new client. Using the TPI app, we give our students a complete picture of their results that tells us what their body can and cannot do within the golf swing. For instance, if they can’t externally rotate their shoulders, we may not be able to get them into a flatter backswing position. We’ll talk them through the impact of what we’ve determined from the initial screen, something most of these golfers have never experienced before.
Some students just want to work within their current capabilities, but most of them want to improve upon those physical abilities to rectify the situation as best they can. The TPI app develops a workout based on their assessment results, and the length of the program can be manipulated based on the student’s time availability and dedication level. For the most part, students work on these programs on their own. But if they are even more serious about physical progress and golf fitness, with game improvement at the forefront, we’ll pull in a golf fitness specialist to work with these individuals. I try not to prescribe too detailed a physical workout, as it’s not my forte, preferring instead to incorporate a specialist, especially when injuries and ailments hinder the student’s potential even further.
I always make it clear to the student that his or her physical limitations will turn into golf performance limitations. And more often than not, they want to do what it takes to improve the results, even if they don’t have the time or physical ability to fully fix the problem. Our initial assessment and analysis really open their eyes to the physical side of the game – it’s not just a walk in the park.
We promote resistance bands as a warmup, and educate golfers on the benefits gained in distance, as a result. We dabbled with the TPI app last year, but have implemented it on a full-time basis this year. It’s really user-friendly, and students can see all the results of our assessment.