Where to Start:
Networking to Grow

Kathy Ekdahl is a Staff Golf Fitness Trainer at Willowbend in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

Willowbend has beautiful fitness facilities that promote a healthy lifestyle through fitness programming, wellness and nutrition, massage and physical therapists. However, our club had no golf fitness professional on staff prior to my arrival. Having owned my own gym back in the 1990s, I know fitness programming and how to introduce new ideas to potential new clients.

Willowbend has a great professional team of trainers who have their members’ best interest at heart. These individuals are not golfers, however, and haven’t introduced that aspect of player development to their membership. As the first TPI-certified golf fitness professional at Willowbend, I am excited about the potential I see in the programming we can implement for our members.

To effectively bring golf fitness to a facility that hasn’t offered it before, it is important to network with other like-minded golf and healthcare professionals in your area. As a new golf fitness professional at a facility, having these referral sources is vital to growing your clientele, as clients often come from people who already know and trust you. Network with physical therapists, massage therapists, golf professionals, chiropractors and even other trainers who don’t do golf fitness to build your brand and get referrals. Of course, as a private club, we have a captive audience, and getting your name out there builds credibility in-house, as well. As mentioned, Willowbend has an established fitness program with a team of professionals, but golf professionals weren’t an active part of that group, until now. Gaining the support of our PGA Professionals and golf instructors is an important component to developing programming that meets golfers’ needs, even if they don’t know it yet. Sharing the message of awareness and education is huge in building a golf fitness program.

I actively reached out to the PGA Professionals at Willowbend even before I arrived, and now engage with them on a weekly basis. Furthermore, I have made a concerted effort to find golf professionals in our area who do not have a golf fitness presence at their facilities, to introduce myself and discuss ways that we can help each other grow our businesses.

I brought on a physical therapist upon my arrival at Willowbend and, together, we strive to deliver the most effective attention that addresses our mutual clients’ needs. Now, we have

a multi-faceted approach: PGA Professionals teach the swing, fitness professionals evaluate what areas of the golfer’s body needs improvement and the physical therapists serve as a resource for those who require rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries or other physical ailments. It’s a great way of building your fitness circles and offering a variety of services to your clients.