Jeff Hoke is the Director of Fitness at Dallas (Texas) Athletic Club.
I’ve been at Dallas Athletic Club for more than 16 years. Back when I started, there was no fitness department, and the fitness facility was a vacant office with five pieces of equipment in it. We had to get creative in those early days, using a lot of bands, and occupying areas of the facility not originally meant for fitness. Thankfully, we built a larger fitness center shortly thereafter, creating opportunities for increased programming.
Of course, back in 2005, when members came to us seeking general fitness improvements, “golf fitness” wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. Yes, Tiger brought the components of proper fitness into the golf spotlight, but players like Bryson, Brooks and even Phil at 50+ years of age have brought it to the forefront, and now it’s an integral part of many player development programs.
I became TPI-certified in 2007, which really transformed much of the attention from our general fitness programming to golf fitness programming. Today, I work closely with our PGA Head Professional Lance Patterson, a GFAA Advisory Board member, to bring awareness of the benefits of golf fitness to our members. Lance is adept at explaining to a student that their deficiencies in the golf swing may be attributable to their body, making it more difficult to attain the level of play desired.
With the facility built in 2005, my TPI-certification in 2007 and Lance coming on board in 2008, the pieces were in place to create an effective golf fitness environment for our members. The collaboration between golf and fitness professionals creates a golf fitness focus that helps students play better golf. With Lance’s knowledge of golf fitness, and mine of the golf swing, we can offer information and educated advice without necessarily stepping on each other’s toes. In fact, we are very aware of staying in our own lanes. But I am often asked, “How is this exercise going to help my golf swing?” Being able to provide a credible answer boosts my status, not just as a fitness trainer, but as a golf fitness professional.
As you can see, developing a successful golf fitness program is like a puzzle. Putting the pieces in place is how we achieve our goals – infrastructure, professional education, staffing and collaboration.
Educating members on the benefits of golf fitness is the last piece of the puzzle. We market our programming through the club’s newsletter, which gives me a chance to tell my story and share my expertise. It draws people in, and their success leads to word-of-mouth promotion. Through our Wellness Wednesday article, we provide fitness tips, healthy recipes and videos that are not always geared towards golf specifically, but bring awareness to the fitness side of our club.