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Sept. 24 2006 12:00 AM

Fitness Fact: Tips to Become a Golf Expert



  • Subscribe to a well-known golf magazine.


  • Purchase golf fitness books and videos.


  • Visit a local golf club, and take some lessons.


  • Attend a seminar or take a course on golf conditioning.


    Every year, more and more individuals join the seemingly relaxing game of golf. In fact, this sport is becoming a key market for many fitness professionals. As the numbers of active participation rise in golf (with over 25 million golfers in the United States, of which a significant number is affluent), the industry is beginning to see burgeoning opportunities through America's growing past-time. Moreover, enlightened PGA and LPGA professionals are also committed to keeping themselves in top physical condition through exercise to help avoid injury and improve overall performance. And today, the media has placed extra emphasis on fitness and injury prevention, and recreational golfers understand that an injury-free, physically fit body is an essential component to the success of their golf game. And more importantly, these athletes are aware that in order to obtain a physically fit body, they need to seek the help of a trained fitness professional... YOU.


    Establishing Your Credentials

                It is true that you don't need to be a golfer to qualify as a golf expert; however, it still is an advantage to acquire some knowledge, especially when training avid golfers. Thus, knowing golf biomechanics and terminology is a plus. Adding to your current expertise will require insight on the swing, golf-specific injuries and on- and off-course exercise development. Once you have familiarized yourself with such knowledge, your client training appointments will become more valuable.


    Golf Program Development

                The following plan will guide you through the proper steps for effective golf development:


    1. Health History Questionnaire and Waiver

    Learn about past injuries, goals and time/location of training. As with any type of fitness program, your first step should begin with a client meeting to gather information regarding past exercise and health history. You will also want to discuss your client's goals and place and times of training.


    2. Assessment

    Establish baseline measurements, which are useful for the re-evaluation, as well as the components that need to be improved on. To be consistently fit as well as meet the demands of the golf swing, individuals should concentrate on improving or correcting flexibility, posture, stabilization, balance and strength. Performing an assessment that includes these fitness components will help you design the regime and establish baseline measurements for future re-evaluations.


    3. Program Development

    Professional program development should follow a progressive format. Simple conditioning exercises and stretches should be implemented first. Following this, a conditioning routine that includes functional exercise equipment, like the stability ball, should follow. Then encourage clients to progress to more advanced exercises and techniques. Remember, incorporating other functional, low-tech tools will promote more challenging exercises.

                It is important in your program development to create conditioning programs that include exercises and stretches to prevent the types of injuries that occur from poor posture, incorrect body mechanics and muscle imbalance as well as from inflexibility and repetitive movement. In addition, your clients' regime should include conditioning exercises to develop the leg muscles for stabilization and power production, strengthen the abdominal and oblique muscles for trunk stability and power transfer, reinforce and stabilize the upper back, neck and shoulders for maintenance of proper set-up posture and develop the upper and lower arm for club control.


    4. Program Implementation

    When beginning to implement your professionally designed program, it is vital to

    demonstrate and instruct your clients through each exercise and stretch. Thorough discussion of how these exercises can help improve the golf swing will be beneficial for your client's improvement on the course. Therefore, your own ability to perform the exercises and stretches will advance this demonstration to your clients.


    5. Re-Evaluation

    Performing a re-evaluation is essential to demonstrate a client's improvement or where improvements are necessary before progressing to more advanced exercises and techniques. Therefore, using baseline measurements for such an evaluation is a necessity.


    Reach Your Target Audience

                Once you have established your credentials as a golf expert, you will need to find ways to reach your target customers. An

    outside-the-box approach will clearly set you apart from other trainers in your area. First impressions will set the tone, but more importantly, it is the quality of training that should be conveyed to your potential customers and will, in fact, be embraced the most. The following venues can be the beginning steps to focus your outreach:

    Local Country Club Seminar: A seminar at the country club is a primary step in reaching prospective clients. Step one is to contact the club's head golf pro. Follow up this first contact by preparing an overview of the seminar. For example, write a letter that defines the purpose of your  program, ' outlines the presentation and defines the time allocation. In addition, include a short biography of yourself and any other contributing professionals.

    Corporate Health Fair: Local companies and businesses represent an excellent and strategic opportunity for a health fair. This is due to the fact that many corporations use the golf course for solidifying customer relationships. Initial contact for this opportunity may be the Human Resource Director or in a smaller company, it might be the Chief Executive. No matter the title, these professionals are concerned with employee health and wellness. Therefore, prepare to impress the contact with a dynamic delivery of what your proposed golf health fair will include.

    Local Golf Outing: Consider offering the tournament director a supply of gift items for the "golfer goody-bags," usually distributed before or immediately after the event. Usually, directors do search for such gifts, and participants enjoy receiving them. Choose an item that golfers will appreciate one that will be used frequently as well as brand your company name and logo.

                Gina M. Piazza is the President of GMP FITNESS, LLC. For more info on her golf conditioning courses, visit or call 888.467.3488.



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