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Is Golf Fitness Your Niche?

In the past, many golfers were not concerned about being fit. Today, however, golf fitness conditioning has come to the fore as amateur and pro golfers alike strive to enhance their play and reduce the risk of common golf injuries. Savvy golfers are discovering that golf-specific training can help them improve their power, flexibility and strength, translating to better performance on the links.

If you have a passion for time on the links yourself, you may want to consider adding golf fitness as a profit center to your business. Here’s how other personal trainers are doing it.

One-on-One Training

Many personal trainers prefer working with clients one-on-one for golf conditioning.

“100% of my golf-specific training is one-on-one,” explains Greg Barker, CSCS, a personal trainer at NutriFormance—Fitness, Therapy & Performance in Frontenac, Missouri. “In my experience, each golfer has limitations that would make group work not unbearable, but tough to customize . . . to the individual.”

Jeannine Micheletti, owner of Personal Best training studio in San Bruno, California, also works individually with golfers. She has structured her golf conditioning package this way: a 1-hour initial assessment, creation of a specialized workout program that is emailed to the golfer, unlimited access to www.mytpi.com (which includes in-depth descriptions and video examples of her suggested exercises) and a 1-hour follow-up session. “Then I charge an hourly rate for continuing appointments,” she says.

Small-Group Training

Other trainers have capitalized on the social nature of golf by offering group sessions.

Kathy Ekdahl, CSCS, ACE-certified personal trainer and owner of Personal Best Personal Training in Hudson, Massachusetts, was formerly a staff trainer at The International Golf Club. “At IGC I trained golfers one-on-one, but I also trained couples and foursomes. Because golfers typically golf in groups of four, a foursome is a natural way to do group training. The foursome often competes in tournaments together, so a group session provides great camaraderie and improves the players’ competitive spirit.”

Personal trainers at RallySport Health and Fitness Club, in Boulder, Colorado, provide one-on-one as well as small-group training for golfers, notes Erin Marie Carson, CSCS, general manager and fitness director. The facility also provides golf conditioning for three local golf clubs. Clients have been so responsive to this type of training that RallySport has created a year-round golf conditioning program. Every phase offers small-group sessions once or twice a week. “Our program runs year round as part of a periodized conditioning program,” Carson explains. “Phase one is core stability and muscular endurance, phase two is strength, and phase three is power. We also offer a combination program throughout the summer months in conjunction with our golf outings.”

Business Benefits

Training golfers has proved to be a boon for some personal trainers. Here are some of the advantages:

Career specialization. “Golf fitness training has provided an excellent source of additional income for me in an area that has few female experts,” explains Ekdahl. “In a sport culture that is generally dominated by men, being a woman with this level of training in golf and love for the sport has made it easy to attract female clients. Being knowledgeable in golf fitness is also a great way to get into corporate settings, as executives often use golf as a way to entertain or do business with their clients.”

Additional services. Dale Huff, CSCS, co-owner of Nutriformance (where Barker works), adds, “Golfers are a passionate group, and once they are comfortable inside your walls, they bring their family members for various other services.”

For more information, please see “Personal Training for Golfers” in the online IDEA Library or in the May 2013 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.

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