Implementing a Golf Training Program

RallySport Performance Golf

Within your gym there are a variety of members who enjoy different pastimes, sports and recreational activities, from biking and yoga, to racquetball and tennis. But what about golf?

According to Statista, in 2016 around 29.03 million people in the U.S. played golf, meaning that many of your members are likely among those participants.

With this in mind, RallySport Boulder wanted to offer a program that would improve the golf game of clients who enjoy the sport. Eleven years ago, it launched the RallySport Performance Golf program, led by Dillon D. Johnson, the club’s co-owner and lead golf personal trainer.

The RallySport Performance Golf program incorporates research from the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), which revealed that a properly functioning body allows a player to swing a golf club in the most efficient way possible; and that physical limitations in a player’s body can adversely affect their golf swing, potentially leading to injury. The goal of RallySport’s program is to help improve a client’s ability both on and off the course.

“Back around 17 years ago when Tiger Woods came out as this ‘fit machine,’ people started to look into things further, and researched how the body influences the golf swing, and basically, that information told us that if we have specific limitations on our body, we will see specific swing flaws or swing issues due to our body not being able to perform,” said Johnson.

RallySport Performance Golf puts an emphasis on areas related to: proper movement mechanics, strength and power, and joint stability and mobility. Clients go through an initial assessment test to identify what their needs are, along with what kind of training best suits them.

“We do everything from private group training, to small group training, to large group training — all with the goal in mind of making these people better at golf; whether they’re a junior golfer or someone who’s 85, [and everyone in between],” said Johnson. “Every individual is different, and the way we’ve learned to operate the program allows us to adapt to every individual that we see, so that’s kind of what we do in a nutshell.”

The RallySport Performance Golf program has been well-received and resulted in a plethora of success stories. In particular, Johnson recalled one client he worked with who started the program at 305 pounds as a 21 handicap, and was 214 pounds and a seven handicap four years later.

Here, Johnson shared advice for a club wanting to take the first step in implementing a golf-training program:

Step 1: Find a program leader. “If you don’t have a good program leader, there’s no chance it will be successful. That program leader is going to need to be a minimum of Level 2 certified from TPI, and has to be extremely business-minded and incredible with people, as well as practice what they preach. So, you could find somebody great who knows all the science and is incredible with the training process, but if they’re not great with people, the program won’t be successful. Basically, you need a sales and business person, who’s also an incredible trainer. And that person will kind of head-up the program.”

Step 2. Educate your members. “You need to present on these topics to educate the membership. I would say that if you’re going to put numbers on these, you have to educate before you promote, regardless of what type of programming it is. Otherwise, it’s going to be a waste — everyone will look at the sign, and move on.”

Step 3. Keep it interesting. “I would say that the programming needs to be exciting, fun and variable. I think people lose their interest and commitment when things are repetitive and start to get boring. Then they start to think they could do it on their own.”

While the program includes private training, small group training and large group training, Johnson considers group sessions “the bread and butter” of the program, because they allow clubs to “help the most people, while making the most money.”

Here is a basic outline, courtesy of Johnson, of a typical group training session:

  • First eight minutes is mobilizers, movements and coordination.
  • The next 20 minutes, everyone in the group is kept together doing the same workout.
  • The next 20 minutes is circuit training with a circuit of 8-10 exercises.

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