(and a guide to find­ing the right trainer for you)

The 50 Best Golf-Fit­ness Pro­fes­sion­als in Amer­ica

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - The Golf Life -

golfdi­gest­malaysia t didn’t hap­pen quickly. Heck, it took decades to per­me­ate. But fit­ness has be­come a big part of the con­ver­sa­tion about what it takes to im­prove as a golfer. Play­ers look­ing to swing bet­ter, faster, longer and, they hope, in­jury-free have turned to the gym to help achieve their goals. ▶ That’s why we be­lieve it’s time to in­tro­duce a new rank­ing—the 50 Best GolfFit­ness Pro­fes­sion­als in Amer­ica. This list, the first of its kind by a fit­ness- or golf-me­dia com­pany, was com­piled by Golf Di­gest’s ex­pert panel of train­ers, chi­ro­prac­tors, phys­i­cal ther­a­pists and doc­tors who nom­i­nated their peers based on their knowl­edge of the game, their knowl­edge of ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­ogy and biome­chan­ics, and how they ap­ply both in work­ing with clients. ▶ “Imag­ine choos­ing any pro­fes­sional sim­ply by walk­ing into the near­est build­ing and say­ing, ‘OK, I’ll work with you,’ ” says Ben Shear, Golf Di­gest’s Fit­ness Ad­vi­sor, who first sug­gested the list. “You prob­a­bly wouldn’t do that with a doc­tor, fi­nan­cial plan­ner, or even a golf in­struc­tor. Yet, ev­ery day peo­ple go to their near­est gym and sign up for an in­di­vid­ual train­ing ses­sion with­out know­ing whether the trainer is qual­i­fied. That’s how you end up get­ting hurt.” “Hav­ing the right cre­den­tials should start the con­ver­sa­tion,” Shear says. “But there are still some things to avoid.”

IS­teer clear of train­ers who are will­ing to put you through the paces with­out first giv­ing you a phys­i­cal eval­u­a­tion and in­ter­view­ing you about your goals, pref­er­ences for work­out in­ten­sity and your med­i­cal his­tory. Also avoid any­one push­ing group train­ing—like CrossFit—with­out know­ing your ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Worse: Throw­ing you in a group where you’re ex­pected to “keep up” with stronger stu­dents.

“Group classes can be a great mo­ti­va­tional tool,” Rose says. “Just make sure you’re train­ing with peo­ple of sim­i­lar abil­i­ties, and that the classes are small enough that you still get some one-on-one at­ten­tion.”

Per­son­al­ity plays a big role in find­ing the right trainer, says Lind­say Becker of Buck­eye Per­for­mance Golf in Dublin, Ohio. “It’s OK if they push you out of your com­fort zone a lit­tle,” Becker says. “But when you’re not look­ing to be pushed, and that’s all they want to do is work you un­til ex­haus­tion, it’s not a good match. Best to es­tab­lish right away what your train­ing pref­er­ences are.”

Rose agrees. “They need to match your life. First thing the per­son should say is, ‘What would fit your life­style?’ If all you can do is 15 min­utes a day, I’ll build you a pro­gram for 15 min­utes.”

Speak­ing of com­mit­ment, avoid train­ers who want to sign you up for any­thing long-term like an an­nual con­tract. Re­sults should be ev­i­dent fairly quickly, Rose says. “If some­one says it’s go­ing to take six months, you’re with the wrong trainer.”

Fi­nally, it’s an ab­so­lute must that the trainer is will­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with the golf in­struc­tor who best knows your game.

“It doesn’t have to be on­go­ing, but it’s help­ful to know what you’re work­ing on,” Shear says. “Many swing flaws are a re­sult of phys­i­cal is­sues that can be cor­rected in the gym. The trainer and pro can help each other out.” —RON KASPRISKE

jan­uary 2018

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