A team approach is just as important for a club member as it is for a Tour player, says Matt Kilgariff, PGA Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe (Calif.). Golfers often have a past medical history regardless of their age that may include injuries. He leans on medical professionals to give him critical insight as to what is safe for a player and their body.
All players on the PGA and LPGA tour have a team of professionals what work in collaboration to assist them with their physical and mental performance. The team typically consists of a golf instructor who functions much like the head coach of the team. Other members of the team may include, but are not limited to, a mental game coach, physical and massage therapists, a chiropractor, and a performance trainer. These additional team members provide feedback to the golf instructor on the status of their player and how best to serve their needs.
A team approach is just as important for a club member as it is for a Tour player. Golfers often have a past medical history regardless of their age that may include injuries. Although I am a golf professional with a major in Kinesiology, there is no way I have enough knowledge on all injuries and surgeries that my players have had and how best to deal with them as they relate to their game. This is where I lean on medical professionals to give critical insight as to what is safe for a player and their body.
As I mentioned in the May issue of C+RB, The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe is fortunate to have Todd Gill MPT OCS, a physical therapist on board to collaborate with me and our members. There are times when crossover with physical therapy and chiropractor care happens. Both can perform hands-on manual treatments and have a thorough understanding of orthopedic injuries and healing timelines.
ADD – If you do not already have medical professionals on your team, consider adding them. Why? I find that having professionals I work closely with improves member retention and confidence. Think about it this way … an injured golfer may leave the game and the club. Working with pros gives a member confidence that the swing they are learning is safe for their body and that the team will do all possible to keep them pain and injury free.
WHO – Find a medical professional who specializes in golf with a thorough understanding of the swing. Experience in an outpatient physical therapy setting or working sports-oriented chiropractor is preferred. Fortunately, TPI has a search function to find medical professionals in your area. A Medical 3 certified provider with TPI is someone who has dedicated themselves to understanding the game and the physical stresses it puts on the body.
MEET – Meet with candidates and ask them to do a TPI body swing assessment on a member or golf instructor. This will give you immediate insight about their ability, their willingness to collaborate, and their knowledge of golf injuries and biomechanics. Candidates must understand that golf instruction is the primary reason a member is seeking help. They must also be aware that collaboration is key to optimizing member experiences and outcomes, and that the golf pro as the head coach is the guiding force to lead the member on their path to better golf.
HIRE – Adding medical professionals can add to your revenue stream without adding to operational costs. Having a physical therapist and/or chiropractor on-site is a wonderful amenity and club offering that may set your club apart.
These pros typically require only small spaces to work. Utilizing existing space(s) in your gym or performance center is a fantastic way to get them started at your facility. Professionals can be brought on board as independent contractors. In this case, the club orchestrates billing members for services received and compensating the professional for service provided. With this type of contracted working relationship, the club creates a contract with the provider for services for a predetermined length of time and agrees on compensation for services at either an hourly rate or a percentage of sales. In this case, the club retains a percentage of the total sales. There is also an option to contract with the professional to provide services for a predetermined length of time, the pro retains the revenue or a portion thereof, and pays to “rent or lease” space from the club.
• Put the plan in motion and add to your team.
• Vet the idea of adding to your team with club management.
• Determine if there is underutilized space where a new team member could work.
• Ask club management, members, trainers, and other staff members for recommendations of professionals in expertise you are seeking.
• Check out mytpi.com. Go to “find an expert.” Search for TPI Medical 2 or 3 certified providers.
• Meet with candidates and ask them to do a TPI body swing assessment as mentioned above.
• Find the right person/s that you believe would be a good fit for your club, members and other teammates and work with HR on an agreement.
Matt Kilgariff is a PGA professional who spent much of his career working for Butch Harmon and the Harmon Family. He is currently the Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Prior to joining The Bridges, Kilgariff was Director of Player Development at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Matt has also been part of TaylorMade’s National Advisory Staff since 2012.