Minimal-resistance training is helpful in building strength to improve movement. While yoga and pilates classes can help with flexibility and overall body awareness, they tend to be more than what most golfers are looking for. A variety of fitness options—as well as educating members in basic nutritional knowledge—will increase the value of a membership while also promoting the health of the individuals.
Considering what you can offer to club membership will help shape the culture of the club as a whole. As golf continues to lean on fitness gains to help with on-course performance, clubs also need to lean into fitness, to promote members’ health and well-being.
Country club fitness centers filled with cardio machines and lined with selectorized strength equipment have become a thing of the past. Over the past decade, clubs have begun adding popular group fitness classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Barre and Zumba. However, these types of group fitness classes—though popular and fun for members—do not directly correlate to on-course performance. There are a variety of fitness programs that naturally connect the dots for the members, while also promoting a holistic well-being approach.
Strength classes not only provide the basic knowledge of how to perform certain movements, but they also create a fun and energized environment where participants enjoy being pushed beyond their perceived limitations. Strength training is arguably the most important training any one person should participate in if they are looking to lose weight, improve flexibility, reduce injury risk and improve physical performance.
The most effective strength-training classes utilize a variety of training equipment modalities such as dumbbells or weighted bars. Minimal-resistance training classes are also helpful in building strength to improve movement. A very popular version of a minimal-resistance class involves kettlebells, which provides external resistance to a variety of functional movements that translate into better golf.
One of the most talked-about physical issues in golf is flexibility and mobility. As we age, our bodies do not move as well as they once did. While yoga and pilates programming can address the need to develop flexibility and overall body awareness, they tend to be more than what most golfers are looking for.
Offering a specific golf mobility and flexibility class prior to time on the range or the course would greatly enhance movement, which would in turn prevent injuries and increase quality of life. Understanding of golf-swing biomechanics, as well as overall fitness, is a crucial combination for developing specific programs that can help people move better.
In addition to programming that targets strength and physical movements, educating members in basic nutritional knowledge can have a huge impact on overall health. For example, providing a healthy cooking class, where members can learn how to cook a few meals using healthy ingredients, can go a long way in opening doors for a healthier lifestyle.
Clubs can also make food-allergy or gut-health testing available to help members maintain awareness of their internal systems. Gut-health testing reveals the levels of beneficial and harmful bacteria in our bodies. This knowledge can then be used to recommend supplements and specific diet changes that can maximize overall health and well-being.
Recovery-based programming is key to keeping members healthy and returning often. This type of programming educates members on what the different types of recovery modalities do and when they should be used to ensure appropriate recovery. Without education, recovery modalities such as hot and cold tubs, saunas, infrared saunas, compression garments, and steam rooms will not be utilized properly or to their maximum effectiveness for each individual.
All of these programs can be highly effective for keeping members actively participating in what the club offers, which will increase the overall value of their membership while also promoting the health of the individuals. If a club’s programming is robust enough, it should allow for anyone to come in and participate in any of its offerings and find significant benefit. Providing the right type of programming to target overall health creates a culture of awareness, activity and commitment to an improved lifestyle.
Keke Lyles is recognized as a leader in human performance. With experience with professional athletes and Navy Special Warfare operators. He now leads fitness initiatives at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe.