May 1 / admin

The Problem with TPI and Golf Fitness

Golf Fitness has a Problem

Watch the Golf Fitness Academy Shows as they Premier on The Golf Channel

I just finished watching Episode 4 of the TPI show “Golf Fitness Academy: Season 7” on the Golf Channel.  This season is far better than previous seasons in the level of information provided.  Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips have really taken the industry to a new level with these episodes.  I’m noticing that the degree of sophistication has increased, that more detailed explanations are being provided of swing flaws and their causes, and that solutions are more unique and varied.  Then I imagine the viewer.  They are not like me watching with a notepad writing down quotes and exercises and taking excess joy in the programming.  They are sitting back on their couch and in one of a number of camps:

1. The skeptics: People who think golf fitness is “bullshit” because they’ve never worried about it before.  This could be the attitude of a player ignorant of their own body’s limitations or a teaching pro who doesn’t want to learn about functional anatomy and the root cause of their students’ injuries or inability to make the changes they’re working on.  It could be from someone who considers themselves old fashioned when it comes to golf, or who treats the game as purely leisure so doesn’t want to mix in anything resembling work.

2. The gym rats: People who confuse golf fitness with aesthetics.  It could even be someone who enjoys exercise but just isn’t convinced that issues like posture, balance, alignment, mobility, and proprioception are that important compared to a typical modern approach of using cardio and weight machines to try to look better.  It could even be someone who likes to work out with their own bodyweight or with free weights and other implements but doesn’t like to stretch or stray from lifting as heavy as they can, with goals like increased muscle size or strength in an exercise.  The workouts that Dave and Greg are doing are very different than what you would see in a commercial gym, so it’s difficult for this viewer to make the leap from their current workout to this very different approach, which would still end up making them look a lot better through improved posture with improved power through the core, legs and upper back.

3. The undecided: People who have barely been exposed to this information and are just trying to figure out whether this affects them, but as of yet they’re not ready to do anything about it.  They would probably never choose to watch people exercising on TV unless they happened to wake up midway through the P90X commercial.

4. The overwhelmed: People who believe in the message, and have recognized that their golf game and overall health would be much improved if they embarked on a golf fitness program.  These are the motivated golfers who need to be working with a TPI pro or another golf fitness expert who is highly trained in these concepts.  They are excited to watch the videos and may even get off the couch to try some of the exercises, if they can be done without equipment.  Unless they buy the DVDs when they’re made available in a few months or years, or unless they buy the videos from iTunes, chances are the information as it is being provided right now will be forgotten.  They will in all likelihood not take it upon themselves to come to the website and connect with a TPI pro.  Why?  Inertia.

This is someone who is watching TV.  Inertia tells us that a body at rest tends to stay at rest.  It’s difficult to get the television viewer to make that transition to going online and finding a real life expert who needs to be paid well.  They are being asked to jump from receiving information for free as they sit back on their couch, to making their way to a computer to do some research, and then taking the huge step of moving toward a real life connection with a trainer that would involve the viewer spending perhaps a few hundred dollars or maybe thousands over a longer period.  There are some who have made this leap but the vast majority of those who are now in the state of mind where they are ready to take action will not actually take action because they need the process to be easier.  They need to spend some time watching someone else progress through this kind of training and then be led to a local pro that can be specifically recommended to them or to someone who will be able to possibly coach them online through the use of video and skype or telephone.  There need to be more examples of ordinary people who have used golf fitness programs to improve their golf game and their lives, and who can give testimonials like what the TV viewer is used to seeing when they do wake up in the middle of that P90X commercial.

My pledge to promote golf fitness

Anyone whose watched a few of my videos or spent much time reading this blog knows I’m the biggest cheerleader ever for TPI who is not an actual certified trainer. I believe there is a huge future for golf fitness trainers to work both with clients in person as well as online. I’m dedicating to sharing my experiences as I work on my own game with viewers so that they can gradually be exposed to all of the great exercises and concepts preached by TPI as well as ideas coming from other sources who have their own unique input into improving performance through increasing the physical capacity of the player.  I promise that if any visitor of this blog or viewer of my videos needs help finding a local trainer or someone who will work with them online, I will help them.  Please feel free to contact me in any of these ways:

By E-mail:

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@Golfprogress on Twitter

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Below is a classic episode with 10 exercise suggestions:

  • Steven McDaniel

    Thanks for the post, Nick. I enjoyed reading it. nnBeing a TPI certified professional my job is to promote a “healthy golf life”. I look at my students from a “physical capabilities / limitations” point-of-view and what they are willing to do about it. I promote easy-to-do, almost always “at home”, exercises…in addition to the standard technique improvements. I have many students who are very thankful to understand the truth but are “too comfortable” to do anything about it. Then, I have a few who already training and are willing to add some golf related exercises to their daily regiment. nnMy job is to make the student a better golfer and if the body is standing in the way of that, the player needs to understand all the information and make the decision to act. However, if the player understands all the limitations but is unwilling to act upon it, I need to teach around these limitations. This is where a good TPI instructor comes in the picture. nnWe can not force people to do anything we are asking them, but we sure as heck can promote a “healthy golf life”.nnRegards,nSteven McDanielnTPI GP3