Golf Fitness is one of those things, that I believe, can often dramatically improve your golf game even more so than golf instructional lessons. Here’s why.
I recently visited the amazing Dave DuPriest at his recently opened FitGolf Performance Center in Wilmington, MA who is really a genius in uncovering weak (i.e.; non-performing) areas of your body that are detrimental to your golf swing and either improve or stabilize them.
Dave has a rich background in fitness including a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Umass-Lowell. He has also had stints as a physical therapist and personal trainer before opening the only FitGolf Performance Center in Massachusetts.
But I want to discuss more my experience when I visited so you can get a feel for how the process works.
First, when you walk in you notice right away that this is a top-notch facility from the immediate welcome area to the entire space just feels professional, clean and a “we-mean-business and take golf fitness seriously” attitude.
After meeting Dave (who is one of the most friendly guys you can meet) took me into a side room and began his Golf Performance Evaluation (which is just one service they provide). He asked me a ton of questions about me, my game, issues I’m having, etc. This is about understanding your history and goals.
Next, we went into a complete Functional Movement Screen and Anatomical Assessment. These are a series of very specific tests that help Dave assess strength, stability, mobility, etc. within your body. For example, some of the tests included things like shoulder rotation, spinal/pelvic rotation, abductor strength, etc. Each of these tests helps to paint further details of your golf swing motion and how this might be affecting your distance, consistency, etc. etc.
I loved this part of the evaluation because as much as you think you know your body you probably really don’t. One example was a glute test where I lied on my back and attempted to lift only my leg. I thought I did it fine and it felt fine. But Dave later shared with me that I was activating other muscles in able to do this. I said, “really!”
In other words things I thought were fairly strong (as I workout regularly) were not. So, I will say, almost without a doubt, you will find areas of your body that you had no idea were weak. It’s very fun to go through this.
After gathering this info we headed into the main training center which, by the way, is super state-of-the-art and has all this cool equipment including K-Vest 3-D motion swing analysis, Cybex power rack, Dynamic weight balance system, Keiser multi-purpose trainer, X-iser mini-step apparatus, treadmill, hydro rower, and two hitting bays with net returns. Very cool.
Dave had me put on the K-Vest which provides 3D motion analysis. It’s a type of strap-on harness that goes around your upper body and hips (you also have a sensor attached to your golf glove) that provides computer generated, digital feedback on your swing in 3 dimensions.
It’s able to measure changes in your spine and pelvic posture, alignment at address, pelvis and upper body turn, pelvic movement, upper body movement, etc. It also looks at your sequence of motion (kinematic sequence) This was great because after swinging with the vest on for a number of swings you can immediately look (and analyze) at the data on the close-by large flat screen monitor.
What was interesting to me that Dave pointed out was that I had excellent spinal rotation in my functional test but had a limited amount when swinging. Of course one was sitting and the other dynamic (swinging) so there was a definite stability issue that is not allowing me to fully increase my X-factor (separation between shoulders and hips) thereby possibly limiting additional distance. I had no idea!
Finally, we went on the the Dynamic Balance System Mat which helps measure balance at set-up and how your weight shifts in the golf swing. You basically stand on the mat and swing away. There are known patterns of successful golf swings which this procedure helps to measure against. It’s really fascinating to see how your weight actually shifts (in detail) throughout your swing.
Finally (we were closing in on 2.5+ hours) Dave has to take all this and interpret where the most positive change can be made. For me, it was a number of stability and strength issues – particularly in the flutes and abs which will help provide additional stability which is currently limiting my game.
Dave actually prints out the K-Swing summaries and all the *specific* golf exercises he suggests, based on his in-depth analysis. Mine are kind of like tissue paper now after reading and handling them so much!
Besides the service I mention above there are a number of other services including B3 SuperCharged Golf Fitness Program, Masters Program, FitGolf Handicap Assessment and more that you can see on the website below. The prices are very reasonable and in my opinion, worth EVERY penny.
Bottomline, I found this experience to be totally worthwhile in every aspect, and recommend it to any serious golfer. And my bet is it will uncover many things you didn’t even know that exist that might be limiting you from your total golf potential. Give it a try. Your golf game will thank you.