The Team Approach to Game Improvement
Tark’s Indoor Golf Club is committed to providing students with the most innovative, effective and enjoyable golf improvement program you will find anywhere. Our state-of-the-art simulators, instructional tools, and coaching techniques we will enhance your learning experience while accelerating improvement.
Tark’s “Team Approach” is a philosophy that brings together the very best in golf instruction, fitness training, and medical fields to improve golf performance. The following discusses how these elements fit together and the importance of teamwork between these elements.
If the player is a race car, the golf instructor is the race car driver. Ultimately, he is the one closest to the action. As Dave Phillips, co-founder of TPI states, the golf pro is the “top of the food chain.” No matter what advancements we come up with in other fields, the game will always be about swinging the club, hitting the ball, and finding a way to get it into the hole in the fewest number of shots. The golf professional can also wear different hats, most notably in the biomechanics and equipment fields. However, much like a race car driver does not fix his own car or build his own engine (though he has an idea of what he needs under the hood to make it work), the best pros team up with professionals in the other fields to create the best physical template on which they can apply golf specific mechanics.
The fitness professionals partner with the medical team as the pit crew. If the car isn’t properly tuned and doesn’t have a powerful engine, it doesn’t matter how good the race car driver is. The main roles of the fitness professional are to address non-painful movement dysfunction, build physical capacity, and develop injury resistance. With thirty-six hole rounds commonplace in college golf, USGA qualifiers, and international team competition, conditioning is paramount. Even at the recreational level, we frequently hear players complain they aren’t able to practice or that they can’t get into the positions their instructors are asking them to do. This all too frequent phenomenon stems from insufficient communication between the golf instruction and fitness realms. Use your fitness and medical professionals to match the swing to the body, both now and as the player evolves.
Medical Professional (Physical and manual therapy)
Primary job of the medical professional is to deal with painful movement. Within the medical field you have a whole group of subspecialties, though therapy and orthopedics are the most common in golf. The medical team must also understand swing characteristics, physical limitations, and equipment and how they interact to cause pain. Sometimes the medical team needs to consult with golf professional when an injurious swing pattern is most effective or if dysfunctional swing pattern is necessary to keep player out of pain. Coordination between the medical and fitness elements is important to facilitate proper progressions after an injury.
Specialists in areas such as 3D motion capture and force plate analysis. The field of bio mechanics gives us the most detailed picture as to what is really happening in the swing. Thanks to the increased availability of 3D motion capture and force plate analysis, you’ll find many golf instructors, fitness professionals, and medical practitioners double dipping into this area.
The intersection of equipment and fitness is often overlooked. It is important to recognize the evolutionary process that comes with changes to the body and coordinating those changes with appropriate equipment. The player can get healthy, in shape, and pain free, but if the clubs don’t fit, the body must make compensations to fit the clubs, which can undo all the good things that happen in the gym and therapy clinic.
Everyone is to some extent practicing psychology with the player, but psychologists are the ones with formal training in this area. Within the sport psychology field there are different specialties, from course management to non-golf related emotional counseling. Although the term sports psychologist was virtually unknown thirty years ago in the mainstream, sports psychologists have become an integral part of most high performance teams.
Nutrition is not just important for professionals playing over 100 holes in a week and practicing several hours a day, but also for amateurs who wilt down the stretch of their rounds, partially due to lack of fitness, but also due to poor fueling. Nutrition is not just “what do I have at the turn” but more importantly an understanding of sound eating and hydration habits both on and off the course.
The game is more competitive than ever across the globe, due largely to the level of talent that has entered the golf performance field to support an increasingly gifted pool of players. Smart players will seek out the top professionals in each of the main disciplines and professionals will form teams to support the best players. These relationships are commonplace at the professional level and will continue to increase in the coming years. Amateur players desiring to maximize their playing potential will seek out local support teams to maximize their own playing ability. If you treat your body like highly tuned race car and entrust it to a skilled driver, then good things will happen.
Tark’s Indoor Golf Club – www.tarksindoorgolf.com (Indoor & Outdoor Instruction, 3D Biomechanics, Club Fitting/Repair, TPI)
Saratoga Wellness – www.saratogahealthandwellness.com (Fitness, Nutrition, TPI)
LaMarco PT – http://www.lamarcopt.com (Physical Therapy, TPI)
Saratoga Sports Massage – www.saratogasportsmassage.com (Massage Therapy)
Saratoga Back Pain and Sports Injury – http://www.mattsmithchiropractic.com (Chiropractic)
Saratoga National Golf Club – www.golfsaratoga.com (Golf, Outside Instruction, OEM Club Fitting, Equipment, TPI)
Pro Mental Golf – www.promentalgolf.com