Fitness and golf are no longer considered strange bedfellows and gymnasiums are not now considered the exclusive domain of virile youngsters, talented athletes and body builders.
And according to member of The Brisbane Golf Club and Exercise Scientist, Matt Winkley, the time has arrived for his fellow golf club members to help breakdown those long-held misconceptions and help the club continue to be a leader in the golf community.
From Monday, July 31, BGC will be operating a gymnasium area in the Men’s Locker Room which Mr Winkley prefers to call a ‘movement space’. The gymnasium area will be open seven days a week for all members and classes will be supervised
“I would prefer it be called a movement space than a gymnasium because we don’t want the older club members feeling intimidated and thinking it’s an area for just the young guys, the big hitters or the gym junkies,” he said.
“It in fact is a facility for all Members. Warming up prior to a game of golf is important to everyone, but is particularly vital to the older population.
“The golf swing requires a number of moving parts from strength, mobility, power, stability, nutrition, body sequencing and motor control, all of which allows the club face to return square to the ball. Our sole quest is to provide each member using the new facility with the tools to improve these aspects of their game.”
The area in the Men’s Locker Room is not huge – 70 square metres – but is big enough to start what Mr Winkley hopes will be a fitness education among the BGC members. Easy-to-follow exercise charts will be on the walls and the necessary mats and stretching equipment available to members. Additionally partitions have been installed for privacy purposes.
“Any golfer will agree that a bad start to a round can ruin a golfer’s day,” he said.
“Warming up before a round, increasing range in those areas that tend to become less mobile with age, can hopefully turn those early double bogeys into just bogeys, or even pars. And, the bonus is that there is no charge.”
There will, however be professionally supervised sessions by Matt and his team at certain times during the week in the future, with strength and conditioning classes and Pilates sessions. And while the allocated space can be used by all members unsupervised for warming up and stretching, the use of weights and other fitness equipment is only permitted under supervision. A timetable will be provided shortly.
“While the space offered opens an incredible opportunity for not only the club to progress as a leader in the golf community, but it is an amazing opportunity for my team and I, as physical coaches, to redefine the value that a training space can add to a golfers’ game,” he said.
“It is my vision to use this space to break down the common misconceptions around gym for golfers being limited to just ‘the young people’, ‘the big hitters’ or the ‘gym junkies’. In essence, all golfers – and particularly those members of the ‘older population’ who have already lost some ability – will hit the ball further and better if they can move more freely as a human and create more stability, which leads to more power.
“We will be improving these disciplines with strength and conditioning sessions, as well as Pilates.”
Mr Winkley stressed that the sessions would be ‘fun’.
“Please be under no illusions – we understand a gym can be intimidating. But we fully grasp that 99% of members at BGC don’t play golf for a living and that training for the game should be enjoyable.
“We have every intention of making the sessions fun. We intend having circuit-based work with putting conditioning games, using the hill on the 18th hole and light-hearted competitive games.”
He added that the Pilates would create extra core stability to help increase club head speed but – just as importantly – also decrease the risk of lower back injury.
While the warm-up ‘movement’ sessions are free, structured sessions start at a cost of $29 for a single weekly session, up to $59 per week for the three strength and conditioning sessions and a Pilates class each week.
Bookings for these sessions should be made by emailing Reece McRae at email@example.com.
Included in the sign-up is:
- access to sessions every week with specific trainer supervision
- Initial testing including – club head speed; full Titleist Performance Institute screening; waist measurements; hip measurements; weight; golf injuries; golf handicap
- Nutritional information including access to golf specific data such as current research linking increases in physical performance and the golf swing, hydration and the golf swing and nutrition and playing better golf.
Ladies who need access to the Men’s Locker Room to use the new movement space are asked to contact the Office to obtain an access card.
– TONY DURKIN