Greg Guman: Mask Fitness in Golf Instruction

Greg Guman, a PGA Quarter Century Member, is the PGA Director of Instruction at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina.

As someone who has a high number of women in my student base, it had become very evident to me that I needed to figure out a better way to demonstrate and ultimately teach them the relationship and the different uses of the upper and lower bodies in the golf swing (sometimes called the X-Factor). To do that, I came up with a new teaching program called “Ladies Circuit Golf.” It’s a 60-minute class offered two days a week (the students can come as often or as little as they want) that features eight stations, similar to the circuit training you see offered in gyms, ranging from hitting balls using a simulator to exercises such as wall squats, swinging a weighted club, one-leg balance, and other movements to promote that relationship. The whole key is that we’ve masked what’s basically a fitness program, getting these women in the best shape possible to make the proper moves in the golf swing, as a golf instruction program, and cultivated a ton of excitement around it as a result. I’ve got students coming up to me saying “I get it! I finally get what you’re preaching!” and we’ve seen excitement from their significant others who now want similar training themselves.

The program quickly became so popular that we sold out three months in advance. We keep it to eight people in a class so we can stay to this format: eight stations, one person per station, each station is two minutes long with a break built in for a bit of a rest period after the first circuit. Then we run the circuit again and will keep it going if we have any time left over. It costs $15, and while because it’s an ongoing program we don’t yet have a total number of unique customers (students don’t have to prepay; we project it’ll be around 45) or total number of income made from this class, we do know it’s already had ancillary benefits elsewhere. While 70 percent of participants were students of mine at some point previously, two have signed up for a Saturday morning off-season simulator lesson and two others have decided to buy golf clubs after attending the class. The women first started wearing golf clothes but have now transitioned to workout clothes, so we’ve seen sales of that kind of apparel in our golf shop increase. I can already see positive changes in both their swings and fitness in terms of the ability to correctly move the upper and lower bodies. So mask fitness inside of golf instruction. You may just get people excited to work out.