By Brian Newman, PGA Co-Founder of Orange Whip Golf Fitness X, sharing the story of his business growth and how his golf fitness program is benefiting golfers today.
PROGRAM DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION
After graduating from the PGM Program at Florida Gulf Coast University, I developed a background in golf instruction, even having my own golf school in Ft. Myers, Florida at one time. During this period, I was bouncing back and forth between North Carolina, where I was the PGA Director of Golf at the Elk River Club, and my academy in Southwest Florida. As I was doing that, I started building my program called Golf Fitness X.
The program combined my knowledge as a teaching professional with the expertise I had as a person trainer. In doing this, I was able to target functional movements and fitness elements, like mobility and strength in golf-specific areas. Through the program, we were not only improving the student’s body, but his or her golf swing, as well.
As I worked with my students, and their deficiencies were exposed, I had to decide whether I would work around their limitations or take steps to improve upon them within our 60-minute session. I was creating short-term positive changes, while the Golf Fitness X programming would provide the long-term solution with its focus on golf and fitness.
This is important because there are many golfers who are dedi- cated to a fitness regimen, but haven’t trained their golf swing to match their physical improvements. I can get my students to throw a medicine ball harder into a wall, but I’m just training them to be a better med ball thrower. It’s all about how we apply the change in body to the golf swing. Former PGA Tour Professional, Bryson DeChambeau is a good example of this concept. As he was building mass, he was also swinging a golf club. His transformation was not only in his body, but in some substantial changes in his golf swing. This is called functional golf swing training, and I have always felt it was important to apply this concept so students would leave a lesson hitting the ball better than when they entered it. After all, we can’t expect the everyday golfer to have an unlimited amount of time to work on his or her fitness and golf game, with little regard for the plethora of other responsibilities that they have in their lives.
During those early years, I was so booked with functional golf training that I had to start conducting many of my lessons in class form so I could address several students at once. And that’s where my GFX program truly took off.
Understanding that the differences from student to student are vast, there are still some consistencies. In fact, every golfer, no matter what swing concepts he or she applies, will have five major body movement patterns in their golf swing:
• Bending (posture)
• Weight shift balance • Swing plane
No matter what physical condition a golfer maintains, these factors are still a part of his or her swing, albeit at significantly lower levels than physically fit golfers, better players or professionals, of course. Our golf-specific programming is designed to address each of these and make the golfer better at all of them.
The program was growing with each successful encounter with my students and I wanted to take it to scale. Sessions were selling out and I was bouncing around in multiple gyms and clubs. To scale it, I implemented a certification program to teach other golf professionals and fitness trainers how to apply it. I also decided to film the workouts, share them with my students and ultimately create a subscription service. We soon had about 100 members, half of whom were my existing students. The videos were mirror presentations of the in-per- son classes that I had been running. We even had extras in the back- ground reinforcing the teaching by demonstrating the moves.
That season, I was playing in a Carolinas PGA Section tournament and got paired with Jim Hackenberg, the inventor of The Orange Whip golf swing trainer. We traded pleasantries on the first tee, talked during the round and exchanged contact information after- wards. Jim had expressed a desire to incorporate The Orange Whip into the fitness side of golf training, but I really couldn’t imagine where we’d go from there.
He sent me his products, including the Orange Peel, which I adapted using bands to create instant posterior chain activation and mobility training. I immediately thought Orange Whip could be an ideal partner. We did a webinar with Orange Whip, and participants really took to the concepts and were interested in the products of this new unified front. Orange Whip would acquire my GFX pro- gram and we started to build Orange Whip Golf Fitness X.
Today, as the PGA Director of Instruction and Fitness for Orange Whip Golf, most of my engagement with students and coaches is vir- tual, and the majority of my in-person instruction is VIP-based or through special events where I put golf professionals and golfers through protocols at locations across the country. Our subscription program now enables golfers to follow the program in detail in the comfort of their home and in accordance with their own schedule.
Golf Fitness X in a nutshell:
- Combines golf and fitness
- Facilitates fast improvement in the golf swing
- Provides a good workout and an effective golf lesson
- Is approachable to the everyday golfer
- Portability allows students to work the program from home, the range or the gym
- Is a modifiable program
- Is suitable and effective for everyone
Brian Newman. Embracing the Golf Fitness Revolution in 2023. Orange Whip Golf Fitness X – Combining Golf And Fitness. PGA Magazine.