How does PGA pro golfer Jon Rahm—one of the top-ranked players in the world—hit consistent long and straight shots with his short backswing? The secret is that he’s adapted his swing based on his lack of back flexibility. Rahm’s unique swing is a great example of the Body-Swing Connection™, a pivotal element of Titleist Performance Institute’s (TPI) golf training.
Leading PGA coach Dave Phillips, top functional movement expert Dr. Greg Rose and a 52-member advisory staff founded TPI in 2003 to explore how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing. Since then, thousands of golfers have trained with TPI certified instructors worldwide. TPI experts include golf, fitness and medical professionals and the program places a heavy emphasis on teamwork. TPI is undergirded by the philosophy that there is one efficient way for a golfer to swing a club based on what he or she can physically do.
Club Members can easily take advantage of TPI certified training at PGA WEST. Director of Player Development Geoff Dean is TPI-certified. He works hand in hand with ACE and TPI certified fitness professional Lori Farkas to offer the integrated training approach. At the Citrus Club, Farkas partners with Director of Instruction Megan Rasmussen.
Dean and Farkas—who is level 3 fitness certified—have tag teamed for more than five years to offer Club Members the program. Both knew the importance of connecting golfers to the fitness club. Dean realized its value years back when, as a PGA Tour player, he trained with TPI instructors.
“My game improved when I incorporated a physical fitness regimen,” he recalls. “I knew right away I wanted to incorporate it into player development.” “And what’s unique, “he adds, “is that it’s a one-stop experience, in that members can take golf instruction, play on the courses, and train in the fitness club.”
Dean often hears from prospective and new students that they’ve lost distance or they’re not hitting the ball well. Through the TPI Level 1 screening assessment, he can quickly evaluate a player’s physical capabilities and how they tie into the mechanics of his/her golf swing.
“Most of my students have some sort of mobility and movement issue, so I look for areas in the body movement chain where there are roadblocks,” he explains, adding that he recommends that nearly all of his students see Farkas.
“When they come to me, I get background details on their physical history, and then I put them through the TPI physical assessment, which is 17 different movements through the golf swing,” Farkas says.
After the assessment, she, Dean, and their clients stay connected via the TPI app, which contains informational data such as the player’s physical limitations and swing characteristics, as well as a personalized training plan. The app also contains videos of the exercises they’ve been working on so that seasonal Members don’t lose momentum if they leave for the summer.
“The end result is that they are hitting, swinging more efficiently, and gaining yards,” Farkas says. “I love it when a client tells me: ‘You know, I’m playing 18 holes and I'm not hurting.’”
In addition to one-on-one sessions, Farkas leads two group fitness glasses weekly at PGA WEST and at the Citrus Club.
“TPI has this saying and it’s ‘more yards to more years,’” Dean says. “My golf students all want to hit farther, but they also want to play for as long as they possibly can. And the one piece of equipment they can’t replace at the PGA Tour Superstore is their body.”