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Building strength for the course.

True golfers know that the most important piece of golf equipment won’t be found in a pro shop, and it can’t be measured in irons.

It’s a golfer’s fitness that is the key to a better game, where flexibility, strength and balance can make the difference between making birdie or par.

“For years golf was thought of as leisure activity,” says Ken Mengel, co-owner, physical therapist, and TPI Level 3 Fitness trainer at ForeFitness (forefitnessgolf.com) in California. “The perception changed when Tiger had his run and people began to notice how his level of fitness put him so much farther ahead.”

Like many in the industry, Mengel and his business partner Josh Loyo began to look at golfers as athletes, where strength and balance play a vital role into not only improving a golfer’s game, but in preventing injury on and off the course. They do that through their comprehensive training programs at ForeFitness that start with a full body assessment followed by a customized at-home and in-gym workout regime designed to take their customer’s games to the next level.

“Your body is something you can’t re- place,” Mengel explains. “You can buy new clubs every year, and you can get new tees and a new bag, but you only have one body. If you were told you could only buy one driver that would last you the rest of your life, you would likely go buy the best on the market. The same is true for your body. You want to make your body the best it can be for performance and for injury resilience. Getting strong is a way to prevent injury, and getting strong will improve your game.”

Many other gyms are beginning to adopt the “golfer as athlete” concept, opening up training programs around the world for competitive and weekend golfers to train their way to a better game. Golfers on Hawai‘i Island can perfect their performance at Innovative Golf (innovativegolf.com) in Kailua Kona, where pros use the latest technology to break down your swing and recreate it with proven adjustments to create a powerful difference at the tee. For athletic programs on Honolulu, the trainers at Hawaii Physical Therapy (hiphysicaltherapy.com) also offer a TPI certified program aimed at building better golf athletes.

For more information on programs near you, visit mytpi.com