I'm always been interested in finding out how the latest research is being used to help golfers improve their performance. Recently, I got a chance to spend an afternoon at Golf & Body NYC. Their facility is home to some of the top experts in fitness, wellness, golf, and clubfitting. They provide their members with a comprehensive plan to improve their golf game at a state-of-the-art facility that is decked out with all of the latest technology.
I went through a full evaluation and got a chance to speak with multiple members from their team. Not only was it incredibly fun, but I got an opportunity to learn more about my golf game and how their expertise is being used to help golfers within their doors and beyond.
A Growing Trend
Indoor golf facilities are growing more and more popular every year. Many golf simulator businesses are sprouting up around the United States, which is taking cues from an explosion of facilities in South Korea. In places like New York City, where it's hard for city residents to get out on the course, they are a good option for golfers who are looking to get their fix.
Golf & Body NYC opened its doors in 2013. Right from the start, it separated itself by creating a private club experience in the heart of the Big Apple. Their goal was to bring together the latest expertise in golf, clubfitting, fitness, and wellness, and offer their members an unparalleled experience in their state of the art facility.
Members of GBNYC get access to experts in multiple fields who provide a customized plan to improve their golf game holistically. On top of that, they get access to a private club experience in their sprawling 25,000 square foot facility.
When you first step out of the elevator, it's hard to believe you're still in the middle of New York City. It's a lavish setup that has everything a golfer could want. They've taken the high-end country club experience and translated it to an urban setting. I was excited to spend the afternoon there and go through the evaluation process.
My Evaluation Process
Every member who joins GBNYC goes through an evaluation process with their professional team. I went through the process to get an understanding of how each department works together to help each golfer reach their goals.
The first step is to complete a questionnaire to learn more about the golfer's current performance and their goals. The information is shared with the team so they can learn a little bit more about you before going through their assessment.
There are three parts to the evaluation - mobility, fitness, and golf.
I first met with Bradley Borne, who is the director of sports medicine. He took me through a proprietary test that helps determine my joint mobility throughout my body. The goal is to find problem areas and address them to prevent injury.
Bradley found some rotational issues with my hips and shoulders as well as a few other areas. I had been working on some of these problem areas already through a golf fitness program, and he gave me some additional exercises to help prevent issues down the road.
Next was a fitness assessment. Jason Jenkins put me through a series of strength tests. Similar to the mobility assessment they are looking for problem areas (each element gets a rating of red, yellow, or green). My upper body strength was deemed plenty sufficient, but where I struggled is with my lower body strength and control.
The goal with each body assessment is to share the information with the golf instructor so they can understand where the player has deficiencies and limitations. Also, each member is given a personalized fitness plan so they can address their specific problems to prevent injury and help increase their performance on the course.
I spent a couple of hours with the head golf professional Ron McDougal. The golf evaluation was intense and incredibly fun for me. We first went through a miniature combine on Trackman. Ron had me hit multiple shots to different targets with different clubs. He was keeping track of my impact location as well as plenty of other data points that Trackman provides (swing path, ball flight, distance control, etc.). Ron then hooked me up to GEARS, which is like having a CT scan of your golf swing. Wearing a suit with multiple sensors, we were able to get a real look at how my swing works.
Lastly, we went through a putting evaluation to see if he could pick up on any issues in my stroke and setup.
Ron and I spoke a lot about my goals as a player, which were to improve my performance in local tournaments and try to get my handicap into plus territory (interestingly, I achieved this goal a month after my visit).
I have a somewhat unorthodox golf swing, with a very extreme in-to-out club path. Looking at the Trackman data and GEARS we were able to see how I control my ball flight, but it also gave some insights into things that I have to work on, such as neutralizing my path to gain a little more consistency.
Strangely enough, Ron's insights into my putting were perhaps the most fruitful discovery. He noticed my shoulder alignment was well left of my target, which has been the source of a lot of putts being pulled. I've been working on it since with my putting mirror at home, and it's helped quite a bit on the course already.
A Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter also gives Golf & Body NYC members a full equipment analysis - Pete's Golf. The second floor is outfitted with a state of the art studio. It's extremely impressive when you get upstairs - they have an endless selection of clubheads and shafts to fine tune your equipment.
Two members of the Pete's Golf team, Sonny Burgo and Rob Larosa, are available throughout the week to evaluate your equipment and make sure its fine-tuned for your swing.
I've worked with Pete's Golf for several years now through the site and learned a lot about them. They've also fitted me for almost every club in my bag. One thing to note is that their clubfitting services are available to non-members. So if you live in the New York Metro region, this is an excellent opportunity to work with one of the best in the industry (you can schedule a fitting by calling GBNYC directly or scheduling online). Beware though; you'll never want to leave once you get inside.
Putting It All Together
When new members of Golf & Body go through this evaluation, they are given a customized plan to tackle their mobility, fitness, equipment, and golf swing. After going through the process with each instructor, a report was prepared on my behalf to show me how they would help my game from multiple angles.
Lately, I've been writing more about how I've taken a more serious approach to my body and how it relates to my golf swing. At 35, I want to make sure I keep myself injury free and also find ways to improve my game. I've seen the benefits already, and meeting with the team at GBNYC gave me even more clarity of what I need to work on. I'll be on my own, but I can see clearly why members of the facility rave about the support they receive.
By the end of the afternoon, I didn't want to leave. The whole place is pretty much a golfer's dream come true. Additionally, it was great speaking with each member of the team, and learning how they are incorporating the latest research in their field to help golfers reach their goals.
You can learn more about Golf & Body NYC on their website here.