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September 2, 2021

Katie Stowers: Take Fitness to the Golf Range

Katie Stowers is the Director of Fitness and Sports at The Clubs of Kingwood (Texas).

Katie Stowers on the importance of taking fitness to the golf range:

The Clubs of Kingwood encompass five courses, five pools, 23 tennis courts, six pickleball courts and a full-service fitness facility. With upwards of 3,000 members, we offer a lot of amenities to a large group of people. Our golf practice range is bustling with golfers honing their skills, warming up for their round or just enjoying time with family and friends. We recently kicked off a golf and fitness integration program, trying to get more golfers into our fitness center. We’re collaborating with our PGA Professionals to bring awareness of golf fitness and an understanding of the benefits of focusing on one’s fitness on the golf swing. Taking fitness to the golf range is a key driver of this goal. Doing this first will address those golf-only members who are usually there for one thing. They might hit golf ball after golf ball hoping for all those lessons to kick in, but often neglect signs their bodies may be sending them – slower swing speeds as they get older, less mobility, reduced stamina at the end of a round or practice session. The PGA Professionals are increasingly promoting the services we provide on the fitness side and are highlighting the benefits that golfers can see in their golf game. We have a Swing & Mobility program that enables golfers to have their swing evaluated by a golf professional, while a member of our fitness team evaluates their mobility through that swing, or as is often the case, the lack of mobility through the swing. Time slots are created and members are invited when known issues exist. We also communicate and educate through club email communications three times per week. If time and availability allow, we will allow walk-ons who want to educate themselves as well.

Katie Stowers on the business impact of taking fitness to the golf range:

We’ve also implemented this program on random Saturday mornings when we know there may be a lot of members present, possibly preparing for an event or tournament. Getting to as many members as possible is how we plan on growing golf fitness at our facility. Members have been very receptive and it’s been a great integration. By viewing the swing and discussing with the member, we try to determine the cause of any deficiencies – rotational issues, shoulder issues, etc. We’ll introduce our services and how we can help their golf swing, as well as help them live a healthier life off the course. We bring bands to the range to demonstrate exercises they can do to stretch before a round, or even on days when they’re not playing. This program began amid the pandemic as one of the few efforts we could make with our members in regard to in-person fitness. With COVID-19, there was very limited engagement within our fitness and sports complex, which made working with members on the golf range more feasible and attractive. A year later, we are seeing very positive feedback from members and are growing our golf fitness presence. We have several Swing and Mobility sessions scheduled throughout the year and host various pop-up sessions based on the availability of our PGA Professionals.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email katie.stowers@clubcorp.com.