By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
Scotty McAlarney is the Director of Golf at Scott Greens Golf Club in Scott Township, Pennsylvania. As the owner of the facility, he has a variety of duties and responsibilities, but after teaching the game for 30 years, player development with a focus on fitness is what he’s passionate about.
McAlarney escapes the cold Pennsylvania winters for two weeks each January and four weeks in March to host four-day boot camps in Florida that start on the beach and end on the golf course. After seven years of hosting these boot camps at International Links in Miami and Cooper Colony Golf and Country Club in Cooper City, Florida, McAlarney will be moving his sessions to Miami Lakes Golf Club in 2024.
The first session of each new four-day Florida boot camp kicks off on the beach in Hollywood, Florida, with breakfast to follow before heading to the range together. Each subsequent session starts as early as 7:00 in the morning, and all of these sessions are initiated with various PYGO (Pilates, Yoga and Golf Positions) exercises as a warmup.
McAlarney limits registration to four participants, though he has implemented this program with a college team that recently traveled all the way from upstate New York to learn from him and better their bodies and minds, as much as their golf swings.
“After four days of dedicated instruction, our participants are tired when it’s all over,” McAlarney says. “We put our all into every session.”
The curriculum includes on-course play and course management mid-week to break up the technical range and swing instruction. Some sessions are co-ed, while others are all women or men. The agenda is the same, and no matter the skill level of the students, everyone benefits from McAlarney’s instruction.
“It’s a variety of students – husbands and wives, friends, couples, buddy trips, etc.,” he explains. “It’s amazing to see the progress in their swings from early Monday to late Thursday. They’re very grateful for the improvement and are super motivated to continue their golfing journey from there.”
McAlarney says his students are serious about golf and committed to their game improvement. Whether or not they are fitness-minded when starting out with McAlarney, they certainly leave more knowledgeable about golf fitness, and they understand the importance of proper warmup and stretching after learning the PYGO principles that he instills into his instruction.
“Students are being trained to be able to apply these fitness concepts on their own,” McAlarney says. “Afterward, they can go online and access my other fitness programming on YouTube to continuously better their bodies and secure a better golf swing.”
He teaches balance and ground pressure and does it in the sand to start the week. Once they access more stable ground at the range, implementing the actions comes a bit easier for them. McAlarney uses Pilates and yoga techniques in his exercises and body motion drills, which sometimes means his students don’t even realize the progress their making in the mechanics of the golf swing itself. He’s instilling the right body movements and positions in the swing using specific muscle groups that make these motions more natural and repeatable.
McAlarney spends more than the scheduled four hours per day with his students in the Florida boot camps, as they’ll often share a meal or explore the area together as well. These sessions are barely advertised, as they sell out as soon as he sets his dates, often a year or so in advance!
Back home in Pennsylvania, McAlarney hosts a four-week women’s clinic that attracts more than 40 participants to every weekly session. The 90-minute clinics are facilitated by McAlarney and his six golf instructors, and they always start with a PYGO warmup period.
The instructors are local high school coaches that McAlarney certifies each year to ensure they’re communicating the philosophies and concepts that he’s applied to his technical golf instruction, as well as his PYGO fitness training.
“I like hiring men and women who are high school coaches because they’ve been vetted and have their clearances. I can count on their reputation as much as I can their coaching expertise and knowledge of the golf swing,” McAlarney explains.
McAlarney hosts men’s and women’s short-game clinics, as well as a highly-popular junior clinic that starts this month. With 35-40 private lessons given per week, much thought goes into how many clinics he hosts and when they’re scheduled.
Every one of these clinics is initiated with PYGO movements to warm up and include the patented Hitting Zone Swing Trainer that McAlarney created himself. “We rehearse some very important swing positions using the slow-motion concepts that are implemented in my PYGO training program,” McAlarney says.
“Everyone leaves the clinic sessions with swing drills that we call “homework” that can be done at home or at the driving range,” he adds. “Of course, the more diligent they are in completing these tasks that reinforce the instruction, the more progress they’ll see in our sessions and in their golf game as a whole.”
McAlarney creates relationships with his students that encourage them to transition from group clinics and boot camps to individual instruction that places a laser focus on their individual needs. McAlarney is proud of the fact that he’s had women golfers who picked up a golf club for the first time in one of his clinics, and they’re in a league at his course a year later. That’s Scotty McAlarney growing the game and doing it by forging relationships, caring enough to create opportunities, whether in Florida or back home in Pennsylvania and teaching the importance of fitness in his golfers’ lives so they can play the great game of golf for a lifetime.