By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
Established in Adrian, Michigan more than four decades ago, Gray Institute® is the brainchild of Dr. Gary Gray PT, FAFS, a world-renowned physical therapist, athletic trainer, personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, who understood the science of movement at an early age and developed the discipline of Applied Functional Science® to educate, empower and encourage others.
Gray Institute® was founded as a physical therapy clinic, performance training facility and educational institution. It was all about strength and rehabilitation back then, with several physical therapy clinics. When Gray and his team realized they were doing things a bit differently than most others in the field, they decided to branch out and share their methods with other professionals.
“Today, we are an educational company, educating anyone in the field of human movement,” Gray explains. “Our expertise is in prevention, rehabilitation and performance.”
The intended audience of Gray’s teaching is broader than ever and includes physical therapists, personal trainers, athletic trainers, strength coaches and yes, even golf coaches – anyone who deals with the three pillars of prevention, rehabilitation and performance. These individuals, dedicated to enhancing the lives of others, are collectively called “Movement Professionals.”
Gray feels that fitness at the club level should result in a happy, healthy and hopeful membership. “We use those three H’s all the time, because getting people to attain them drives what we do,” Gray states. He says a club full of happy, healthy and hopeful members is where people will want to be. They’ll want to dine, swim, play golf and enjoy time with family and friends.
Gray and his team are educating movement professionals at the top levels of professional sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, professional soccer and professional golf. “The common denominator across what we do is the biomechanics of human movement,” Gray adds. “It doesn’t matter what you’re striving to improve, we understand the biomechanics and can apply our tried-and-true philosophy across the board to be all things to all people.”
Because he was a golfer, the game was always on Gray’s radar. He understood the biomechanics of the golf swing and was getting an increasing number of golfers seeking his services for back problems and other issues inhibiting them from their peak performance on the course. This engagement morphed into golf performance, working with golfers to gain power and strength to prevent the common injuries many golfers face. When focusing on golf, you have to understand its demands and requirements. What does the body need to do to swing properly and effectively without injury, pain or discomfort?
Gray, and many other fitness professionals feel that “fitness” is a loose term when it comes to golf. You can be fit to run a marathon, but not necessarily have the mobility, balance and strength to walk 18 holes of golf and swing a club 90+ times.
“The goal is to get members fit for whatever activity they choose to perform – tennis, pickleball, golf, a walk on the beach, a 10-hour work day, etc.,” Gray says.
This should be the goal of all clubs and the fitness or health and wellness professionals they employ – help members attain the three H’s and join in their journey. Not only will you benefit in member retention, but the revenue generated from increased member participation at the club will also be greater.
Getting non-fitness-minded members healthier, happier and more hopeful should be a team effort. Whether they’re golfers or not, engaging them in conversation about getting fit for whatever they aspire to do with their time should not be overlooked simply because you don’t have a fitness team or gym at your club. Gray feels the golf professional should be part of that conversation.
Gray Institute® has long developed educational opportunities and special certifications for the golf pro that have broadened his or her knowledge of human movement, and we’re excited to announce a new collaborative certification program between the Golf Fitness Association of America and Gray Institute® in this month’s issue of Golf Fitness Monthly.