Chilly temperatures are reminders that winter is still upon us. But before you know it, golf season will be in full swing. Whether you are a duffer or a golf addict, now is the time to start getting ready. Certain limbering and strengthening exercises can help improve your game.
“Working out helps improve one’s golf game but physical conditioning is not about power as much as mobility and flexibility”, says American Classic Golf Course pro and Operations Manager Austin Ebersole. The nine-hole course is located behind the Acme on Bethpage Drive in Lewes. “This hybrid 9 green golf course is exactly what the doctor ordered. Whether you only have time for a quick 9 or want to play a traditional 18 hole round, the varying tee boxes give the course several different looks and allow you to use every club in your bag.” Riding Carts also available!
He maintains that stretching, eye/hand coordination, balance and building stamina are key ingredients for a successful round of golf. There are plenty of resources available to address those components.
Ebersole’s colleague at American Classic, Britt Marie Morrison, is a certified yoga teacher, golf fitness trainer and group fitness instructor and she just launched her new website (B)alanced. She also uses a self-care system called the MELT Method. It is designed to help individuals improve performance and “eliminate the mental and physical stress that accumulates from daily living”. Morrison holds a degree in Physical Activity and Fitness Management. Weather permitting, she teaches her yoga classes on the course. Most of her clientele are seniors.
Ebersole and Morrison are transforming the club’s garage into a fitness studio that will include a golf simulator that will be used to analyze strokes and techniques.
Another useful resource Jeff Seakan, Doctor of Physical Therapy, certified athletic trainer and TPI Golf Performance specialist. TPI stands for Titleist Performance Institute It is a certification program for golf fitness. Self-dubbed “Dr. Jeff” is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist. His web site is docphytness.com.
According to the site, Seakan utilizes physical therapy-based assessments to create customized training programs for “health and wellness, lifestyle enhancement, injury prevention, functional restoration and sports performance”. He practices his profession at Pivot but operates his golf and lifestyle training out of the Midway Motion and Fitness behind The Movies at Midway on Coastal Highway. Typically, he is on the premises Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
Manager Miguel Deleon says that about 90 percent of Midway’s clientele are seniors 60 and over and many are golfers. Anyone enrolled in AARP’s United Healthcare Medicare Advantage program can join the club free. (What??? Yes!!!) The fitness center recently struck a deal with Cigna that, like the AARP program, includes free membership.
The club’s seven or eight rooms are filled with upper and lower body machines, weights, treadmills and an array of trainers aside from Seakan for those who may not want a full-blown assessment for improving one’s golf game. For example, Deleon demonstrated the Surge 360, an easy-to-maneuver machine that helps with rotational movements used when playing golf.
Seakan’s extensive program begins with a 16-point TPI physical golf screening that assesses strength, stability, mobility, flexibility and balance. Clients can continue to work with Seakan after their assessment or proceed on their own. Beyond golf training, “Doc Phytness uses evidence-based practice combined with an extensive educational background to provide their clients with the best and safest approach to meet their fitness goals,” also offering special classes in topics like Injury Prevention.
Another option for starters from Sam Cresta, a golf professional at American Classic, is a three-day workshop he created strictly for beginners. It touches on fitness and covers all aspects of the game including securing a Tee time, golf etiquette, explanations of what club to use in various situations, driving the ball and putting.
The next workshop will be held March 29-31 from 3 pm to 5 pm. The cost is $250 and it includes a round of golf on the nine-hole course. Cresta plans to hold additional workshops in the future.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.