Take a Step Toward Walking the Course

walkingLove, love the golf cart – that mini-car of camaraderie and competition. The cross-course quickness, the searching and circling for lost balls, the charging up ahead to see what’s what – love it all! The wind in our hair! Stowed snacks! Scorecard and pencil at the ready.

Walking the course brings another rhapsody – about building fitness and health, and being one with the golf course. No doubt about it, 18 holes (6 miles, estimated) is a long walk. But take heart, there are ways to bring fitness and the close-to-the-course feel to any round, even when carts are required.


  • Walk the front 9, ride the back 9.
  • Take turns walking. Let your cart partner drive to the next hole or ball while you hoof it. Then switch places. Many of my super-smart golfer friends do this – love it.
  • Keep it light. If you’re walking, use a pushcart. Only bring the clubs and balls you need.
  • Love your feet. Be sure you have comfy, light supportive shoes.
  • Water! Bring it, drink it. Staying hydrated is smart.

Even 30 minutes a day of walking can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase energy and stamina, reach weight-loss goals and improve bone strength according to the American Council on Exercise. Find opportunities to incorporate fitness into your round – it’s a winning golf strategy!

Winter Project – Getting (Golf) Fit


tpi-237I stood on one foot, shut my eyes – and toppled over. Jeff Goble, Director of Instruction at Kendall Academy watched the leaning tower of womanhood and made a notation: under 5 seconds. A typical golf pro holds the no-peeking pose for more than 28 seconds. OK, yet another reason why I’m not a golf pro. But can I improve balance and other physical roadblocks to my better golf game? Yes! And raise my overall fitness level too. Game on.

We met with Jeff a couple of weeks ago at Miles of Golf, and he put us through a series of simple exercises designed to identify physical limitations that impact our golf games. Jeff is a certified instructor for the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). After the assessment with Jeff, the program generated a personal fitness handicap and a just-for-me routine delivered through the MyTPI website, complete with scheduled workouts, video instruction, and plenty of information on golf-specific health and fitness.

It’s like having a personal trainer show up at the house 3 days a week.

“A golf fitness regimen starts out as something you do to lower your score,” said Dr. Greg Rose, a co-founder of TPI. “People aren’t thinking about their health at all. But it ends up making you more fit over all. It recharges people, and they play better too.”

Sounds good! So we’ve embarked on a 6-week TPI Workout Program after which we’ll head back to Jeff for a progress assessment.

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It takes half an hour, nothing too strenuous.  Wear comfy workout clothes, sneakers and bring golf shoes if you wish.  No clubs necessary.

First we chatted with Jeff about expectations, any physical limitations, how the program works, etc. We hit a few 9 irons while he videotaped, so he can give our swings slo-mo scrutiny. Then we went on to the main event, about a dozen exercises to assess flexibility, core strength and balance. Jeff is a walking ad for the program, demonstrating the moves to perfection. He’s also patient and humorous. It all looked easy. Looks deceive.

Within a couple of days we received our official TPI e-welcome, login info and evaluation findings including our personal physical handicaps and inspirational/motivational remarks. You have over 180 degrees of flexion in your lat muscle on the right. Normal range of motion on the PGA Tours is over 180 degrees”. Very rewarding. Or, “It was very difficult for you to stabilize your pelvis in the bridge position, which indicates a weakness in the left glute”. Oh yeah? Just wait 6 weeks!

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I logged into MyTPI and clicked on the first of my personal workouts. Each is demonstrated in a video that can be downloaded to an iPod. You can print off the exercise info too.

Some folks may head to the gym to do the TPI exercises, but I’ll do them at home, opening up the back sliding door and looking out at the still-green world. Winter’s ahead, but I’m thinking spring.

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We’ll update you on our TPI progress.
If you have questions about the program, contact Jeff Goble.