A Niche In Golf: Fitness Expert Trains Golfers To Be Their Best

After moving to Arizona and falling in love with golf 10 years ago, fitness trainer Andrew Fodge saw a need. “There were all kinds of programs and camps for other sports, but I never really saw anything for golf,” said the 36-year-old owner of Fitness by Andrew in Scottsdale. “As I got into it I saw a way I could apply my education and training into the sport that I had grown to love.”

“How could I help a golfer by not necessarily teaching them to ‘swing’, but by getting them to move their body better?”

That question has led to working with professional and amateur golfers alike. Using the latest golf fitness protocols and golf specific technology to analyze an individual golfer’s swing and find areas of weakness, Fodge works with the client to correct them.

Fitness by Andrew Fodge

Training Golfers

Fodge is highly qualified, earning his Bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a Master’s degree in physical education in the Northwest. He has also held certifications with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

On the golf side, he is recognized as a Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Level 2 professional and as K-Vest Level 2 Biomechanics Specialist. It was his newfound passion for golf that led him to develop his training skills and expertise specifically for the game.

“I didn’t really get into golf until moving to Arizona 10 years ago, basically just goofing around with my buddies,” he said. But the goofing around became more serious as he attempted to improve his own game. “I tried to start managing golf more than it managing me.”

He began training other golfers and that led to his first big client, former PGA Tour player and current Champions Tour player Michael Allen.

“He was the kind of person I wanted to work with and train. How could I serve him better as a trainer and how could I help golfers as opposed to other athletes?”

His client base has grown since then, with several Mini-tour players and amateurs as current clients.

“Golfers are about 30-50 percent of my clientele depending on the time of year,” Fodge said. “They are predominantly young golfers that are on the Symetra, Gateway and Pepsi tours.” “The amateurs are golfers that get to play pretty much every day, but they’re stuck. Their bodies are not able to do what they want them to do. I can improve their posture, swing and stamina, so they see that fitness can be an integral part of improving their game.”

The Specifics

Fodge uses a K-Vest, which is worn by the golfer and equipped with sensors to determine what parts of the body are being used – and which are not – in a golf swing. After comparing an individual’s swing data to the optimal norms of an efficient and effective golf swing, Fodge is able to determine what needs to be worked on to improve functionality in the swing.
The data can indicate if the golfer is under or over rotating, if they are early extending, checks their spine angle and more.

“I can print off my analysis and share that information with the clients’ golf pro,” Fodge explained. “I can work with the golfer, then as they train, I am basically sending their golf pro what is a ‘new’ golfer … one who can move their body efficiently and effectively to do what the pro wants them to do.”

“Golfers don’t always want to do the boring stuff to fix poor posture, to improve flexibility, to have better core strength, balance and range of motion. If they have those things great, we can move on to the strength building phase. But if we don’t fix those things first, then when they do strength training they could get hurt.  We test the upper body, core and lower body to see if they have equal distribution of strength and power. We might spend two or three months working on this … we’re always looking for that weak link. We’re picking out what to work on and within a short time, it’s insane how much people are improving their distance.”

It doesn’t take long for his golfers to see improvement.

“Within two or three weeks avid golfers will begin to feel that their golf performance is improving,” Fodge said. “They can feel an improvement at impact and a lot of them say they are becoming more consistent with hitting the ball where they want, with less effort. In a month I’ve had golfers hitting it 20 to 30 yards further and we’re not doing anything different other than improving their fitness.”

Golfers wanting to improve their fitness for golf can contact Fodge at 602-638-3000 or by email at andrew@fitnessbyandrew.com.

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