To complete our assessment process, the golf professional will take you through a general summary of our findings while connecting the dots of what you do, why you do them, and what they specifically result in. While doing so, we will create a screen cast which will record the combination of everything being said along with the play through of your swing videos, trackman, and biomechanical data, in which you will receive via email. At this time you will be shown your personalized practice program (your “Play Book.”) Your Play Book, will greet you with a reminder of your very specific goal (s), followed by a practice journal, a lessons note page, and most importantly, a specifically ordered set of drills with detailed directions, pictures, sets, and reps.*Note: Playbooks will be given to client after committing to one of our programs. Our first lesson will provide the opportunity to instruct you how to perform your assigned drills and practice regimen to perfection. We will conclude the assessment informing you of our available programs, along with our recommended direction in order to best achieve you goals. You will also receive an Individualized TPI Findings Report, and an online TPI Home Program one to three days after your assessment.
Answer: SMART Program
The very first program we developed is our SMART Program, and is definitely our most popular. This program was designed with one question in mind; in order to provide us the best opportunity to create 100% satisfaction, or in other words, truly help 100% of our clients achieve their specific goals, what’s the minimum amount of time commitment with our coaches, and facility access needed, to give themselves the best opportunity to accomplish what they have sought out to? The SMART program is what we would consider the minimum commitment needed to truly partake in the SMART Golf & Fitness Instruction experience, and maintain our 100% satisfaction rate.
The program requires one 2 hour visit per week (or 2 one hour visits per week for those who prefer) making it very practical from a time obligation standpoint for most people. This program also allows an unlimited amount of practice. We stress how important it is to avoid long absences between sessions and our programs prevent that from happening.
SMART & SMARTER Programs/Memberships– Clients in these programs will have full facility access and preferred scheduling of unlimited private simulator use. This means clients in this program can schedule practice sessions up to three months in advance utilizing our Trackman and camera technology. We allow our clients to schedule one hour of practice per day in our hitting bays, however, if there are no lessons being taught, practice can be available until the bay is needed for other appointments. Our putting/chipping green, and gym are always available, but again, time must be scheduled to use them.
SMART Loop– Clients in this program are able to schedule four hours of private simulator practice and gym use per month (1 practice session, and 1 workout/ week.) Clients can schedule these sessions up to one month in advance. Our putting and chipping green is also available for four additional hours per month.
SMART Dozen– Clients in this program are able to schedule three hours of private simulator practice and gym use per month. Clients can schedule these sessions up to two weeks in advance. Our putting and chipping green is also available for three additional hours per month.
SMART Sampler– Clients in this program are able to schedule two hours of private simulator practice and gym use per month. Clients can schedule these sessions up to one week in advance. Our putting and chipping green is also available for two additional hours per month.
We want to give our students, as well as our staff, the best opportunity for success and satisfaction–our staff working together on all facets of your golf game, will give you the highest potential rate of success and return on your investment. Our fitness sessions are an extension of your golf lesson, further engraining quality athletic movements and skills, in a less outcome biased environment.
Our fitness staff has an in-depth knowledge of the golf swing, and the physical capabilities necessary to improve the efficiency of each players’ movements.
Our golf staff has an in-depth knowledge of the human body, and the role that it plays, when introducing new motor patterns and skills necessary to improving one’s golf game.
Our golf “lessons” can be physically demanding.
An effective golf coaching program incorporates both technical and physical skill acquisition to ensure quicker, more long-lasting results, speaking specifically to making swing changes/ improvements.
Most struggles you may have experienced during previous lesson environments, were most likely linked to a physical limitation of some sort, or lack of understanding from your instructor on what is truly needed for as an individual to successfully make a swing change.
Better athletes have a greater potential to become better golfers.
Most golfers will experience pain and/or injury at some point in their golf career–our fitness programs focus on determining (and eliminating) the underlying cause of pain and attempt to minimize risk of future pain and injury.
If you already have a trainer, you have great physical screen results, or are completely adamant about not getting involved in the physical training component of what we offer, then we do allow you to purchase our programs with golf only. You must first go through our assessment before this is decided, and the cost of golf only programs do go up in price.
Golf Fitness Only
If you are only interested in our fitness services, you can join one our programs at the prices below. You will also get unlimited access to the gym side of our facility.
To provide us the best opportunity to create 100% satisfaction. In other words, truly help 100% of our clients achieve their specific goals.
Without looking into the exact number of three months, it’s more important, to look at a time frame in general. In each program there are a certain number of sessions you will have along with your practice privileges. By placing a time frame to fulfill those sessions we can ensure constant contact, and avoid long periods of time in between visits and practice sessions. Three months is just what we settled on to be the minimum time commitment needed with our coaches and access to our facility, to give you the best opportunity to accomplish what you have sought out to.
The fact of the matter, is that the golf industry has played a major role in conditioning a large percentage of the golf population into believing that reading tips in a magazine, and taking the occasional one hour lesson can consistently result in long term improvement. Think about it, if the tips can’t help, why are experts sharing them? If one, one hour lesson can’t ensure improvement, why are they offered? Although, these two options can occasionally result in a temporary sense of improvement for some people, they are way too general, short-term, and will 100% not help everyone. We at SMART, are not comfortable offering a service that couldn’t help 100% of the people walking through our door.
Reverse Handle Bars Story.
To give more insight in why we enforce a minimum time commitment of three months, we would like to share a story of a very relevant experiment conducted by an expert engineer.
“It’s like a riding a bike. You never forget how to ride a bike.” This was the statement this gentleman decided to put to the test. This was the statement that sparked the creation of a very unique bike allowing this very relevant experiment to come to fruition. This very unique bike had one major distinct difference from the bike we have all learned to ride. It had a special gear welded into the handle bars, so if you attempted to turn the handle bars to the right, the tire would turn to the left, and if you turned the handle bars to the left, the tire would move to the right; the exact opposite of what our brain had been trained to do.
The individual decided he was going to learn how to ride this bike. He decided he would practice every day, but for only 5 minutes at a time. Well, to make a long story short, after eight months he was finally able to ride this bike. I would imagine if you had to guess how long it took him, you would have said a lot less than 8 months! It must be mentioned that after he had learned to ride this bike, he challenged hundreds of individuals, all whom knew how to ride a bike, to ride this altered bike. He was an educational speaker for several very large groups specifically tying in his experience with this bike into his presentation. He would challenge any person who was brave enough to attempt to ride this bike. Not one person was able to accomplish the task in their first introduction to the bike. This forty-four year old man decided to take the test to another level. He decided to build a smaller version of the bike for his six year old son who had been riding a bike for less than three years. How long did it take is son? 2 weeks!
Knowing his experiment was not over; after-all, he was testing the theory “you never forget how to right a bike.” He decided to hop on a regular bike. He very quickly discovered he was unable to ride it! Finally, after only twenty minutes of attempting to ride the regular bike, his brain was able to rediscover the original ‘algorithm,’ and he could, once again, ride a bike.
So, what in the heck does this have to with golf instruction, and how can this help us answer why we enforce three month commitments?
This is only one example of learning a new motor pattern. Some may argue that the golf swing has a lot more moving parts and complexity than what this man had sought out to accomplish or even vice versa. Either way, learning how to perform an unfamiliar motion, under pressure, with no conscious thought of the task takes time. It takes time to learn how to be a good student, learn how to practice appropriately, and obviously time for the actual tangible aspect of practice. This becomes an almost impossible job to accomplish in one hour, but not just only in one hour, but not consistently working to improve whatever the certain objective is on hand.
We would all hope and like to think, that we are all great students, and can take everything that was taught in the hour, go on our way, and have the discipline and the necessary detail oriented practice habits to ensure constant progress towards our goal. However, there are several characteristics that play a major role in in the pace someone will be able to learn and create a new swing characteristic without severe conscious thought. It’s our job to make sure our students reach their goal, in this case, the majority of time, that goal is to get better at golf in one way or the other. That said, we have discovered the less time in between visits and practice, the better ability we can ensure constant progress and truly expedite the learning process.
**To look a little deeper into several characteristics that need to considered, when determining the rate and time it will take to learn a new habit, or specifically, make a swing change refer to CHARACTERISTICS THAT DETERMINE THE RATE YOU CAN CHANGE/CREATE A MOTOR PATTERN (MAKE A SWING CHANGE!)- LOCATE ON Q&A page.
(Addressing concerns of time available/ busy schedules, frequent travelers, etc.)
SMART Program- Most clients schedule one 2 hour appointment per week, allowing them to see their coach and fitness professional in back to back hours. Additionally, they will schedule at least one hour of practice at our facility. Clients also have the option to schedule their golf and fitness sessions on separate days.
SMART Loop- Most clients will stay with the one 2 hour appointment per week allowing them to see their coach and fitness professional in back to back hours. However, they feel the likely hood of getting in all 24 sessions in a SMART program was very unrealistic. (Note- Jumping up to SMART program would allow 6 more lessons at $100.00 per lesson when they would be paying $130.00/ lesson in the SMART Loop.)
SMART Dozen & SMART Sampler– Honestly, these programs exist in order to widen our reach of potential clients, and allow individuals an opportunity to learn more about our approach before jumping into what we would consider our true SMART experience.
SMARTER Program- This is our largest offering. Most clients will schedule two 2 hour appointments, allowing them to see their coach and fitness professional in back to back hours, twice per week. As stated earlier, the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it. If your time allows, this program ensures the most amount of progress in the 3 month time frame.
MEMBERSHIPS- Memberships are for those individuals who know they will be working with us for at least 12 months, and would like to take advantage of the cost savings. There are two memberships, and they are structured in the SMART and SMARTER Program format.
In short, the answer is no, however, you will pay a higher price for your golf lessons by not incorporating one of our fitness options into your coaching program.
Some questions we would ask you:
Are you happy with your current trainer/ workout regimen?
Does he/she golf and/or understand the golf-swing?
How long do your current workouts last?
How long have you been using your current workout(s)?
Do you have any current aches, pains, or injuries?
Do your workouts address specific areas of your body, to complement what you are working on swing-wise?
Are you aware, that your current fitness regimen may be having a negative effect on your golf game?
Is your current trainer open to attending your initial Performance Assessment with SMART?
Is your current trainer open to communicating regularly with our staff, fitness and golf, regarding the direction and goals related to your golf game? Are you positive that your current fitness regimen isn’t having a negative effect on your golf game?
Realistically, there is no such thing as ‘golf-specific fitness.’ We believe that the better the athlete, the greater potential they have to be a better golfer. There are certain physical characteristics that will specifically help your golf game and we will do exercises in different positions and postures, but they will all ultimately make you a better overall athlete, not just a golfer!
‘Practice Only Program’ Break Down
After you have gone through our assessment process. ($350.00)
We offer an:
8 Day/ 1 month Membership.
Customers can come in on 8 days of their choice. Providing there is availability, they can only schedule up to one hour at a time, up to 48 hours in advance.
Aka (Change/ Create a new Motor Pattern)
These characteristics are important to consider when developing and solidifying our goals with our clients. Expectations must match reality, for when they do not, it can create the scenario where an individuals patience can ware thin way too soon, ultimately stopping them short of their true potential.
The younger you are, the more plastic/ moldable your brain is. It’s easier to break old habits, and create new ones when you are 18 vs. 60.
The more years you have played with your swing, the more engrained it is. An individual new to the game relative to the one who has played for 30 years will make changes easier.
This category is a little broad, however students who have played sports from a very young age to include baseball, hockey, tennis, basketball, soccer, football or any organized sports involving a hitting, throwing, or kicking motion, have shown an extremely expedited rate of learning vs. the individual who did not play any sports of that nature growing up.
PHYSICAL SCREEN RESULTS
If your body is functioning the way it was designed to, the faster we will be able to make swing changes. If we have to improve stability, mobility, flexibility, strength etc. to support a change, the more time it will take.
This category is a little broad, but depending on what the injuries were, when the injuries happened, if there is any lingering pain, and if the intended function of the body has been hindered, this will definitely have an impact on achieving a desired position in the golf swing. If there is pain, there will be no way a new motor pattern can be created, and if the issue can be corrected, the necessary measures must be taken prior to working on the change.
Simple: the more you are able to put into something, the more you will get out of it.
This category is the wild card. This is for you to answer for yourself. Students who can say yes to all 5 questions below, will ALWAYS expedite the learning process.
This category is a little broad, but depending on the lifestyle that a person is living, this will definitely play a role in the process of making a motor pattern change. It’s how someone lives physically, psychologically, socially, and economically.
This category can be broad where family history can play role in how an individual creates/changes a motor pattern. Certain genes passed down can either help or hurt a person from trying to make a swing change.
IS YOUR PRACTICE DELIBERATE?
This category has 5 characteristics which are explained on our Q&A page under: What is a key factor that separates Top Performers from the rest?
These five characteristics define deliberate practice.
It is an activity specifically designed to improve performance.
(SMART EXAMPLE- Your Play Book)
The key word in this attribute is designed. Designed practice is meant to stretch the individual beyond his or her current abilities. Deliberate practice requires that one identify certain sharply defined elements of performance that need to be improved, and then work intently on them (Almost always, it is necessary for a teacher to design the activity). The greatest performers isolate remarkably specific aspects of what they do and focus on just those things until they are improved, then it’s on to the next aspect.
Note: Going to the driving range, getting two buckets of balls, starting with a club of your choice, picking a target, occasionally thinking about why a shot is bad, eventually picking one of the thousand things that could be going wrong, until you hit another bad one, while deciding to work on another one of the thousand things to work on, convincing yourself you can sense improvement is not practice.
You can never make progress if practice is easy or comfortable, because if it is, you are ‘practicing’ activities you can already do easily.
It can be repeated a lot.
(SMART EXAMPLE- Drills that can be performed virtually anywhere.)
High repetition is the most important difference between deliberate practice of a task, and performing the task for real, when it counts. Repeating a specific activity over and over is what most of us mean by practice, yet for most, it really isn’t effective. After all, hitting ball after ball on the driving range is repeating something. This brings up two points which distinguish deliberate practice from what most of us actually do.
Feedback on results is continuously available.
(SMART EXAMPLE- Our facility, your instructor, automatic video capture, trackman, a mirror.)
You can work on your technique all you like, but if you cannot see what you are actually executing and the effects from the execution, two things will happen: You won’t get any better, and you’ll stop caring.
A teacher/ coach is crucial for improving technique and changing motor patterns. Our facility and technology are also great for providing the necessary feedback to improve.
Note: In the early stages of practice for most individuals, the lease effective place to be getting better is at the driving range by yourself. If you can not accomplish a change based on thought and feel alone, the last feedback you need is ball flight.
It’s highly demanding mentally.
(SMART EXAMPLE- Exhaustion during/after sessions is not uncommon.)
Deliberate practice, is above all, an effort of focus and concentration. That is what makes it “deliberate,” as opposed to the mindless hitting of golf balls that most people engage in.
Continually seeking exactly those elements of performance that are unsatisfactory and then trying one’s hardest to make them better, places enormous strain on anyone’s mental abilities.
The work is so great, that no one can sustain it for very long.
Findings which are remarkably consistent across disciplines is that sessions lasting 60-90 minutes seems to be the upper limit of deliberate practice at one time.
“Practice with your body, and you will need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in one and half hours.” – Leopold Auer
Note: We are not saying that you need to practice 60-90 minutes at a time, every day to get better. We are saying more sessions and less time at once is most productive. We will add, like most disciplines in life, the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it.
It isn’t much fun.
(SMART EXAMPLE: We identify the ‘painful,’ difficult activities that will make you better and do those things over and over.)
Doing things we know how to do is enjoyable, and that’s exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands. Instead of doing things we are good at, we insistently seek out what we’re not good at. After each rep, we force ourselves to see or get your coach to tell you exactly what still isn’t right so we can repeat the most difficult parts of what we have just done. We continue the process until we are mentally exhausted.
Note: If it seems a bit depressing that the most important thing you can do to improve performance is no fun, take consolation in this fact: It must be so. If the activities that lead to greatness were easy and fun, then everyone would do them, and there would be no distinguishing the best from the rest. The reality that deliberate practice is hard can even be seen as good news. It means most people won’t do it. So your willingness to do it will distinguish you all the more.
We have all experienced that three or four-hole stretch, of hitting the ball exactly where you want, only to be followed by the worst shot you could ever imagine on the subsequent tee-box. How about being on the range and striking the ball exactly where you want to for five shots in a row, only to be followed by a really bad hook, slice, or any other awful miss, having no clue where that shot came from. You could even just be that player that hits only one or two good shots in a row always to be followed by another that is absolutely depressing when you hit it, again wondering why it is so hard to swing the “same” every time.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many golfers I see, that inform me that their biggest issue is that they have 3-5 different swings, and that’s why they are so inconsistent; that they do not understand why they swing different every time.
Does your swing really change every time you hit the ball?
My extremely broad answer to that, is No. You are probably thinking that makes absolutely no sense. If I hit a great shot, and then I hit an awful shot, there was obviously a difference! I would respond with telling you, you are correct. There is a difference, but what is it? Did your swing really change mechanically from one shot to the next? What was actually different?
What’s wonderful about today’s world of golf instruction is the advancement in technology which, not only removes a lot of the guess work in our job as golf instructors, but also removes room for opinions. So, when I tell you that you do not swing differently every time; it’s not what I think, it’s what I can prove. Here is why; one very powerful piece of technology that we use, known as Advanced Motion Measurement 3D, allows us to measure, to the nearest degree, hundreds of different parameters in ones biomechanics informing us exactly how you move. The fascinating fact, is the data that we are able to attain from each individual looks practically identical from one swing to the next, no matter how good or bad you strike the ball. I will always get the individual that comes in for his assessment, and while he is on 3D, he is very adamant about making sure that we collect his data on a good shot, especially if he has only been hitting “poor” shots, but the fact of the matter is, I am not going to see much of a difference on the “well struck” shot.
That said, we still have not shed much light on to what in the world is different from the good shot, and the bad shot. The answer is very simple–Timing. At the end of the day, timing is a big part, if not the biggest part of the answer to what separates consistent, and inconsistent ball strikers.
Let me explain further. Here is an analogy I like to communicate to most of my clients in our first visit together. I like to imagine the golf swing (in its mechanical state) as an equation consisting of variables which equal timing.
For example; if we were to look at an extremely consistent ball striker, say even a tour player, their equation may look like something as simple as A+B= Timing. There are few variables in the equation making it very easy to solve consistently.
While, a higher handicappers’ equation may look like A+B+C+D+E+Z etc = Timing. That said, it is still an equation, and it still can be solved, hence the good shots, but is a lot more difficult.
Let me take another step farther and give you an example of how this “equation” can play out in the actual motion. Let’s look at the first move off the ball; the take away. Let’s say there are 5 total variables in the first move off the ball.
A= Club, B= Hands, C= Arms, D = Torso, and E= Hips.
If you were to observe several great ball strikers, for the most part, you should start to notice a commonality in their first move off the ball. Ideally, you would see very little movement (rotation) of the hands or clubface, the arms would be moving with the torso, and the lower body would be relatively quiet thus far. Just as you can read in several golf instruction books, you would see what has been coined as the “one-piece” takeaway. Now, before the assumption is made, that this is most efficient for all golfers, let me conclude quickly that, that is not necessarily the case. Someone’s physical capability, age, years playing, and sports played growing up etc…, has a huge impact on what is most efficient for them as an individual, but keep in mind, what is most efficient for the individual, is not always the most efficient in general.
Anyhow, what I would like you to take-note of, is that when observing a very efficient take-way, you see five separate variables working as one variable, in turn starting the process of making the timing equation easier to solve. One very common error I see (excluding reasons at this time) in a poorer ball strikers takeaway, is not rotating their torso, which gets their arms doing most of the work, hands rotating the clubface wide open, and the hips rotating way too much, in-turn starting the golf swing with five separate variables vs. one, which then leads to several other compensations (variables). This then leads to (most commonly) a clubface which is not square or on plane in the delivery position, resulting in subconscious, last second manipulation of the hands at impact.
What I have come to realize is, that when a player has a lot of manipulation with the hands, and is not in control with the bigger body parts at impact, they are not nearly as consistent as the player with little to no manipulation with the hands through impact. What todays’ technology has been able to prove is that, even the players with all of the extra variables in their golf swing, they repeat them very consistently from one swing to the next. The problem is that, at the end of the day, we are human, and when a player has extremely active hands through the impact zone swinging an object moving as fast as the club does, it is just way too hard to repeat.
In conclusion, when a player realizes that their swing heavily relies on over-all timing, and they actually don’t swing differently every time, they know that it is inevitable they are going to hit that shot that drives them crazy. It’s a small piece of mind that allows players to either accept their fate, not getting nearly as frustrated when it happens, or they begin the process of taking the necessary steps to start removing unnecessary variables in their swing, and making their equation easier to solve.
No, we work with athletes in all sports, as well as ‘corporate athletes’ who just want to feel and move better in their daily lives.