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The numbers behind college golf fitness programs
18 Feb 2019
by Brendan Ryan of Golf Placement Services

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In 2019, fitness is a part of most golfers' development pathway. In this week's article, I thought it would be interesting to survey college coaches about their fitness programs.

In total 91 coaches responded to the survey; the respondents include everyone from top D1 coaches to NAIA coaches and NJCAA, as well as both men’s and women’s coaches.

Here are the questions we asked and the results:

Do you have a mandatory fitness program?

To this a whopping 92% answered yes. However, when asked if the program is mandatory and how often do student athletes participate, the answers varied significantly. Of the 91 answers, the most common answer was 3 times a week (47 coaches) while twice a week was the response of 17 coaches. Only one respondent noted mandatory workouts at five or more days a week.

What time of the day are the workouts?

Of the 91 coaches, 71 responded that the workouts take place in the morning (starting at 7 am or before). Only 4 noted times in the afternoon or early evening, while the rest noted a flexible schedule which included a combination of early and late workouts.

What education or certification does the person responsible for administering the fitness program have?

Of the 91 respondents, 4 indicated the person responsible has a PhD, 28 responded that the person responsible has a master’s degree in a related field, and 49 responded that the person responsible had either TPI certification or the equivalent. 10 of the coaches responded that the person responsible had none of the above.

Do you think the environment created for the workouts is safe?

We next asked coaches if they thought the environment created for workouts was safe? 96% of coaches who responded believed that the environment created at their school was safe. This means that 4% may not and that certainly is a cause of concern for current college players or for potential student athletes looking at schools.

What percentage of players whom you recruit have had a fitness program before enrolling?

This question had the greatest variance of responses. Here are the ranges:

Less than 25% (20)
25%-75% (45)
75%+ (14)
Not sure (12)

Do you believe that fitness is an important part of a player’s development and success?

97% of coaches responded yes.

Do you believe that players are hitting the ball farther because of golf fitness?

For this, 89% of coaches responded yes.

Do you believe that golfers need fitness to be successful?

For this question, 66% of coaches responded yes.

Prospective student athletes should expect to work out in college, but you should consider starting the process as part of your long-term development while in high school, making you more prepared for not only the college program but also the potential rigors of playing 36 holes in one day.

You should also spend time in the search process understanding the coach’s philosophy on strength and conditioning, as well as speaking to the players on the team about their experience and learning more about the qualifications of the staff.

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