Getting fit for golf isn’t just about out-driving your friends and lower scores. It’s also about general well-being, enhanced enjoyment, and longevity. In my latest Road to Scratch post, I talked about recovering from injury, which had a significant impact on my game. Making a full recovery from injury is one thing, but taking steps to prevent it from happening again in the future is equally important to me. This is where DM Golf Performance comes in.
DM Golf Performance is located in Calgary, Alberta, at the Golf Canada Health and Performance Center. In a very general sense, their mission is to improve function and performance through advanced golf fitness and movement coaching. The founder, Shannon Mantrop, is a golf fitness and performance expert, as well as a PGA of Canada teaching professional (read more about Shannon’s expertise here). I found out about Shannon through my in-laws, who gave me a gift certificate for my birthday which included a golf fitness and movement screening, personal golf specific training program, and a golf fitness coaching session. I was excited to check it out, and thought it would be a great opportunity to help me bounce back strong from my injury, in addition to improving my performance and longevity in the game.
Golf Fitness and Movement Screening
The golf fitness and movement screening involved a series of movements and exercises designed to test mobility, strength, stability, and muscle function. The screening results are used to reveal limitations that may compromise the performance and efficiency of the golf swing. After gathering the results from the testing, Shannon checked my golf posture and watched me hit some golf balls, and provided feedback as to how the results of the screening correlated to my golf swing. The screening was thorough and took approximately an hour and a half, but wasn’t overly strenuous.
My screening results showed that I had good mobility, however, I did have issues related to stability and muscle function, where the muscle(s) required for a specific movement weren’t fully activating. This causes other muscles to compensate for the muscles that aren’t activating, resulting in instability. It was particularly evident in movements that required my core muscles, and my left glute/leg, where my injury had occurred.
This was an interesting revelation for me. I like to think I stay reasonably fit and strong in these areas, yet there was a disconnect somewhere which hindered the activation of these muscles for certain movements. My own body was proof that muscles can be “strong but stupid”.
The good news? With the right training program, I can re-program these muscles to be smarter!
Golf Specific Training Program
At my second appointment I received my training program, and Shannon went through all the exercises with me to make sure I was comfortable performing them and understood what they were intended to do. She also took some videos of me with commentary, just in case I needed to jog my memory in the future.
I was impressed that the training program I received from Shannon was tailored just for me. Based on the results of the testing and what she observed from my golf posture and swing, she took the time to develop a program that will get me back on the right track.
The training program targets primarily muscle rolling and muscle programming exercises to re-wire my brain and activate the proper muscles. The focus is on upper back mobility, core and hip stability, and golf movement patterns. This includes improving my golf posture to decrease stress on my back and increase mobility.
Here is a look at my current program:
Since programming my muscles is only the first step in the process of getting fitter for golf, I am going to return for additional sessions with Shannon where we will assess my progress, and evolve the training program as I “outgrow” it.
After a week of following my training program, I’ve already noticed a difference not just in my golf swing but also in day-to-day activities such as sitting and walking — I feel taller and more stable. My golf setup and swing are starting to feel stronger and more connected, and I’m excited to get it out on the course. Although designed to help me with golf, I love that this program transfers so well to everyday life and makes me more aware of what muscles I am and should be using for other tasks.
Shannon manages to keep an endlessly complicated topic sound fun and simple, and caters to individual needs and goals. Regardless if you’re a junior, professional, a sore 30-something amateur with lofty goals such as myself, or a senior looking to enjoy the game for many more years, it is never too soon or too late to improve your golf fitness.
You can visit the DM Golf Performance website to learn more: http://www.dmgolfperformance.com/