Sometimes a visit to the doctor’s office is just not enough, and a meeting with a specialist is the cure for what ails you. A similar analogy applies to golfers, too. There are workout facilities, and then there are golf-specific training centers.
FitGolf Performance Center in Wilmington, MA is one such place for the serious-minded golfer. It offers a comprehensive set of training and assessment tools to help you play more consistent golf with fewer aches and pains. FitGolf is Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified and its modus operandi is discovering how each person’s body affects his or her swing. Its training approach combines hands-on body work and customized golf-specific exercises to each unique golfer.
The Wilmington location is the only one in the Bay State, along with two other centers in Connecticut, to have a presence in New England. At the forefront of it all on the North Shore is Somerville native David DuPriest. A golfer since he was a youngster, DuPriest earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from UMass-Lowell and worked in physical therapy and as a personal trainer before coming to FitGolf. “FitGolf takes the game of golf and combines it with all the elements of my professional and personal life,” said DuPriest.
FitGolf features the latest in technology and machinery, including K-Vest 3-D motion swing analysis, Dynamic weight balance system, Cybex power rack, Keiser multi-purpose trainer, X-iser mini-step apparatus, treadmill, hydro rower, and two hitting bays with net returns. FitGolf also has a shower room and an evaluation room (including a line of insole fittings).
But before anyone touches a machine, each prospective member must undergo a 2-to-2 1/2 hour interview process, including a physical evaluation, before beginning a regiment. DuPriest’s regiment is based on the “3 R” training approach: Release the area to improve flexibility, re-educate the area to improve stability for a more consistent golf swing, and rebuild the area to add strength, speed, and power to your swing. Clients are also given a personalized workout manual for at-home exercises. “Breaking things down, I work with the golfer from the inside-out,” said DuPriest, who has also completed an internship in cardiac rehabilitation with the Leahy Clinic. “I’m focused on the physical side of things, looking at each golfer’s physical limitations, and trying to overcome them or stabilize them.”
While still working in physical therapy and as a personal trainer, DuPriest remembers a late night in 2008 watching the Golf Channel when a TPI segment caught his eye. He took a gamble and flew to Texas to sign up for Level 1 training and was shocked by the experience.
“It blew me away,” he said. “They not only talked, but demonstrated and proved what they were saying with instant results. They backed up everything with data.” DuPriest went on to complete Level 2 and Level 3 certification and started a winter conditioning program at Winchester Country Club in 2009, while also looking to open his own facility with investors in 2010. Instead, FitGolf found him. DuPriest traveled to Philadelphia for a presentation and came away impressed with the company’s approach to golf fitness. He became a franchisee in January and has been open for business since June.
Based on marketing research, FitGolf’s target audience are males between the ages of 40-70 who make a six-figure income. However, the door is open to any golfer looking to improve their golf game through personalized physical conditioning. “The groundwork has been laying the foundation for the off-season,” said DuPriest. “Yet at the same time, FitGolf is also for golfers who will be playing golf in warm weather locations this winter, who want to maintain or improve their golf shape.”
Bob DiCesare is the golf writer for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA and The Enterprise in Brockton, MA, both Gatehouse Media newspapers. He is also a frequent contributer to NE Golf Monthly.