Contributor: Elsa Bonstein
Each year, I make a bunch of New Year’s resolutions and by March I’ve forgotten them all. Losing weight, getting fit, lowering my golf handicap, creating delicious gourmet meals for Gene, reading more books, writing more books … the list goes on and on and as the days go by I slowly lose my resolve.
This year is different and I’m delighted. I vowed to get fitter and to get my golf scores down — and so far, it’s working.
Starting in January, I began going to the Body Edge in Ocean Isle Beach regularly and doing personal training with Cindy Black, the owner and manager. I’d done that before, but I was never consistent with my workouts.
Then I discovered Golf Fitness at Body Edge. It was available Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:30.
I signed up and, in addition to my regular workouts with Black, I began a golf fitness regimen with Teri Daly. Since the first of January, I have been in the gym three days a week either in a golf fitness class or training with Black.
When I finally got out on the course, my golf balls soared longer and straighter, my chipping was better and even my putts started to drop. I was amazed and when I saw Jeff Davis, my golf coach last week, he was amazed, too.
“Is this the same Elsa I’ve been coaching for several years?” he asked with delight. “You’re longer and stronger than before. This could be a good year for you.”
Last week, I talked with Teri Daly about her golf fitness classes and why they work.
“I believe that strength training and stretching will help every golfer,” she said. “The hamstrings, the abs, the glutes, the core muscles need to be stabilized in order to have a good golf swing. Balance is important. In my classes, we always work on balance.”
Daly’s classes average from four to a dozen golfers of all abilities. She uses weights, Bosu balls and Fitballs to develop flexibility and strength. Many of the exercises require no equipment and once learned can be done easily at home.
A Bosu is a training product that looks like one-half a ball on a round stable platform. It was invented in 2000 and has become one of the most commonly used fitness devices in the world. Bosu is an acronym for “both sides up” because it can be used as a dome or a platform.
In the golf fitness class, students stand on the dome (soft surface) side of the Bosu ball and lift weights, swing their arms or turn while holding a Fitball. Sometimes, Daly makes the students stand one-legged on the Bosu. That is truly difficult and requires great concentration.
“All of these exercise become easier as one goes through them again and again,” Daly Teri. “At first, most golfers are unsteady, but as they repeat the movement several times over, each series becomes better.”
Stretching is an important part of golf fitness, Daly said.
“Lengthen the arms, reach and stretch, drive the ball,” she said, taking a grip on an imaginary club. “Feel the stretch to the point of tightness, but not to the point of pain.”
Daly has a philosophy of training that allows folks of all ages and abilities to participate.
“My exercises are by prescription,” she said. “Each person has their own level of fitness and I try to combine a class environment with individual instruction.”
She walked around each class during her sessions, correcting a position or advising a bigger turn, or lowering someone’s shoulders. Sometimes the angle of turn was adjusted and the patterns were repeated. Everyone seemed to do better and better.
I spoke with several of Daly’s students and found everyone enthusiastic about the class and the visible gains they are seeing in their golf game.
Cynthia Vigdor said, “I’ve been a part-time golfer, but now, I’m playing more and more. Each week I get better and longer. Teri is awesome.”
Denise and Bill Kenny moved to Sea Trail in 2002. “I have more power now,” she said. “My ball is going farther.”
Bill Kenny said, “I like the class a lot. Because I’m more stable over the ball, I’m getting more distance.”
Kathy Darnall is a snowbird from Maryland and she had similar comments.
“I’ve been playing golf for 10 years and I’m noticing a big difference in my game since coming to the golf fitness classes,” she said
Daly is originally from Cleveland and worked in Las Vegas for 20 years at a large fitness facility. Her parents live in Sea Trail.
“My parents, Dave and Sarah Williams, are very active and fit. My dad is 86 years old and worked at Angels Trace pro shop for years, and when that course closed, he worked at Brunswick Plantation,” she said. “He’s now retired, but still incredibly active.”
Teri’s husband, John (yes, there is another John Daly) is a television personality, announcer, author, commentator and video producer.
We’re glad they are here in Brunswick County. I know handicaps will go down and tournament wins will go up as golfers take lessons and work on the fitness part of golf.
Elsa Bonstein is a golf columnist for the Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at facebook.com/elsa.bonstein. Her website is elsabonstein.com.