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Golf is hard – training required

As trainers of movement, surely you have clients who play golf? Although they may not have engaged your services specifically for golf, they desire to be healthier (and happier), but they usually don’t believe that golf requires much training.

Working with golfers with golf-specific movements will enhance the relationship between you and your clients. Golf-specific movements build on your foundational training. These movements allow the body to utilise the resources you have helped them develop in the swinging of the golf club. Golfers like exercises that look like golf; the proprioceptors in the body like movements that feel like golf.

The system

Gray Institute® has created a two-day programme, The Functional Golf System. This programme was designed to provide PTs with 244 golf-specific movements to utilise with their golfing clients. Through its research, Gray Institute has found that grouping movements into phases is extremely useful for clients. It found that using phases that are sequenced to progress the golfer through a programme that builds on their existing movement to be very successful. However, all golfers have different areas of weakness that need to be addressed. Some need to improve their physical resources for a particular golf swing position (address, backswing, impact, finish).

Warm-up for backswing and finish:

Other golfers lack a physical resource throughout the golf swing (mobility, balance, strength, power).

Foot position tweaks for impact position power:

By creating a programme that has different ‘paths’, it has the flexibility for the trainer to adapt to the person’s needs. There are also sequenced programmes for endurance and recovery.

Any training programme should be created based on an appreciation of your client’s golf swing, their ability to attain the swing positions, and their ability to perform foundational and golf-specific movements. While the programme can be generalised in places, it serves as a foundation that can and should be modified by the movement practitioner to meet the needs of each individual.

Gray Institute has established that, in order to enhance their ability, clients must learn in both cognitive and kinaesthetic modes, and has customised programmes regardless of age, physical ability, and level of golf proficiency.

Using a web-based and mobile application, the functional golf specialist has access to videos of all 244 movements to deliver directly to their golfer’s mobile devices.

The faculty

The Functional Golf System from Gray Institute is taught by Jonathan Moore and David Tiberio. Jonathan is a strength coach with the national champion golf team at Oklahoma State University. He is a former professional golfer who played on the 2007 Walker Cup team against Great Britain and Ireland, and has also competed in the Open Championship. David is a physical therapist who taught at the University of Connecticut for 26 years. With a PhD in biomechanics, David is able to convert the mechanics of the golf swing into practical movement programmes.

Prepare the body to make the swing

In general, golfers want to play better, more often and without pain. For that to occur, they need help preparing their body to make the swing. The findings of Gray Institute make a good basis for which to tailor your teachings for each individual client’s needs.

If you would like to learn directly from Gray Institute, it will be presenting a workshop at The University College of Osteopathy in London on 4-5 May 2019. The programme is approved for continuing education credit from ACSM, NCSA, ACE, and AFAA.

For more information and to register, go to


Functional golf system