Blair Meadows doesn’t know how to golf. She doesn’t read greens and can’t offer tips on swing mechanics. She prefers workout shorts to collared shirts.
But she can be invaluable for any golfer in the area who wants a longer drive or consistent approach, or even just to continue playing later in life.
Meadows, manager and trainer at Fitness Together in Greensboro, completed certification with the Titleist Performance Institute this spring, making her a TPI certified trainer who specializes in building and toning the muscles that directly affect someone’s golf game.
“I couldn’t tell you how to swing a golf club,” Meadows said. “But I can try to perfect strength performance as it relates to the golf game.”
Fitness, nutrition and strength development have increasingly become important parts of the golf industry. Even casual golfers who once thought having a belly didn’t hurt them on the course now realize how much of an impediment being out of shape is to their game.
The Titleist Performance Institute merges all aspects of the individual’s body as it relates to his or her game. TPI offers certification for fitness professionals, golf professionals, medical professionals, junior coaches and golf biomechanists.
Meadows has been at Fitness Together since the business opened its Greensboro location four years ago in the Village at North Elm Shopping Plaza near the corner of Pisgah Church Road and Elm Street. Fitness Together isn’t a gym, but rather a smaller center with two rooms where people sign up for personal workouts. It’s a business that specializes in one-on-one training, which makes it an ideal location for golf training workouts.
Meadows, who earned an exercise and sports science degree from UNC-Greensboro and is a certified trainer through the American Council on Exercise, said the transition to golf was natural.
“I’m not a golf person, but I’m interested in biomechanics,” Meadows said. “I’m in this business to help other people. Not to mention, the physical location, we’re saturated with golf courses and golfers in this area.”
People who sign up for Meadows’ TPI training will receive a full TPI assessment, which examines about 15-20 areas of the body. Most often, Meadows said, people will be surprised at the results, particularly when it comes to their posture.
One of the most common physical ailments, Meadows said, is lower back pain.
“I have folks who’ve been playing forever, and they have low back pain,” Meadows said. “That’s usually muscle imbalance. And then, if they’re having pain, they’ll avoid the pain when they’re playing and try to compensate for it, and they’re probably only making it worse.”
Eric Anthony is a local business owner who has been playing golf and tennis most of his life. He didn’t start taking golf seriously, though, until he was in his 40s, when he began participating in Carolinas Golf Association events. He finished in the top 20 at the 2008 North Carolina Mid-Amateur Championship. Now 48, Anthony has battled constant problems with his knees and shoulders – he’s had nine knee surgeries and three shoulder surgeries.
Anthony took TPI training at Precision Fitness when that center became TPI certified a few years ago. Soon, he also began doing regular, non-golf-specific workouts with Meadows at Fitness Together. Given his experience with TPI and his belief in Meadows’ abilities, Anthony encouraged her to become certified.
“Greensboro is in need of more of this,” Anthony said. “It’s an area that’s conducive for it. Most of us don’t have the luxury of high-priced trainers.”
Anthony said he’s trying to return from his latest knee surgery … and he’ll probably take some TPI training along the way.
“This TPI stuff is the next biggest thing for amateurs,” Anthony said. “Golfers are nuts. They’ll do anything for more yards.”
Meadows has seen just that since she became certified in the spring. Golfers share a universal determination to see better results, and that’s an attitude that any trainer can work with.
“Ultimately, golfers have that frame of mind that they’ll do anything to help their game,” Meadows said. “Nobody wants to be faced with the inevitable. But if they come in here, they might feel looser in their game.”
In later sessions, Meadows said, the TPI training involves helping golfers with nutrition and general cardiovascular work.
So a side benefit of working with Meadows, or any TPI trainer, is that overall health improves, too. “They’re not just seeing performance increase,” Meadows said. “They’re feeling better the rest of the six days of the week when they’re not playing golf.”
For more information on Fitness Together’s TPI training, visit fitnesstogether.com/greensboro, or call 545-3065.