Par for the Course: A Holistic Approach to Golf-Related Wellness with Nutrition, Yoga, and Fitness

Health & Wellness
Written by RLO

Golf, a sport of precision and finesse, demands more from your body than meets the eye. To truly master the greens, one must address the trifecta of nutrition, stretching, and fitness. In this blog, we explore how a holistic approach to these three elements can not only enhance your golf game but also promote overall well-being both on and off the course.

1. Nutrition: Fueling Your Swing

On the golf course, the adage "you are what you eat" couldn't be more accurate. Optimal performance demands the right fuel, and nobody knows that better than Kylie Parr. With three years at Reynolds Lake Oconee and a total of five years in the profession, Kylie is your go-to person for all things nutrition. Whether it's advising on pre-game meals or post-game recovery snacks, Kylie ensures that golfers at Reynolds are fueled for success, helping them perform at their best on the greens.

  1. Favorite part of what you do: Working with people of all ages and life stages wanting to improve their quality of life!

  2. Why is nutrition important for a golfer? Fueling properly will help with stamina, performance, and how your body feels overall.

  3. What is offered in regard to nutrition for members? One-on-one nutrition consultations and individualized coaching. That comes with check-ins and a unique plan for each individual.

  4. How do you customize each member’s nutrition plan? I base it on goals, current lifestyle factors, and history/experience with diet and exercise.

  5. What are some common misconceptions about what a nutritionist does? It does not mean restriction! I like to think about “what can we add”, not “what do we take away.”

  6. How does nutrition for performance differ from nutrition for weight loss or daily maintenance? Performance will focus on fueling for specific functions, while weight loss/maintenance will focus more on nutrition habits that will be for a lifetime.

Kylie Parr, Health & Fitness Professional

2. Yoga: Finding Your Center

Yoga, with its emphasis on flexibility, balance, and mindfulness, is a perfect complement to a successful golf swing. Diane Bennett Shinneman, an incredible yoga instructor at Reynolds, understands this synergy well. With nearly 18 years of experience at Reynolds, having begun teaching yoga the first year the Lake Club opened in 2006, Diane brings a wealth of knowledge to her practice. She received her Yoga certification in 2006, but her passion for yoga had been cultivated over many years prior. Diane's expertise shines through in her golf-specific yoga classes, where she shares her thoughts and advice to help golfers improve their game by harnessing the power of yoga principles.

  1. Favorite part of what I do: I love seeing people reap the benefits of yoga, whether it be strengthening their bodies through poses, working with their breath, meditating, or releasing pent-up stress and tension. It’s also a wonderful collective energy to have a group of people enjoying themselves with others in a yoga practice.

  2. Why is yoga something a golfer should look into? A golfer can approach a yoga practice with golf in mind and dive into poses that support a golf swing such as core and leg strengthening poses, twists, balancing poses and stretches. Yoga also is a great way to develop concentration and learn to coordinate breath and movement.

  3. What classes are offered for golfers? All my yoga classes would be suitable for golfers. There is a different emphasis for each class: a very basic yoga and stretch class is offered on Saturdays at 9:00 am, a flow class which is lots of movement in between poses is offered on Wednesdays at 9:00 am, a strength yoga class which offers more challenging poses which can be modified is offered on Mondays and Fridays at 8:00 am and finally a chair conditioning yoga class which covers all muscle groups working with weights, core work, balancing exercises, twists, stretching and breath work.

  4. Do you have to be super flexible to do golf yoga? Absolutely not! Being flexible is not a prerequisite for any yoga class. In fact, that is why one should attend a class. The results of combining both strength and stretching poses will be very obvious the more one attends yoga classes.

  5. Are other types of yoga classes offered? In addition to the yoga classes and chair conditioning/yoga classes mentioned above, there are other classes that are offered by other instructors throughout the week.

  6. What differences can a golfer see after doing yoga? Initially, anyone attending a yoga practice will enjoy many benefits - feelings of well-being, strength, improvement in concentration and body awareness, and sharing in a group experience. With consistent practice, these benefits will translate not only to a better golf swing and lower scores but also help one to live more fully in the present moment in any situation.

3. Fitness: Beyond the Fairway

Fitness tailored for golf transcends mere strength-building; it's about functional fitness. To enhance your golf game, it's essential to incorporate exercises that target specific muscle groups engaged in a golf swing, such as the core, hips, and shoulders. Garrett Head, with seven years of experience in the profession and at Reynolds since the end of September 2023, emphasizes the importance of strengthening these areas not only to improve swing mechanics but also to prevent injuries.

  1. Favorite part of what you do: There are a number of things I enjoy about what I do. #1 I would say is watching people’s quality of life improve. Hearing clients no longer have aches or pains, or hearing them say they are moving around better is the most rewarding thing about what I do. But, being a golf-specific trainer, hearing lower scores and longer distances on the golf course always puts a smile on my face.

  2. Can you talk about Titleist Performance Institute’s protocols & what those look like? Titleist Performance Institute is an educational institute that studies the biomechanics of the golf swing. Breaking the body down into specific movements and muscles that are being used and activated throughout a golf round. Educating trainers on how to improve and train golfers in all facets of golf, not just the swing. By looking at and training balance, stability, mobility, strength, and power. All with a goal of reducing injuries and improving people's golf game, and by doing so, keeping people on the golf course longer and more often.

  3. What are some exercises you would implement into everyone’s routine? Tough question, I think everybody’s body and goals are different, so it’s hard to give specific movements that are beneficial to everyone. If you are already in the gym or new to the gym, I would say keep switching up your workouts. Challenge your body with different movements and work in different planes of motion. But, most importantly just keep moving!

  4. Your training is focused on not only performance but also reducing the risk of injury – what are some of the most common injuries you’ve seen and how do we reduce the risk? The two most common injuries I see are lower back and knee pain. There are a couple of different things I do to try to reduce those injuries. #1 is looking at mobility. Are there limitations or restrictions within someone’s body that are causing those injuries? #2 looks at stability and strength. Do we have an adequate amount of stability and strength, or are we lacking stability and strength somewhere causing certain body parts to work overtime and take on an excessive load? In return stressing those body parts out.

  5. Can you talk about the difference between training as a golfer versus training as a bodybuilder? What does a session look like as one who is working toward aesthetics versus one who is working toward performance? One of my favorite questions. To keep it pretty simple, golfers train for performance and bodybuilders don’t. Bodybuilders generally use a split routine and target growth and size in specific muscle groups. Whereas golfers should train full body and really look to improve efficiency and production in specific movements.

  6. Can you walk me through your process of developing a training session for a golfer? How do you customize and tailor it to the player? The first thing I do when a golfer comes to me is run them through golf-specific assessments and find out what their goals are. The assessments give me a great understanding of where their body is and how it moves. With all that information I start to develop a plan for each golfer specific to their needs and goals, and working together over the next couple of months to ensure each person reaches their goals!

Garrett Head, Golf Performance Coach

Bringing It All Together

To optimize your golf-related fitness journey, consider creating a comprehensive plan that seamlessly intertwines nutrition, yoga, and fitness. Picture this: a well-balanced meal before your tee time, followed by a brief yoga session to awaken your muscles and sharpen your focus. As you hit the course, your body, fueled and limber, is ready to execute a powerful and controlled swing.

Stay committed to this holistic approach off the course as well. Consistency is key, and integrating these practices into your daily life can have a transformative impact on both your golf game and overall health.

Everything you need to elevate your swing is just a few steps away from your doorstep. Enhance flexibility, boost strength, and achieve peak performance on the course and beyond — all within reach when you call Reynolds home. Kylie, Diane, Garrett, and more are ready and waiting to help you hit your stride!

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