Golfers come in all genders, sizes and shapes, yet most (non-golfers especially) don’t realize how important it is for your body to be golf fit. I’m a golfer, and cerebrally I realize that but not as much physically as I did until Judy Roer, LPGA teaching professional & Certified Fitness Trainer, at The Boulders Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Carefree (north Scottsdale), got a hold of me last week.
It was Wednesday, day 4, of my Scottsdale golf-themed visit that included stops at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The weather hadn’t cooperated in Scottsdale (including freeze delays on the golf courses), and I hadn’t packed enough layers to weather the below freezing temperatures. Still I had already golfed 18 holes at TPC, so my body was definitely feeling my rusty winter swing. (Pictured left, Traveling Grandmom swinging her clubs at TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course.)
Spa and fitness classes are located in the Boulder Resort’s Golden Door Spa, a calming, 33,000 square foot, casita oasis accented by water and boulder features, a short, winding walk from my accommodations. The moment you walk through the courtyard into the Spa you’ll say ah at the welcoming scents and peacefulness.
I began my spa experience with an Ashiatsu treatment, a type of massage therapy in which the therapist walks on the client’s back, using bars and other props for support to vary pressure and weight. Initially, I looked at my male therapist and thought, “Wow, he could hurt me!” and “really, massage with your FEET?” But after a mere 5 minutes, I was drooling in my pillow. It’s a deep tissue modality with roots in Asia, but wowzie, did my therapist get to the heart of my tension!
After a sip of hot tea, my next stop was the fitness center to meet Judith Roer for the 50-minute Golf Conditioning class, free to guests of The Boulders. The mirrored room was set up with exercise balls and floor mats.
According to LPGA professional Roer, “My golf conditioning class is about activating your core muscles and fully engaging your body so that you’re in shape to perform through all 18 holes. I want all the’ bulbs on your Christmas tree lit up.’ (Her term for core.) Your core is what triggers the rest of your muscles to peak performance.”
No weights or cardio, oh no. Roer’s class consists of stretching and conditioning, balancing upon that exercise ball, to encourage flexibility and stability, and most certainly not as easy as you would think! She focuses on the hamstrings and gluteus muscles, which she says causes much of the lower back pain, also why golfers rise up out of their swing too soon.
I teetered with my buttocks pushed against the ball, one leg up and both arms up, balancing upon said ball while my leg and body shook like a teenager in a dance contest. That meant my core wasn’t activated. Rohr was quick to assure me that it takes practice, and that even her senior citizen students (upwards into the 80s, average Boulders golf member age 74) are able to do so. (That pains this young grandmother!)
As a LPGA golf instructor, Roer was asked to design this fitness program to help golfers. She says that just by observing students in her fitness class she can tell how they will perform on the course. Her students often participate in the first 20 of the 50 minutes fitness class and then head out to the golf course or take a golf lesson. It’s a perfect combination to fine tune your golf game and your body! The bonus is that her exercises can easily be incorporated into your workout at home.
The Boulders Resort is named for the 12-million-year-old granite boulders that surround the landscape of the 160 guest casitas (pictured right) and 61 villas. Two 18-hole championship golf course are an impressive feature, and the Boulders Golf Academy offers an impressive curriculum for any golfer, including women with the powerfully fun instruction by LPGA Judy Rohr. Mix in eight tennis courts, boutique shopping at el Pedregal, an outdoor marketplace of unique boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants (including yummy Mexican cuisine and margaritas at the Spotted Donkey).
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