Ready to take the guesswork out of your golf game?
Total Performance Golf (TPG) at the Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fla. was specifically designed to provide players with the ultimate golf learning experience.
“Most golfers today are over taught and under trained,” says TPG founder Justin Bruton. “Fifteen years ago, the average American male golfer’s handicap was 16.2, and the average female golfer’s handicap was 29.” Golf equipment has improved dramatically since the mid-1990s, he notes, but average handicaps in the U.S. have remained the same. Moreover, the overall fitness and physical abilities of most players has declined.
“No amount of training or practice can compensate for a body that cannot perform the functional movements of the swing,” says Bruton, a golf biomechanics expert. “Motor patterns or ‘swing faults’ are built around physical limitations. It makes no sense to teach a swing correction to someone who is physically unable to perform it.”
The answer? A revolutionary approach to teaching the game that is already beginning to transform traditional mainstream golf instruction.
Utilizing a team of golf instructors, physical therapists, fitness trainers and club fitters whose common goal is to demonstrate to golfers how to improve their ability and play a better game, Total Performance Golf at the Biltmore can accurately determine whether a player’s body, swing and/or equipment is at fault. This integrated approach, coupled with state-of-the-art technology and the Biltmore’s world-class facilities, ensures that players at all ability levels can achieve a personal breakthrough.
“We are a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified facility, which means everyone on our staff has been individually certified by TPI, the leaders in elite player development,” Bruton explains. “Golfers are put through an array of tests that, until now, were reserved for the best players in the world.”
The cornerstones of TPG’s programs are:
Swing technique and style are as individual and unique as a player’s fingerprints. At TPG, a proprietary MRI motion capture system is used to create a three-dimensional figure of each player’s golf swing, including all the body’s rotational speeds. This provides a precise picture of what is happening during the swing. The team then matches swing technique with individual physical attributes to help each golfer build a more repeatable and efficient swing.
Key factors such as strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, nutrition, stability, power, vision and posture all influence the body’s mechanics. Utilizing a physical screening process, the TPG team measures a player’s ability to generate and transfer speed and also determines the most efficient energy transfer throughout the body. Experts isolate any physical limitations, correlate these findings to swing technique and prescribe a customized conditioning program.
Proper equipment is a vital component to developing a repeatable technique. The best players in the world rely on fitting specialists to ensure that their equipment matches their launch conditions. The TPG team evaluates each player’s golf ball and club requirements and provides fitting recommendations that produce results. Equipment data is cross-referenced with swing efficiency and conditioning analysis to ensure the optimum fit for each golfer’s game.
What’s the first step?
An initial swing evaluation is performed by the TPG’s head teaching professional to determine each player’s swing style and efficiency. A basic physical screening is then given to find out if there are any physical issues that need to be addressed. From here a player can move one of two ways: first, if there are no severe physical limitations, players move directly to equipment fitting, short game analysis and swing training.
But if a player does exhibit multiple deficiencies during the basic physical evaluation, a resident physical therapist performs the TPI Medical Evaluation. This evaluation will identify a player’s physical deficits, however small. Each golfer’s range of motion, strength, balance and flexibility are tested extensively. Once this evaluation is completed, the team can determine which physical limitations are directly affecting the player’s performance. A personalized corrective exercise program is then created by the TPG fitness team to address these limitations. It is important to note that a swing fault directly related to a physical limitation cannot be corrected until the limitation is corrected first. Next, golfers are put through a 3-Dimensional swing analysis, which in essence is the equivalent to a golf swing MRI. This evaluation allows the team to track the efficiency of a player’s body movements through the swing, or what is also known as the Kinematic Sequence.
What is Kinematic Sequence?
Biomechanists have discovered a unique signature that all great players possess, regardless of individual style. This signature is known in the biomechanics world as the Kinematic Sequence. A powerful motion capture computer with electronic position sensors is used to create a ‘virtual reality’ model of a player’s swing in three dimensions. Biomechanical values such as posture, joint angles, speed, acceleration and timing are obtained, as is the Kinematic Sequence itself.
To assist in the analysis of each swing, the body is broken up into three key segments: Pelvis (Lower body), Thorax (Torso) and Arms. (The club itself represents a fourth component). Among the world’s best ball-strikers, these segments work like a synchronized whip on the downswing and result in an efficient, repeatable swing.
Typically, the average amateur golfer has one or more of these segments out of sequence, and as a result has to manipulate the club in order to make contact with the ball. An inefficient motion results in a loss of speed and accuracy. It can also lead to injury.
A comprehensive tee-to-green club fitting program is provided utilizing state-of-the-art Doppler radar launch monitors that track the golf ball in flight to gather data. A driver, long game, iron, wedge and putter fitting allow each golfer to be prescribed the correct club models and personalized set specifications for optimum performance. Properly fit clubs lead to better play and lower scores.
A short game skill test quantifies a player’s ability to get up and down from various lies around the green. This test enables our team to identify any short game weaknesses that need to be addressed.
The resort’s certified dietician then designs a personal nutrition program to maximize a player’s optimal health—and enhance peak performance on the golf course. Bodywork therapists at the Biltmore Spa have developed a specialized Golf Massage that blends deep tissue and sports massage techniques to effectively condition golf-specific muscles. The goal: increase flexibility and mobility.
At Total Performance Golf at the Biltmore, the knowledge and expertise of the TPI Certified Team offers a scientific appraisal and training regimen designed to improve a player’s overall ability. The ultimate goal? A fresh approach to the game, crisper ball-striking, lower scores–and long-term wellness on and off the course.
For more information about Total Performance Golf at the Biltmore, including individual sessions, short term programs and extended stay programs, call 305-445-1926, ext. 2337. Or visit www.biltmorehotel.com/golf.
About The Biltmore:
The Biltmore, a National Historic Landmark hotel in Coral Gables, Fla. 15 minutes west of Miami, features a restored Donald Ross-designed golf course, a tennis center, the largest hotel swimming pool in the country with private poolside cabanas, a European-style spa, and an award-winning fitness center. Spread across a 150-acre tropical landscape, the grand Mediterranean Revival-style hotel has 275 rooms and suites. The Biltmore also boasts the acclaimed Palme d’Or, lauded by Zagat as one of the best restaurants in the nation; Fontana, a Northern Italian restaurant surrounding the Biltmore fountain; the poolside Cascade restaurant; and the Biltmore Bar. The property recently unveiled its Culinary Academy, which offers an array of hands-on cooking classes taught by the hotel’s celebrated chefs. The Biltmore is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.