The answer might be golf fitness.
”You can have perfectly fit custom clubs and take lessons from a really good golf instructor and practice and all that,” said Brian Morrison, the head pro at Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago. ”If your body can’t do what you’re trying to do, that’s where people really get frustrated with golf.”
Enter Bill Glegoroff.
”It’s amazing,” Morrison said. ”He’ll watch a guy hit four or five balls and say, ‘How long has your left elbow been bothering you?’ And the guy will say, ‘How did you know?’ He can tell by the way people stand. Golf is really about good posture.” Glegoroff helps golfers improve their postures, their swings, their health and their golf scores.
A personal trainer for more than 25 years, Glegoroff, 50, has developed a golf fitness program. Certified by the Titleist Performance Institute as a golf fitness instructor, Glegoroff (pictured above) uses TPI computer technology to evaluate his clients and come up with personalized exercises to improve flexibility, strength and conditioning.
As director of fitness and a swing coach at Olympia Fields, which hosted the 2003 U.S. Open and will host the 2015 U.S. Amateur, Glegoroff has been received enthusiastically. Members at the south suburban club say they are playing and feeling better after working with Glegoroff. His exercises lead to flexibility that eases the pressure on problematic backs, knees, ankles and hips.
”I’ve always been into fitness, but Bill is specific to golf,” said Olympia Fields member Niles Crum, 57, who credited Glegoroff with helping him shave three strokes off his handicap index (6.5 to 3.6). ”He understands the right exercises for golf. I’m getting more flexible, and I know it’s helping my game. And I’ve had a back situation for years. Now I’m getting out of bed pain-free.”
Glegoroff’s evaluation involves performing seemingly simple tasks and exercises, such as standing on one leg for a period of time or bending an arm while maintaining a floor-exercise position. The regimen uses similarly basic equipment, such as a Swiss (Pilates) ball or a golf club.
Glegoroff also employs a Power Plate, a sophisticated vibrating device that aids stretching, eases muscle aches and helps build strength and range of motion.
”We look at biomechanics in a joint-by-joint approach,” said Glegoroff, who’s based at a downtown Chicago gym. ”The ankle, the knee, the hip, the back, the shoulders. If one joint doesn’t have the mobility, the next joint up the chain usually ends up having problems. That’s where people end up having lower-back pain.”
The therapeutic value alone is valuable. But where his approach differs from those of many trainers or therapists is that he puts his findings in the context of golf.
”It’s about being able to pinpoint some restriction that’s not allowing a person to play better golf on a regular basis,” said Glegoroff, whose regimen allows golfers to reshape their swings because their bodies can make better moves to the ball. ”When you get a guy who’s really tight, who has tight hamstrings or a lower-back problem, it ends up changing his posture. Grip, aim, posture, stance. It all changes.”
Even Morrison, who has been a teaching pro for 30 years, said Glegoroff has improved the way he hits the ball.
”I’ve always had a lot of lateral hip slide,” Morrison said. ”Bill said, ‘Put your arms over your head and squat down as far as you can go. Your hamstrings are tight.’ He put me through a series of exercises, and I said, ‘This is really great.’ If you’re doing something that makes somebody actually feel better, how could you not love it?
”I just think this is the next frontier in golf instruction,’’ Morrison said. “Developing a swing that matches an individual’s body type. I could hire the best teaching guy in the nation. But if you fix a guy’s shoulder, fix the instrument that’s swinging the club, maybe he won’t hang back and hit that thin shot to the right.”
Sometimes the Glegoroff remedies are shockingly basic.
”I met Bill at the start of this summer, and I found out my shoes were too big and my knee alignment was off,” said Tony Michuda, a 16-year-old high school junior when he started working with Glegoroff. ”After stretching and strength training, I went from a 3 to a 1.8 index. It’s made a big difference.”
”The first thing I look at is the feet,” Glegoroff said. ”The golf swing starts from the ground up.”
Glegoroff has begun the steps toward becoming a PGA teaching pro, but he already is helping golfers take big steps to improving their games. And when he helps someone feel better and play better, Glegoroff feels better, too.
”The satisfaction comes for me when someone says to me, ‘My hips and my shoulder are bothering me. Can you help me?’ And then they come to me and tell me they feel fabulous and are playing their best golf,” Glegoroff said. ”Fitness has been my life forever. I always used to go to the gym to make myself feel better. And golf has always been my passion. I’m living my dream.”
For more information, contact Bill Glegoroff at (312) 315-9869 or at firstname.lastname@example.org