Golf workout program targets Bay Street

Golf-specific classes focus on three fitness components that can ultimately shave shots off a scorecard.

Bay Streeters may be focused on stocks and bonds most of the time, but Sarah Grant knew there was another obsession filling their minds: golf. That’s why the owner of downtown Toronto’s Revolution Fitness club decided to launch an exercise program tailored to financial types looking to better their games.

“Our location, our proximity to the financial district, that’s all part of the business plan,” she says.

Launched earlier this year and dubbed GolfEdge, the classes focus on three main components that, when developed, can ultimately shave shots off a scorecard. Flexibility exercises enable better rotational abilities, critical to a golf swing; strength and power routines target the midsection and abdomen; and overall aerobic conditioning is achieved through high-speed bike and treadmill workouts.

The classes are typically an hour in length, with 20 minutes devoted to each category. Numbers are purposely kept small to allow for increased one-on-one interaction with class leaders. There is also a foursome option, where one or two groups of golfing buddies can take the class together.

The class is free for club members. Non-members can take one class for $40 or purchase a package, which can bring the cost per class down to as low as $30.

Much of the frustration often seen on the fairways can be attributed to poor conditioning, Grant says. But with the impressive physiques of Tiger Woods and other top golfers now on display, the typical everyday player is becoming inspired to lower not only their score but also their waist size.

“Golf has become not just a game that the old cronies play, but it’s really becoming a sport, and the improvement in a person’s game with a little bit of fitness is really phenomenal.”

Grant is looking to increase the number of classes to about two a day, but admits that it’s harder to do in the summer because “people are more likely to be out on the course.”

Getting the message about the program out to Bay Street is also important. To that end, the club holds a few lunch ‘n learn sessions each month with financial firms in the area.

“Business people are smart people, and I think they value health,” says Grant, “but it’s about how you incent them to do something about it.”