Alex Bennett is a fitness specialist for The PGA TOUR. A resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, he was just named one of Golf Digest’s top 50 fitness trainers.
As told to Maggie FitzRoy
Q: What does your job entail?
A: My main job is to help golfers stay healthy. And if they are struggling with mechanics then I make sure it’s not a physical limitation. I do an assessment of 15 different moves in a golf swing.
Q: If it is a physical limitation, then what?
A: Then we work on their mobility or stability. Also, I help players improve speed with the golf club.
Q: Where do you work?
A: The PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass. It’s located on the range right next to the practice tee.
Q: What golfers do you work with?
A: I have people as young as 9 and as old as 72. Right now, I have 16 professionals. Five on The PGA TOUR and three on the European Tour and the rest are on mini tours. I am the only fitness instructor located at The Performance Center. I work as part of a team with other golf instructors, swing instructors and a club fitter. There are six of us total.
Q: What type of educational background do you have?
A: My college degree is actually in business, from Flagler College. And then I went back and trained with The National Academy of Sports Medicine as a professional fitness trainer. I also got my Corrective Exercise Science certification from them, too. I am also Level 3 Titleist Performance Institute certified.
Q: How did you happen to choose your profession?
A: I played golf professionally after college and I broke my wrist two weeks before Q-School, which is the qualifying round of tournaments to get into The PGA TOUR. I had been already through a shoulder injury from golf, which was triggered by a history of playing ice hockey and basketball growing up. I definitely found my love for what I do now from the rehab process that I went through. Just learning all the functions of the body and how it can compensate for certain limitations. The trainer I was working with while training professionally was known as the Father of Golf Fitness, Randy Meyers, and he took me under his wing. He told me I should try doing this. He mentored me along. I went into training while I was still in the cast for my wrist.
Q: How long did the training take?
A: About a year and a half. My parents were very supportive. My girlfriend at the time, who is my wife now, was very supportive.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I grew up in Metro Detroit, Michigan. My father was in the auto industry. Mom was a stay-at-home mom who took me to all my sports. My wife, Kim, works in medical sales.
Q: What do you do during the week of THE PLAYERS?
A: I will only work with my TOUR players who are in the tournament that week: Billy Horschel, Sam Ryder, Lanto Griffin and Doc Redman. I work with them pretty much before they tee off. It’s a long week for me. It’s fun, though, I enjoy it. But it’s definitely busy.
Q: What is most rewarding about your job?
A: As someone who has been through a bunch of injuries, helping people bounce back after injury is rewarding. And—teaching young kids proper body mechanics to prevent injuries in the first place.
Photo by Maggie FitzRoy