The addition of a second story, two new hitting bays and a new training and fitness room are among the enhancements to the PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass that instructors of the facility unveiled to media last week. The performance center reopened to the public in late May after being closed since May 2016 for renovations.
“We have all the things we need to help people improve,” said Director of Instruction Todd Anderson, who is considered one of golf’s top teachers. “We’re excited to get this started and build a tradition here at TPC Sawgrass.”
Located on the facility’s new second story are a putting lab and the new training and fitness room. The technology used by staff in the putting lab measures more than 20 parameters of the putter head and ball, including the direction of the putter head and backstroke/forward stroke timing. The lab also utilizes cameras that are placed around the room to provide instructors with varying vantage points of their students’ short game. Whereas the center’s previous lab only utilized TaylorMade putters, the upgraded facility has expanded to Titleist, Callaway and Ping.
Anderson explained that the new training and fitness room will help golfers improve the way their body functions during their swing. If a student has tight shoulders or hips, he said they can now send him/her to the center’s fitness specialist, Alex Bennett, who can perform an assessment to determine which exercises or stretches need to be completed to correct the problem. Included within the room are various weight lifting and cardio machines and exercise equipment, including medicine and physio balls and balance boards.
A club fitting bay and adjacent club fitting equipment room, which features upgraded equipment and additional shaft partners, are located on the first floor. Instructors here use TrackMan and GCQuad-Foresight technology to determine optimal club and ball data for each individual player. Adjacent to the club fitting bay are instruction bays where instructors work with students to improve their technique.
Outside of the building, the performance center’s practice grounds consist of a grass fairway floor in the shape of an “X” to allow shot variations from the teeing ground; five Tif-Eagle target greens with two built to USGA standards; a center wedge target green; a chipping/bunker green and a putting green. The practice grounds also feature the traditional Pete Dye design element of the railroad bulk head.
In addition to Anderson and Bennett, the center’s staff includes Jordan Dempsey, who specializes in helping students with their short game; Andrew Lanahan, who teaches many of the center’s junior and mid-level students; Josh Gumlia, the center’s club fitter; and Joe Rocha, the facility’s manager. Anderson emphasized that each one of the staff members has a different area of expertise and knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level.
“Anybody from a beginner to a tour player, we feel like we can help,” said Anderson. “When everybody works together, it’s a really, really powerful way to teach.”
The performance center is open to the public for appointments Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The full rate cost of instruction ranges from $200 to $475 per hour depending on the instructor. TPC Sawgrass members and staff, as well as PGA Tour players, executives and junior players are eligible for discounted rates. Club fitting ranges in cost from $125 to $450.
Anderson, who has previously instructed at other training facilities, believes the sky is the limit for the upgraded center at TPC Sawgrass.
“This is the best one I’ve been involved with,” he said. “I feel like we have all the components here to make it one of the best in the world.”