LPGA pros are joining their counterparts on the PGA Tour and are frequenting the gym when not on the course. This was evident just by looking at the LPGA pros in attendance at the 60th annual PGA Merchandise show, held this week in Orlando, Fla.
Getting women golfers, including the stars of the LPGA, to get fit and take care of their body is the mission of Orlando-based personal trainer Andrea Doddato. Doddato, a former caddy on the LPGA Tour works with over 20 LPGA touring pros and has been involved in golf fitness for the last 12 years. The list of female pros she works with includes: Yani Tseng, Na Yeon Choi, and Brittany Lincicome.
Doddato ran a seminar called Women's Tour Fitness at the new FIT to W.I.N. Pavilion located on the show floor and it was standing room only.
During the presentation Doddato brought on state LPGA player Ryan O'Toole and they demonstrated some of the exercises they do on a regular basis. Many attendees were taking notes.
"It's the first presentation I've given like this," explains Doddato. 'But I think the people enjoyed it and it went very well."
The fitness pavilion drew big crowds all week, and let's hope it has more seating next year.
Doddato says that players are starting to see the light, but it's just the start.
"I believe there is a long way to go with fitness and women's golf," states Doddato. "There is still the mentality that they don't want to get tight and get muscles."
Doddato says that more players will get involved in fitness when the courses they play start getting lengthened.
She is also excited to see the changes filtering down to club and amateur players.
"I've seen a lot of changes in working with amateur golfers and senior amateur golfers when I show them how they can get more flexible and more power.
Doddato says players call upon her services for different reasons.
"Golfers want more distance, but in (some cases) they are looking for more stability in their play."
She adds that sometimes a fitness issue can help fix a swing problem, or they come with injuries that they need to recover from.
Also talked about this week is fitness in junior golf, especially with young girls that are still growing.
Doddato frequently work with junior players, starting at the age of nine.
"I don't throw any extra weight in their hands until they are in their teens," she explains. "I'll do body weight exercise to get range of motion, and try to keep their joints healthy."
Doddato says she personalizes her programs depending on what is needed, so players of all levels can give her a call.
"You also have to tailor (what you do) depending on personality as well," offers up Doddato. "You may get someone you constantly have to challenge in the gym, and other golfers want little physical therapy workouts and help with stretching."
Doddato says she has to know the golfer as a person to get the most out of their ability, and that she will continue to be an advocate to get golfers to work out.
You can follow Doddato on Twitter at @ShapeandSport and on the internet at www.shapeandsport.com.