What Course: Titleist Performance Institute Level One Certification
When: June 9-10, 2012
Where: San Fransisco, or at least they said San Fransisco, but it was really like the airport terminal. (Burlingame)
What it is: The TPI certification is provided by the Titleist Performance Institute to allow medical, fitness, and golf professionals to become certified in their respective arenas in the process of analyzing not just golf swings, but the golfers themselves. There are three levels for most “tracks” and this review is of the Level One seminar.
Who was there: Dave Phillips (co-founder of TPI) and Lance Gill (Head Athletic Trainer for TPI). Audience was a 33/33/33 percent split of medical, golf, and fitness professionals.
Let’s get one thing straight. I, by no means, am an avid golfer. I moved to Los Angeles from Boston, and I actually golf less now than I did then. But, many of my clients and patients are golfers, and I also know that Gray Cook had a little to do with the movement assessments of the TPI screen. At first I was a little lost looking at analyses of golf swings, attempting to pick out swing characteristics (most of us think of them as faults), and noting why they might happen, and should we fix the problem, or let it slide because the person is somehow still hitting the hell out of the ball. But as I grasped the swings, and 3-D analysis of the golfers more and more, I could see where Dave and Lance were going to take us once we got into the movement analyses sections.
At this time, it was the golf pros’ turns to sit around looking a little lost. Right away I saw the similarities between the FMS and the TPI movement screens, and from what I hear, the Level 2 Medical Screen is almost the SFMA (lovely, because I’m already SFMA certified I’ll get 50% off my Level 2 course). Toe touches, and thoracic rotation, and pelvic tilts in golfer’s position were all part of this screen, and believe me there was a lot more to it, but the simplicity with which Dave and Lance presented it was amazing. It was like everyone in the room just got it, primarily due to the ease of presentation.
What really impressed me, and made a lasting impression on me was the “swing-body” connection section of the course, where all minds had to come together and figure out if a person presented with certain movement deficiencies, how would their golf swing look and vice-a-versa. We got to see how problems in everyday movement patterns would show up in people’ swings. This got me thinking to how much this applies to other sports and activities, and gave me a heavy dose of deja-vu (primarily because of my SMFA training). What can we characteristically see in people’s athletic or fitness movements if we look at the person’s general movement deficiencies? This was the gist of it, and it applies to a lot more than golf.
I think that TPI is onto something here. They also present the audience with information on business strategies, social media tips, and technology information. Also, I can’t forget the importance they place on working in conjunction with the other members of the “golf” team; for instance, as a PT my patient will get the best outcome if I am working WITH the fitness and golf professionals to allow the golfer to either return to play sooner, or improve their game faster.
Who should take at least the TPI level one certification course: Any medical, fitness, or golf professional that encounters a client that plays a rotational sport (baseball, tennis, but primarily golf), and wants to be able to better talk with other members of these professional communities.
In closing, I’m looking forward to continuing on in this professional journey, and will be anxious to get another review of the SFMA. Now all I have to do is fix my own swing.