The Perfect Balance of Fitness and Instruction at SMART Golf & Fitness
At first glance, the neighborhood dotted with warehouses a couple of miles northwest of downtown Chicago doesn’t seem like the place where you’d find some of the best golf instruction in the Windy City. But, when you walk through the door of SMART Golf & Fitness, you enter an impressive facility that’s part indoor golf instructional facility, part fitness studio, and part country club.
Premium Training Spaces
SMART Golf & Fitness has plenty of space to let golfers work on their swing and includes seven training bays equipped with Trackman golf simulators. A large indoor chipping and putting green lets members work on their short game. The second-floor fitness space includes a mix of cardio equipment, free weights, a turf strip and a large SYNRGY360 functional training area that serves as the centerpiece of the room. The 11,000-square-foot location opened in summer 2019.
The Pair Behind the Business
Tommy Asuma and Joe Sheren are the brains behind SMART Golf, and their backgrounds and expertise perfectly complement each other. Before teaming up with Sheren, Asuma built an impressive resume as a high school athletic trainer and teacher. He spent five years as the head athletic trainer at Athletico’s Golf Performance Center before founding SMART Golf in late 2011.
Sheren’s background includes stints as a teaching professional at prestigious golf courses around the United States. He graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in Professional Golf Management. He met Asuma while both were attending a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) certification course and they decided to join forces in 2015.
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How It Works
Clients start their SMART Golf & Fitness membership with an extensive assessment that includes both swing analysis and a physical screening to determine mobility, stability, balance coordination, strength and power. From there, the experts there provide the member with a personalized training approach. Weekly visits to both the training bays and the fitness area keep golfers on track. SMART Golf employs a team of both skilled golf instructors and fitness instructors to ensure that members are learning from the best.
“The first emphasis was to build a program that would allow us the best possible opportunity to help every single player we come in contact with,” said Sheren. A large step in order for us to do this is to manage expectations with reality. We find that many whom don’t get better or continue on with this game, it isn’t because they aren’t capable, it’s because they gave up, and they give because they aren’t patient enough. In our efforts to address this paradigm, our members are required to read our student handbook prior to their first lesson in order to develop the complimentary mindset in order to achieve their goals.”
A Philosophy of Better Instruction
The comprehensive program at SMART Golf is intended to not only develop better golfers, but to also prevent injury, allow for pain-free golf and improve general physical fitness. Each of the three major membership options balances equal time with both golf lessons and physical fitness sessions. Improved fitness and athleticism translate into feeling better on both the fairway and in everyday life.
“The philosophy of traditional golf training is flawed,” said Asuma. “Our membership model utilizes a specific number of sessions within certain amount of time. We create a schedule similar to doctors in order to get more success and every individual gets a customized plan. It’s easier here since our members can work on their golf and physical training lessons under one roof.”