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January 29, 2009

Joey D's GolfGym Training Club is serious exercise for serious golfers

Posted at 8:00 PM by Gary Van Sickle | Categories: PGA Show

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods may be largely responsible for the fitness craze on the PGA Tour, but Joey Diovisalvi is giving this craze a clearer direction.

Joeexercise He's best known as Joey D and as the former personal trainer to Vijay Singh. He has been a strength, conditioning and biomechanics coach on the PGA Tour for more than a decade, and he has used his expertise and experience to compile a video that covers uncharted territory. His DVD, "GolfGym Training Club," isn't your standard workout. It is a routine designed to improve golf-specific muscle movements, especially upper body strength, balance and posture. Creating a golf-specific exercise program is somewhat uncharted territory, and it's long overdue.

"Getting in shape is a vague term," said Joey D, who was at the PGA Merchandise Show signing autographs and promoting his DVD and accompanying GolfGym system. "The end result of our programs is that yes, you'll be in better shape. Every sport has specific movements, whether it's golf or tennis or baseball, and we've put together specific moves to ensure that you will improve and strengthen the muscles that affect the golf swing."

His former client, Singh, is a prime example. At 45, Singh won last year's FedEx Cup. Another client is Pat Perez, who started on Joey D's program a year ago and just scored his first tour win last week at the Bob Hope Classic.

"You have to respect what Vijay has done at his age," Joey D said. "He'll always be remembered as one of the hardest workers. He's done everything he can do, considering he's self-taught. Who thought last year that Vijay would win the FedEx Cup? I hadn't talked to him in a while, and at the PGA, after he'd been in kind of a putting slump, I asked how he was doing. He said, 'Joey, I'm going to be the best putter in the world at the end of the year.' That's what he said, and then he won the tournament that everyone wanted to win. He's still a work in progress."

Joey D said he also helped modernize the fitness vans that are used on tour. "We stripped them down and brought them up to speed with modern technology," he said. "There was a complete resurgence of interest last week at the Hope. More guys were in the fitness trailer than had been in years. The guys see that the new equipment and technology is there."

There have been exercise programs to build strength and to help golfers prevent injuries, but there hasn't been one that promises to make you a better golfer, too.

"We're golf coaches, that's what we really are," Joey D said. "We want to educate golfers."

(Photo: David Walberg/SI)

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