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.
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
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)