As serious golfers seek any advice or techniques that will help reduce their handicaps, spas are responding with specialized therapies and services aimed at improving not only physical performance but your head game as well.
Aboard the exclusive floating community The World of ResidenSea, half of the residents are either avid golfers or interested in taking up the game. The ship’s ports of call provide access to the world’s most famous golf courses, including Royal Mougins in France and Gleneagles in Scotland, while time at sea can be spent honing your long game on the ship’s sprawling sports deck, driving eco-friendly golf balls that dissolve after 96 hours in seawater.
Nina Dimoglou, manager of the ship’s World Spa (operated by Switzerland’s renowned Clinique La Prairie), says that developing specialized spa treatments to cater to her golf-obsessed clients was a natural step. “Golfers were coming in with elbow, shoulder, and lower back ailments stemming from their games,” says Dimoglou. “We decided to offer not just repair, but a program that would help them improve their technique and use their bodies in a better way—ultimately avoiding injury.”
In May, World Spa debuted an intensive Golf Fitness & Spa program, a five-day, 13-session regimen that begins with one-on-one consultations with a golf specialist, a spa therapist, and a personal trainer. The program also includes fitness assessment and training; nutritional counseling; mobility exercises concentrating on arms, wrists, and spine; strength training for abs, glutes, and upper body; and Pilates and yoga for improved posture. After the sessions, golfers can relax with hydrotherapy treatments, Swedish and sports massages, hot fango mud wraps for stiffness, and Vichy showers.
In Scottsdale, Ariz., Christina Drozda, a meditation therapist at the Phoenician resort’s Centre for Well-Being spa, goes a step further by addressing the mental game in addition to technique. In fact, she says the spa was a forerunner in developing golf-related spa therapies. “In the late 1990s, we noticed a lot of golfers coming into the spa with stress and tension in their shoulders or just stress because they weren’t playing the game they wanted to,” says Drozda, who was conducting classes in meditation at the time. When a client requested that she develop a special golfer’s meditation, she began the practice informally, but the concept soon took hold. This year, Drozda formalized a golf-spa program that incorporates yoga, Pilates, and spa treatments designed specifically for golfers, and a personalized golfers’ visualization and meditation session that begins in the classroom and ends on the course.
“I start by finding out what kind of golfer the individual is,” says Drozda. “Is he visual? Feely? Auditory?—some golfers respond to the whoosh of hitting the ball. We then work on the golfer’s perceived obstacle. Maybe it’s his backswing, or maybe he gets nervous if he doesn’t do well on one hole and carries that the entire game.” Next, Drozda takes the golfer onto the course, where she can assess him as he plays a few holes. “We walk through it and come up with ways to adapt his technique, whether it’s breathing, repositioning the body, or visualizing, feeling, listening.”
While Drozda had already produced a general meditation compact disc, once again, her golfer clients requested a specialized version just for them. She responded with a new CD titled Contacting the Master Golfer Within, which will be available next year. The meditative program includes a series of affirmations, that, she says, helps listeners “connect with the ‘perfect golfer’—the guy inside, who golfs just the way he wants to.”
The World of ResidenSea
Phoenician’s Centre for Well-Being