Presbyterian Village North Residents Challenge Golfer To Work On Their Game—And Their Health

April 2014

Golf season is in full swing, and many people spend their weekends out on the golf course or at home, watching the competition unfold on television. To a committed group of residents at Presbyterian Village North, golf is more than just a game—it is a lifestyle. This group of around ten men has been hitting the ball for decades, and their scores are quite impressive. To get this group of highly-educated retired doctors, lawyers and engineers even more involved in fitness, the senior living community found a way to offer a golf class in accordance with its Wellness University program, a three-month program focusing on the five aspects of wellness and offered in a college course format. This particular session involves several residents who have played golf throughout their lives and enjoy encouraging each other—usually through their big personalities—to improve their golf game by developing strength, balance and flexibility. Dr. Joe Roach, long-time Dallas resident, golfer and former pediatrician, is one of the men participating. He has been golfing nearly 50 years and has found that exercise and increasing his focus on the key elements offered in this class have improved his enjoyment of the game in multiple ways.

“Many people don’t realize that golf requires such physical activity by engaging your balance, and working muscles to align your back, shoulders and hips appropriately,” said Dr. Roach, resident at Presbyterian Village North. “It is also mentally stimulating because you have to remember the skills you have learned, maintain focus and keep track of how many times you have hit the ball.”

The residents at Presbyterian Village North have enjoyed participating in the golf class which begins with strength training using Therabands to help strengthen the arms and legs. These exercises have proven to increase their range of motion in their shoulders, causing an improved swing. The main focus of this class is to improve residents’ overall physical condition with additional golf-related benefits such as greater distance, club head velocity and ball velocity. The senior living community is constantly searching for ways to engage its residents in activities that interest them and will promote and encourage their active lifestyles.

“I thoroughly enjoy taking the class each week,” said Dr. Roach. “Golf has always been a big part of my life and this gives me a different way to experience the sport. I encourage people of all ages to get involved with golf. I am excited to see more and more young people getting interested in the sport. I recommend those just starting out to invest in a series of lessons with a golf professional before heading to the course. Professionals are more affordable and readily available than they were in the past. They can give you advice on what type of golf clubs to use and get them fitted to your height and speed of swing.”

“Since we started this golf class, many of the residents have noticed improvements in strength and balance resulting in improved golf swings,” said Dr. Ruben De La Paz, DPT, physical therapist at Presbyterian Village North and instructor of the golf class. “We start our class with training for the first fifteen minutes and then transition into golf practice for the remainder of the class. With spring weather approaching, we have been able to meet outdoors on our community driving range to shift our focus from indoor putting to the middle game and long game.”

In addition, Dr. Roach and the other residents in the class try to go golfing at least once a week, sometimes making it out to the course a couple of times. Though he says his game is not as good as it used to be, he still encourages everyone to strengthen their muscles and work on their balance. As the weather cooperates, residents are enjoying golfing outside with Presbyterian Village North’s executive director Ron Kelly.

“These men have years of experience playing golf and I enjoy learning tips and tricks from them that help me improve my game,” said Kelly. “They encourage me and others to keep moving and to keep making time for the activities you enjoy. I love seeing the joy they get from exercising and training to improve their game, and I am so glad we are able to offer classes like our golf class. I’m excited to extend the same challenge we offered the residents to the surrounding community: get up, get active, and get golfing! ”