Justin Leonard joins with Aspen doctor to create online exercise program for golfers
Dr. Jeremy James, who lives and practices in Aspen, has spent a lot of time working on golfers. He’s a specialist in chronic back and neck pain, which it turns out can be trouble areas for anyone trying to swing a club.
“I quickly had to learn early in my career the mechanics of golf and how that related to the body,” James said. “From a biomechanical standpoint, golf is really an unnatural and pretty unhealthy movement for your body. And if you don’t do some basic, supplemental exercises, it’s quite bad for your back. Going out and hitting a golf ball without doing those supplemental exercises is worse than just sitting on the couch.”
James could certainly help with those issues by seeing him in person, but admitted that isn’t the cheapest way to go. Wanting to find a way to reach more people in a more cost-effective arena, the idea for GolfForever came about. With the help of 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, who also calls Aspen home, James created the online exercise program that launched this week.
“It’s very unique compared to everything else that’s out there because it’s something that is home-based. It’s so important for not just a golfer, but overall health in general,” Leonard said. “It doesn’t take an hour and a half at a gym everyday. You can kind of do it anywhere. Again, it’s about seeing the benefits, and not just in your golf game, but other areas of life.”
James originally created BackForever, a more generalized online program to help with back issues. But after dealing with so many golfers as patients, he decided a golf-specific program would do well and about a year ago was connected with Leonard, who was friends with many of his clients.
Leonard, most known for having won the 2007 British Open, currently is in Northern Ireland working for the Golf Channel and NBC as a commentator for this year’s British Open, which starts Thursday at Royal Portrush. Leonard’s role with GolfForever was to share his extensive golf knowledge with the customers and with James.
Not only are the videos designed to help with back and neck pain among golfers, but Leonard offers plenty of insight on how to succeed on the course.
“He has helped me understand the finer points of the game. We really hammered out the basics of the biomechanics and got into a much deeper level than I could have on my own,” James said. “We wanted to get inside Justin’s head and let our members experience what it’s like to think about aspects of the course and how to play each hole and how to really use strategy with the game.”
Leonard admitted he’s never had issues with back pain throughout his career, crediting a rigorous workout routine to keeping him healthy. He said the GolfForever program isn’t just for those suffering from pain, but for those who are healthy and want to stay that way while also improving their game.
“It’s not just a fitness program, it’s kind of a lifestyle,” Leonard said. “After he talked to me about the program I realized how valuable it is and how it’s really unique to anything that’s out there on the market.”
The video program starts with a self-assessment and then sorts patients into the best program to fit their needs. It’s very interactive and can be done from the comfort of one’s own home. Cost is $9.99 a month with no long-term contract required.
“I realized after a few years there has to be a better way to get information out to everyone,” James said. “With today’s technology and interactive video you can, and it’s just as effective as seeing me in person.”
For more on the program, go to golfforever.com.
Roaring Fork District schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt are heading into the new school year more fully staffed than in recent years.
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