Get to know Carolina Romero (Fit Golfer Girl) who tells us all about fitness for golf and about her
Carolina grew up in Bogota, Colombia where she was a nationally recognized competitive golfer. After attending the University of South Florida on a golf scholarship she discovered her passion for health and fitness and pursued a career in golf and personal training. She is now a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Golf Fitness Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), a Functional Aging Specialist (Senior Fitness) with the Functional Aging Institute, and a Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition. She lives and works in Florida.
What came first fitness or golf?
I started playing golf when I was really young, so golf came first.
How did you get into golf?
Both my parents are golfers so it was just a matter of time before they got me a set of clubs and got me playing.
Growing up in Bogota was golf easily accessible?
Unfortunately, there are very few public golf courses in Colombia so it’s not nearly as accessible as it is in USA or Europe. It is still a very popular sport for players of all ages.
What is golf like now in Colombia is it widely played?
Golf in Colombia is huge. Just in the capital city, Bogota, there are about 20 beautiful golf courses.
Additionally, junior golf programs in colombia are excellent so we have lots of kids going to college on golf scholarships and trying to make it on tour afterwards.
Who were your inspirations in golf growing up?
I always admired Brad Faxon for his incredible short game. I was always one of the shortest and smallest kids my age so I had to rely heavily on my short game to score. My goal was to be as good at putting and chipping as he was.
Were you always into health and fitness or only when you moved to the USA?
I was into healthy eating for as long as I can remember; however, it wasn’t until I was in college that I started getting into fitness. When I started playing golf at the University of South Florida on a golf scholarship I started lifting weights under the guidance of the athletic training staff. It wasn’t love at first sight! I remember being sore and miserable the first couple of months. Eventually I starting really enjoying it and I got hooked.
Florida must be a great place to be involved in the game of golf with the amount of golfers/courses and the weather.
Absolutely. The golf scene in Florida is huge and year round warmth helps! I have been able to make great connections and show golfers of all ages and levels how much golf fitness can improve their golf game.
You are a TPI Titleist qualified instructor what does that mean? And you must be very proud to have achieved that.
TPI stands for Titleist Performance Institute which is the leading organization studying and teaching the impact that fitness can have on golfers. The knowledge I gained through TPI has allowed me to understand the impact that our body imbalances have in the golf swing.
Your blog as well as your you tube and Instagram pages are great and you put loads of helpful tips. Do you try to help a specific golfer or can anyone follow your videos?
My goal is to give valuable knowledge that any golfer can use. I do this by keeping it simple and making sure that I provide information that even advanced golfers can benefit from. I want to show golfers that golf fitness is more than heavy squats and olympic lifts!
What is the first thing people usually want to achieve when they come to see you?
Everyone wants more distance, flexibility, and to be able to golf pain free.
What would you say is the number one thing female golfers could all improve in the gym or by working out?
Glute activation and strength is something all golfers, both male and female, could benefit from. Unfortunately, 95% of the golfers I encounter have weak or underactive glutes. Improving this will lead to more power, stability, and a reduced risk of injury.
Some of the male golfers in recent years have all put on a lot of muscle, is there a danger of working out too much can damage your game?
A solid golf fitness program in which the golfer is gaining muscle but also maintaining balance in the muscles of his/her body should have no negative impact to their golf game.
Negative effects to the golf swing will occur when balance of the body is disrupted, the mobility of the golfer is reduced, and compensations develop.
How big a part does nutrition play in preparing and during a round of golf? And what items would you recommend for every golfer to take in their bag?
Nutrition is very important for performance during the golf round; however, nutrition recommendations vary a lot from one person to another. Every golfer needs to learn to identify the needs of their body so they can fuel it properly depending on the conditions during the round.
I recommend golfers always carry around snacks with protein and complex carbs. Staying hydrated is also key!
There are a lot more interesting warm up routines taking place on driving ranges lately. What 5-10 minute routine would recommend every golfer do before playing and why is it important?
Warming up before teeing off is extremely important. It will reduce the golfer’s risk of injury and also allow the body to move better from the first swing.
The following videos show a few great dynamic stretches that you can do before teeing it up!
We have spent this weekend with 2 different sets of golfer. The ladies at Royal Ashdown Golf Club in England who are in their 50s and 60s want to know, with age are there any exercises you would recommend for them to maintain their power/distance.
The following are the common problems I encounter in senior golfers. For a more accurate assessment, I recommend they get a TPI assessment to receive recommendations based on their unique movement patterns.
Glute activation: A big percentage of golfers have underactive and weak glutes. Working on getting the glutes to fire properly will allow them to gain stability, power, and reduce their risk of lower back injury and pain.
Posture: Bad posture directly affects the golfers ability to rotate. Working on improving their posture by stretching out the chest muscles and strengthening the mid back muscles will have a huge impact on their game.
Thoracic Mobility: Rotation during the golf swing should take place in the thoracic spine (mid back). Maintaining good mobility of this area will help the golfer prevent the onset of lower back and neck injuries. Additionally, it will reduce the necessity for lots of golf swing compensations.
The other questions comes from a group of junior girls who are just starting to learn about fitness. They want to know what they should be doing to help them with their all round game as currently they just run for fitness.
Just running is not enough for someone to see improvements in their golf game.
My recommendation would be to start performing strength training exercises focusing on their glutes, core, and core stability.
Would you say there are some bad exercises for golfers that they should stay away from?
Any exercise performed incorrectly or ruining the balance of your body can have a negative impact on your golf swing.
One top tip for getting more women to work out?
The endorphins release that occurs after a good workout will make you feel like a million bucks!
I guess the dream question, can a structured fitness, nutrition, stretching plan improve your golf game?
You were a NCAA division 1 golfer in America. Do you still get to play? And what are your personal goals with your golf?
I do play, but not as much as I used to. Currently my goal is to play more so I can regain the confidence that I used to have back in the day.