All the success that Club member Gregg Rogers has had with the game of golf came from being terrible at golf.
“When I was a kid I was a fairly good athlete, just not good at golf. For some reason that struck a passion with me, and I had to figure out why I wasn’t performing as well as I’d like to,” Rogers says. “It became a lifelong pursuit that brought me to where I am now; I became obsessed with how to get better at the game.”
As a result of that obsession, Rogers turned professional prior to attending Oregon State and University of Arizona. But that only led to another life-changing realization.
“After a short stint of trying to play in the PGA and failing miserably, I began to spend most of my time helping other players get better instead of working on my own game,” Rogers says. “I realized my skill was in assisting others.”
In 2007, Rogers’ knack for coaching others created the Gregg Rogers’ Golf Performance Centers, an instruction and club-fitting company that in November 2016 was named on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Best Clubfitters.
Now with three locations—in Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle—and a few pop-up simulators around town (including one at Safeco Field), he finds immense joy in employing a whole range of cutting-edge technologies to help players of all levels improve their golf game on the course. “Technology is great. Technology answers all the questions,” Rogers says. “I think we’re going to see the greatest golfers in the world because of it. When I was a kid, I didn’t have any feedback telling me what was going on, and so what I was correcting wasn’t helping. Really, it’s been in the last 10 or 15 years that we’ve been able to see what’s actually happening. Today, I’m a better golfer than ever, just because the feedback is so much better.” And he isn’t exaggerating.
The TrackMan technology is behind Rogers’ simulator and instruction process. He explains that the precise radar-based system tracks every dimension of a golfer’s swing—including club speed, ball speed, backspin, face angle, swing direction and many more stats.
“It’s called D-plane analysis, and basically we can understand how the fundamental relationships of impact and play look for each person. Then we work backward and do a lot of instruction based on the analysis.”
On top of an already-strong piece of technology, which Rogers estimates is being used by 80 percent of golf professionals now, he adds other bells and whistles. For example, Rogers integrated a mat that detects weight distribution, which he says is a major key to perfecting and enjoying the game.
“The mat allows us to see how the weight distribution coordinates with the motion, so we can tell if the center of gravity is working properly,” Rogers says. “And through 35 years of experience, we’ve come up with a model that’s based on the alignment of the skeleton to take pressure off the joints. It allows the muscles to relax and prevent injury. We guarantee the process will be beneficial and the game will be easier on the body, just based on fundamental skeletal alignment.”
Rogers is also a big fan of the SAM PuttLab, which uses ultrasound to break down all the movements involved with game on the green.
“All the technology we have allows the player to feel exactly what it is they should be doing in order to perform better,” Rogers says. “Once you have that feeling, you can take it to the golf course and implement it in the game. Then you’re going to own it.”
The last feature Rogers is excited about is a component that allows clients to take lessons home with them. “We just had an app built for us by Microsoft and in partnership with the PGA Tour. The app allows us to take a video of a person, annotate the video with voice-over and then e-mail the person immediately so they can access it on the go.”
Through March, Rogers is bringing one of his simulators back to the Bellevue Club. He says good fitness is just as important to the game as access to technology.
“We are so happy to partner with the Bellevue Club because that brings about the fitness part,” he says. “The most important things in terms of fitness for golf are increased range of motion and overall awareness of how the body is moving during motion.”
Aside from partnering with the Club, Rogers says there are some other exciting things coming down the pipeline. “I can’t talk about it in detail, but look for cool things to happen in entertainment and golf, specifically with indoor spaces. We’re focusing on how to enjoy the game in environments that aren’t typical golf courses.”
Rogers’ Recommendations for Golf Conditioning
“My best advice is to get a trainer at the Club. Sit down with them and outline a program that identifies and assesses flexibility, range of motion, stability and where you need more strength. Then train for exactly what you need.”