Jeremy James, DC, CSCS spent a decade helping golfers, professional and Olympic athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, and men and women from all walks of life overcome pain and get back to the sports, activities and daily life they love.
He is the co-author of the best-selling Younger Next Year Back Book and the former director of the Aspen Club Back Institute. GolfForever is the digital manifestation of his and his expert team’s proven methods to help golfers of all ages and abilities play without limits for as long as they live.
Tell Me A Little About Yourself and Why You Created GolfForever
I created Golf Forever, and the original idea was to mimic what I was doing in my clinic for ten years to a much wider audience at a much lower cost. Essentially what we were doing was teaching behavioral change to people who had product pain, and a lot of them were golfers. I kept seeing the same issues with the advice they’d been given once they had gotten to my clinic over and over and over. I realized that look, there’s a huge need for this information. It should be with today’s technology customizable and scalable. That was the genesis of the idea.
It has since changed and iterated to where an important point is a lot of the concepts you do to get somebody out of pain that plays golf are also – there’s a huge overlap of the same things you do to give them more club head speed, more range of motion, etc. We’re now getting far more people joining for golf performance and to help their body feel better. Pain relief is just a small segment now.
That was the genesis of it. We’ve created this assessment that gives us the information about your body. We have you do some exercises, give us feedback, and then we also ask you what do you want to get out of this. That all goes into an algorithm that gives you customized content every day that progresses over time.
When I first saw the GolfForever apparatus, I thought it would be a great off season stretching product that used resistant bands. Is this also designed for year round training?
That’s right. The idea around that product, the Golf Forever Swing Trainer, was the first two years of the program, we just using resistance bands. You can find something similar in any gym, but without the long handle/shaft. Our goal was to find a way to better replicate the forces that you use and the movements you use with a golf swing. In essence, to do that we attached the resistance to the end of a shaft. That dramatically changes how you feel. You can tell when you move with the Golf Forever shaft. Essentially what the Swing Trainer does is it makes almost any exercise you do on it golf-specific because it’s asymmetrically loaded. Even if you’re just doing a simple press here, it’s trying to pull you rotationally out of your posture and you’re using the muscles in your torso; you’re using your balance to stay in posture, which is very golf-specific. You’re resisting rotational loads while moving, much like you are with a golf swing, trying to stay in your posture, trying to stay focused on the ball.
Regarding when you use it, there’s actually three distinct uses. One is as a pre-round warm-up. If we go from sitting in our desk all day on our phone right out on the course, you’re going to have a lot of problems. Your body’s just not ready for that. We’ve got several five to six, seven-minute routines where we just get mobility in your shoulders, getting blood flow in your core and in your hips, and getting you moving so that you’re really ready to take that first shot.
The other two uses and the main use is in the program. This is your exercise device to keep yourself training for golf. It’s a great way to combine exercise and your passion for golf into one thing so that you can be in tune and be thinking about golf all year, even if it’s not in season. The final use is you notice it has two weighted ball attachments that go on where the cord is. One of them is it gives you a D3 swing weight, and the other is an overloaded ball for speed training. That’s the third use. We have various routines in the app that use that to work on your tempo, speed, etc.
When I think of golf and what I want to do in the off-season, part of it is strength and part of it is flexibility. Are you working both aspects?
Yes. I think an important point to note here is that a lot of people don’t know that mobility is active flexibility. Flexibility means how far can I stretch something. Mobility is how far can I move with my own body, with my own muscles. Mobility, which is really the critical thing, is a function of strength. For example, in my shoulder, if I have four rotator cuff muscles. One of them is really degenerated or injured; I’m not going to be able to move how I could if it was healthy. When we’re working with the Swing Trainer, yes, you’re building strength but that also plays into mobility in a big way.
Can you explain the program and the subscription service?
The subscription – if you buy the apparatus, it comes with a 30-day trial so you can get a feel for this. You can learn the basic uses of it, if that’s all you want to do. These are what I’m most proud of. We have two subscriptions; one is a yearly plan where you pay upfront, $199. The other is a monthly charge. Just under 70% – I think it’s 67% last time I looked – of users opt for the yearly after doing the 30-day trial because they see the value. The one I’m most proud of and which really what makes us stand out in the industry is that 71% of people who purchase the year reconvert for a second year, which is really remarkable. That shows I think the value of this ongoing, progressive content that’s tailored just for you.
Can you explain the initial golfer assessment as part of the at home training program?
we did with the assessment is I took my clinical practice and experience and said if I could distill down the very basic stuff, what are the three things that I could have someone do to pull the maximum amount of information out of them that tells me enough to be able to safely provide them with exercises. We have three exercises in the app. You’re shown different versions of each exercises from very simple to very difficult The first thing I’d say is which one of these do you think you can do? The person goes and does that. Then they answer a series of questions. For example, on of them is a side plank, three versions of a side plank. One of them is barely moving. One of them is side plank on your knees, and one of them is regular side plank. Based on which one the person chooses to do and what they say about it, it tells me about the integrity and stability of their shoulder. It tells me about the lateral core muscles. It tells me about the strength of their hips. We take all that information combined with why they joined – did they join to get rid of pain? Did they join to get more club head speed? Did they join mainly for mobility and flexibility? – put all that together and then they’re fed content appropriate for them, importantly that is safe.
All of our staff comes from medical background. We have Todd Albert, who’s the Chief Surgeon Emeritus at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, widely regarded as number one in the world. We come at this with the perspective of do no harm first and that’s a big problem out there with the YouTube videos of the world.
It actually happened to my mom. She wanted to get back in shape ten years ago. Went onto YouTube, got a high-intensity workout. Damaged her shoulder, out of commission for six months. That’s what we’re hyper-focused on avoiding. I think we’ve done a good job at it.
Our at home training program isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It is customized and I don’t care if you’re 25 years old and you’re wanting to get more club head speed or you’re 85 and you’re wanting to move better. It’s there for you. We’ve worked with a huge variety of pro athletes to everyday people. All that clinical experience is reflected in the application.
Where can you find the Golf Forever Swing Apparatus?
You can find more information and purchase on our website at www.golfforever.com, You can also find online or in retail at Amazon, Dick’s, Golf Galaxy and PGA Tour Superstore.
Below is a video that gives a great overview of the Golf Forever