By Junior Golf Staff

Few have helped revolutionize methods of improving the golf swing like fitness “Coach Joey D” Diovisalvi. His pioneering work in the field of golf biomechanics is backed up by his impressive resume of PGA players such as Dustin Johnson, Vijay Singh, Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley and many more. We decided to ask Coach Joey D about his breakthrough body and swing techniques, how they apply to juniors, his work with Dustin Johnson and other probing questions. The following is an interview we did with him.

JG: When should juniors begin a fitness program?
Joey D: It’s important to distinguish between a fitness training program and a biomechanics awareness program. It’s one thing to help a young player identify a feel – and help that feel to become part of his or her swing more consistently. It’s quite another to begin the process of adding strength. The former can begin as early as age 8-9, while the latter tends to begin toward age 11-12.

JG: What’s the most common misconception juniors have about adding strength?
Joey D: I think a lot of youngsters think in terms of long hours in the weight room. But my workouts enable them to get great results using their own body weight and resistance bands. We limit their workout time as well, to about 30 minutes each time.

JG: What is the key to keeping juniors interested in a fitness program?
Joey D: Well, I think it needs to be well-paced, with lots of variety, easy to follow, but also challenging. They like new things, especially if they can see the benefit. So my program keeps it fresh for them.

JG: You are working with Dustin Johnson out on Tour this year, correct?
Joey D: Yes I am. We work together in Jupiter, FL, where we both live, and we’re out on Tour for approximately 22 events. He’s worked hard this year and is playing quite well.

JG: How would you describe your role with Dustin?
Joey D: My job is to help guide Dustin through golf-specific physical training to help him get the most out of his body and his swing. That means different things throughout the season. We have several different modalities that I manage: off-season work, pre-tournament and tournament weeks.

JG: What’s the difference between those training modes?
Joey D: Off-season is the time for significant strength and power work. Ahead of tournaments, we focus more on range-of-motion and mobility work to coincide with his practice and on-course tune-ups. During tournament weeks, we work hard early in the week before switching the focus almost exclusively to pre-round flexibility and muscle activation, which is the dynamic warmup, and post-round cool down and recovery.

JG: How is your work with PGA Tour pros different from your work with juniors?
Joey D: Fundamentally, the work is the same. There are, of course, extreme differences in intensity and frequency between work with fully formed adults and undeveloped juniors. Since my job is to help players optimize their bodies for golf and get in sync with their swing, many of the movement patterns, exercises and drills we use are focused on the same key aspects of mobility, lower body stability, range of motion, etc.

JG: What’s the best advice you can give today’s young golfers?
Joey D: Do not underestimate the importance of creating and committing to a routine, including a proper golf-specific dynamic warmup. Pros have a routine they trust to prepare their body and mind for competition. Preparing like a pro is an easy thing to learn and master early. Those that do it well have a distinct advantage over players
that do not.