PGA Coach Thor Parrish Integrates Golf Fitness into FGCU PGA Golf Management Education

By Kayla Gutierrez
Published on

PGA Coach Thor Parrish has plenty of experience and expertise in the world of golf.
From graduating with a bachelor’s degree at Florida Gulf Coast University’s PGA Golf Management program, to earning his masters degree in Exercise Science, Parrish knows what it takes to be a successful PGA of America Golf Professional.
And now as the Founder and Owner of Thunder Performance, a Crossfit and golf performance facility in Fort Myers, Florida, he is embarking on a new adventure as an adjunct Professor at FGCU.
Parrish recently launched his Golf Fitness and the Body Swing Connection course this spring at FGCU. PGA Golf Management students have the option to enroll in a fully immersive and hands-on classroom learning experience where they will gain essential skills and knowledge relevant to golf fitness and its connection with the body and golf swing.
Parrish with FGCU PGM students at Thunder Performance.
Parrish with FGCU PGM students at Thunder Performance.
The class begins with four weeks of learning overall golf fitness and its importance to improving performance on the course. The following four weeks, students will learn how to assess and write their own workouts. Lastly, the final eight weeks of the semester, students will apply what they learned to implement their own training programs.
Located only just a few miles from the university campus, students have the opportunity to participate in off-campus classes at the gym as a part of their college course. This gives students time to put what they have learned into practice and gain real-time feedback from Parrish.
In their first class hosted at Thunder Performance, students learned the fundamentals of squatting and the importance of performing proper squat exercises in the golf workout routine to strengthen and power up your golf game. Squats are a great exercise that can significantly benefit golfers by increasing lower body strength, improving core strength and stability, and boosting  balance and coordination. Squats can help build a solid foundation for performing a wide range of exercises.
An FGCU student during a squat demonstration.
An FGCU student during a squat demonstration.
Here’s one tip all golfer’s can take from Parrish’s college course:
Utilize a medicine ball (or any similar object) to serve as a guide for how low you should go for the squat. By using a ball as a target, it will help ensure depth in your squats and help improve your squat form and consistency. 
How to do it: Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on the sides of your shoulders. Hold the bar loosely, keeping your elbows high at shoulder level. Move your hips slightly back and descend, making sure your hips descend below your knees. Maintain your lumbar curve while performing the squatting position and continue your squat until you reach the ball’s height.
Adding weight: If you're a beginner, it's recommended to start with bodyweight squats to ensure you can perform the movement with proper form. When you’re ready to add weight, moving to an unweighted training bar is a great next step (as shown in the photos.) Once you feel comfortable, feel free to gradually add weight in increments and consult a fitness professional for assistance