As he stood on the golf course, Chris Perry wrapped his hands around his club, gripping it snugly as he set his feet in the grass to hit the ball. He wound back, primed his hips, and quickly turned his body to drive the ball off the club. Ryan, his instructor, was intrigued by his swing and asked him to repeat the motion. After noticing a quirk in the swing, he offered some tips. “He taught me to wrap my thumb around the club for a stronger grip, like a baseball grip,” Chris said. It felt uncomfortable at first, but as he took a few practice swings, he was delighted to find that it worked. He got better, “The ball was flying exactly how I wanted.”
Growing up in Boise, Chris played every sport imaginable. He played sports in high school, but didn’t continue once he started school at Boise State. However, his love for athletics never died. When deciding on a major, his love for sports inspired him to pursue a degree that would keep him involved in athletics, offer him a chance to improve other’s health, and improve his knowledge of his hobbies — bodybuilding and powerlifting. He landed on kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science. Now, he’s a senior, finishing his degree this summer.
When Chris looked back on his college career, he marveled at how much he’s learned about personal fitness. So much so, in fact, that it’s helped propel a career in personal training. Through this opportunity, he can continue his passion for physical fitness and share it with those who are interested in improving their own health.
Last summer, as a junior in the kinesiology program, Chris had space in his schedule for BroncoFit credits, which are required for his degree. Trying to find classes that fit his schedule as a personal trainer, as well as student, was difficult. And then he found golf. “Golf seemed like it would be the most fun and it’s most pertinent to what I typically do,” Chris said.
Being outside during the Boise summer days drew him to take the class, being that he’s a pretty outdoorsy guy. On a normal summer day, when he has some free time, you can find him with his friends by the river or wandering downtown Boise. Although the days are hot, being outside is a refreshing break from his busy schedule. He appreciates being able to take time out of his day to go outside and learn something new.
For the past two summers, Chris has taken summer classes, enjoying fresh air and playing golf with his friends. Every Wednesday, Chris drove from Boise to the Lake View golf course and met his classmates outside at 2 p.m. After some brief instruction, they walked to either the driving range or the putting green to work on the basics. After some time practicing, Chris and his classmates had the opportunity to play 9 holes of golf. This became the routine over the seven week course, and Chris found himself gaining an edge on the golf course.
Chris said the instructor of the class, who is coincidentally extended family of Chris, kept him continually learning throughout his time in the course. “I was lucky to keep all of my progress from the first time, and still learn,” commented Chris.
Chris feels that the small improvements he made to his swing (along with regular practice) throughout the class have left him a much better golfer than when he started. He continues to play casually, but appreciates the friendly edge he’s gained over his golfmates when he goes out on his own time.
In person lessons are paired with an app that offers additional instruction. Students still have access to the app for reference even after they’ve left the class. Although Chris feels that the class has majorly changed his golf game, he understands it isn’t always about improving your score. It’s about having fun.
Through the class, Chris became close with his golfing partners Zack and Trevor, both Business majors also wanting to improve their golf game. The 3 of them enjoyed grouping up to work on their skills whenever they had the opportunity. The guys say golf offers a unique opportunity for meeting new friends and networking in a business manner. The instructor reminded the students that, “a lot of business is done on the golf course.” For that reason, being proficient in golf can actually open up professional opportunities for people of all majors.
Golf is certainly very challenging, and it takes a lot of dedication and consistency to improve. The greatest golfers of all time have expressed their enthusiasm for the challenge that golf presents. Arnold Palmer once said, “golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated”. As Chris begins his next chapter after graduation, he’s prepared for the challenges that life throws at him. He hopes to start his own gym, focused on bodybuilding, but inclusive to all who are as passionate about fitness as he is.
Looking back, Chris says this was one of his favorite classes during his time at Boise State, so much so, he took it twice! For those who choose to take the class, bringing your own golf clubs is recommended, but if you forget or need a spare set, Ryan will help students by lending them a set of clubs as needed. He also suggests checking out local thrift stores and sporting goods stores like Play-it-Again Sports to find good clubs for less. For someone who might be considering taking the class, Chris assures students that the opportunity to learn something new and challenge yourself through golf is worth the time.
BroncoFit Golf takes place Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. at Lake View Golf Course. The class accepts all skill levels and encourages anyone to try! If you’re interested in signing up for a class or have questions about BroncoFit, please contact BroncoFit Activities Coordinator, Kevin Blume at email@example.com.