Finishing strong |

Finishing strong

Editor’s note: For the past six weeks, The Union has tracked the progress of Lake Wildwood resident Vince Mutascio as he works with Steve Madden, certified trainer and owner of Performance Sports Golf. This is the final of a six-part series.

Vince Mutascio and I were both surprised by how fast the last six weeks have gone by. It has been a lot of fun and we both had goals that have been met – and some that were exceeded.

I have to say that Vince gave this project 100 percent and has realized a lot of improvement as a result. I’ll let him tell his side of the story and use this last installment to tell you all how I think things went from a coach’s perspective.

As I have already stated I didn’t really know how this was going to turn out, even when I thought the idea up last year. I was confident that the right kind of specialized training added to a golfer’s practice routine would improve his or her ability to swing the golf club with more rhythm and consistency.

I also knew that my knowledge of the golf swing and the game would be useful in helping our golfer make changes in other areas.

Six weeks is not a long time when it comes to fitness training and conditioning the body to perform better. My goal was to assess Vince’s conditioning, swing and ball flight and apply the training and workouts that I thought would make the most noticeable change in the shortest amount of time.

Like so many golfers, Vince lacked flexibility in the hips and torso, and strength in some postural muscles that holds the golfer in position during the swing. This is where we started. He also had some problems in his setup and tempo that we worked on starting in week two. My teacher, Dave Atchison, has helped me tremendously with my own setup, mechanics and tempo so I had a good frame of reference to work from.

Amateur golfers, even the good ones, make adjustments in their setup and swing to compensate for the effect of physical limitations on their swing. With Vince, I addressed both from the start and we were lucky that he responded so well to the new routines. With the setup changes and new exercises having the desired effect, I was able to be more aggressive with flexibility and strength work, giving Vince new exercises each week. We did hit a little snag leading up to week five when his back got a little overworked and he needed a little extra rest, but we made a few adjustments and he was back on track the next week.

I am very pleased by Vince’s weekly reports of better golf and a more relaxed behavior on the course. I can chalk this up to the added confidence and motivation resulting from his improved conditioning and the effect on his game. His score is improving and his playing partners have noticed the positive the changes along the way. This has been a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing how he continues to improve.

Week #6 Findings and Goals

We had our last official meeting on Monday and like the other meetings we spent time examining progress and adding some new exercises. The flexibility work particularly has had a very positive effect and Vince is seeing positive changes in his body.

Better scoring is being translated into more confidence and a desire to keep working and improving. The before and after pictures tell most of the story. Vince is looking and playing more like a golfer every week. He knows this is only the beginning and is prepared to keep training and work to improve his game.


This has been a fun project that grew from a crazy idea, giving me a chance to show the local golf community how valuable fitness and conditioning can be to their game. Golf fitness works. Look for my series of local game improvement clinics coming this fall and log onto for information.

Steve Madden

Performance Sports Golf

“Changing the game, one player at a time”

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