Peter O’Keeffe is one of Ireland’s leading elite amateur golfers with two Irish Amateur Open titles and an Irish Close Championship on his glittering CV that also included a stint on the Challenge Tour.
The Douglas native is also known as the face of the GolfStrong brand and has spent his life dedicating himself to golf and learning how to train and develop the body to swing the club.
The strength and conditioning coach provides an in-depth physical analysis of his clients in order to maximise their performance on the golf course while allowing players to discover their physical ailments and linking them to their swing faults.
O’Keeffe has a GolfStrong studio based in Douglas Golf Club and last month he grew his business by launching the GolfStrong app in November, which gives clients unlimited access to online classes, gym workouts and palates classes amongst other features.
“It was very difficult to set up, it took about 18 months with trialling and bugging and debugging. I had a lot of help from two guys in Cork and some guys in India who were incredible,” he says.
“The app is working well and people are enjoying it.
“What I wanted to do pre-Christmas was see if people were able to download it OK and then put investment into marketing after Christmas.”
“My focus and target market is as many golfers from as many walks of life that I can possibly do. I’m not targeting the elite, far from it. The existing membership I would have would be all age groups really. I have clients on my classes from 13 to 75.
“When we were putting the app together we wanted a stretching part using bands, gym exercises and more dynamic movements. We have classes and palates classes as well. We have hundreds of hours of content in there.”
O’Keeffe is keen to expand his business by opening a second GolfStrong centre and after two years of Covid induced delays, plans to open a new facility in the Hermitage in January are well underway.
“I’m opening a second GolfStrong location in Hermitage Golf Club and Keith Egan (fellow Irish international) will be heading that one which is very nice and he will be a great addition to the team,” O’Keeffe reveals.
“I’ve been speaking to other golf clubs to see can we utilise spaces that are just not being used and see can we go in and make it a nice fitness centre for members.
“My focus for 2023 is to get as many people using the app and get as many vibrant golf clubs as possible who are interested in having a fitness centre in their golf club. We’ll come along and make that happen.”
A member of the 2023 GB&I initial Walker Cup squad, O’Keeffe combines a successful career with a full amateur golf calendar providing four online classes per week including full body (Monday), mobility (Wednesday), circuit training (Thursday) and palates (Friday) to help those who have found comfort in home workouts as a result of the pandemic.
“I do everything. I do a lot of individual programmes where people contact me and I do an assessment and a common ground is around mobility. If you don’t have a range of motion to make a certain movement, there’s no point in trying to get stronger in a certain area without assessing the movement first.
“A lot of my programmes would have different end goals and a lot of my programmes would begin by assessing somebody’s movement.
“There are still a lot of people who have found a way to keep well at home and they are happy with that so that’s where the online classes come in really well. The recordings are uploaded on the app and the content is there forever with your GolfStrong membership.
“I’d have a very solid client base in the studio in Douglas and dealing with guys with back fusions or just general back pain, a 13-year-old wanting to get faster or a 77-year-old wanting to keep moving for his mental health.
“Everyone has a different agenda and it’s my job to get people comfortable, establish a goal, put a plan in place and execute it. People come to me for stuff that isn’t golf related at all, there are physical issues that I work through with the client.
“To enable them to play golf is the goal but other things like general strength and rehab is important too,” added O’Keeffe.
New clients can download the app from the PlayStore or App store and can get a monthly subscription for €14.99 or a yearlong sub for €150.99.