How Golf Went from Pastime to Passion

Two years ago, I barely played golf, maybe once every couple of months. I weighed 245 lbs. (60 lbs. more than I weigh today) and getting around a golf course was physically demanding for me even though I was mostly driving around in a golf cart. After approximately 100 strokes per round, for the next three days, my body felt like it had been run over by a tractor-trailer. Playing was more like work, and I was content just watching the pros playing on TV. There was only one slight complication—my 22-year-old son was a rapidly rising PGA teaching pro, and he had recently accepted a two-year gig at Augusta National Golf Club, golf’s mecca, and the home of The Masters. Part of his reward for being employed by ANGC was that he got to take his dad out and play a round of golf once each year, at this historical and very private facility. My son was thrilled as he had an opportunity to thank me for all of the sacrifices I had made during his formative years.

Most people don’t even get to see the Masters live, let alone play the course. He didn’t know it, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Petrified would be a better description as to what I was feeling. Would I embarrass myself with my horrific golf game? Would I embarrass him amongst his peers? Or even worse—would I have a heart attack climbing those steep hills along the course? Let’s just say it was very ugly (I have the pictures to prove it), and it is no exaggeration to say that my son had to physically help me up the final hill on the 18th hole. I vowed that when I played there next year, things would be different.

This year I was determined to make this father/son day of golf, on the course that Tiger Woods had just captured the 83rd Masters, a day that we would always treasure. I showed up the night before our 7:15 am tee time. This time I was 45 pounds lighter than the previous year, but despite the loss of poundage, my golf game still was not good. My driver was so unreliable that I hadn’t even pulled it out of the bag during my last three rounds. Though it certainly helps when your son is an excellent teacher!  A 30-minute lesson at the range and voila, I could hit a driver. I was ready for Magnolia Lane. The setting was magnificent with the dogwoods in full bloom, and I played the best golf I had played in nearly 20 years—I shot a 44 on the first nine. As I stood on the 10th tee, the enormity of what had just occurred suddenly struck me. I had played way over my head and shot at least ten strokes better than I had anticipated, but now it was my Sunday at the Masters. My hands were unexpectedly sweating profusely, and I doubted every swing I would take the remainder of the round. I ballooned to a 55 on the second nine (I did break 100). But mission accomplished, it was a great bonding day with my son, who shot a 70 (played Amen Corner under par), and we then went on to play the par-three course, and I got to witness my son making his first hole in one. My weight loss had made the navigation of my round much more comfortable, but I still was achy, and I knew when I awoke the next morning, I would need a mega-dose of Advil to get out of bed.  It was a great day, but it was more about spending quality time with my son—not the golf. Over the next several months, everything would change, and I would become passionate about playing golf.

In May 2019, I purchased an EMSCULPT machine for Forever Wellness, my med spa in Boca Raton, FL.  I had demoed the machine that uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to trigger 20,000 muscle contractions during a typical 30-minute treatment.  The medical data showed that after only four sessions, EMSCULPT patients can expect to see a 19% reduction in fat and a 16% increase in muscle mass, thus making it the only FDA-approved treatment that addresses both fat AND muscle. EMSCULPT has no heat, no pain, and no recovery time, making it a seamless addition to anyone’s day. The machine was billed as a major breakthrough for the rapidly growing aesthetics market. “Build your abs or lift your butt in four 30-minute sessions.”  The before and after pictures were compelling!!  My 30-minute session was uneventful, especially considering I had just done the equivalent of 20,000 sit-ups while lying on my back. I felt no pain or soreness, and actually, I went out to play golf right after my intensive workout. The last time I had done any sit-ups was about 40 years ago, when I was in High School, and I did approximately 12 of them, and I can still remember the pain that lasted for days. I have always been exercise-averse.

I quickly realized that if I made 20,000 sit-ups via EMSCULPT part of my routine, I would strengthen my core, and that could only help me on a bunch of levels. Since I own the med spa and I had plunked down a considerable sum for this amazing piece of medical equipment, I could use it as often as I saw fit. I developed a regimen based on my needs, and I can honestly say that today I am a totally different person, and I am now passionate about golf. Let me explain. First, from a physical perspective, a strong core is everything. It helps your posture; it helps prevent injuries; it helps your back and makes you feel better overall. From a golf perspective, having a strong core increases the golfer’s ability to rotate faster to produce more clubhead speed with more stability. This results in more consistent and centered strikes with added distance. These days, when I play golf, I don’t dread the physical pain that would start creeping up during my round or the stiffness in my lower back that would begin if I had to wait on the group in front of me. These days after 18 holes, I am ready to play at least another nine holes, and I have no pain or soreness the next day.  Often, I will tee it up again the next day, and I have even played three days in a row. And now, I am driving the ball about 40 yards further than I did before my EMSCULPT sessions (some of that is due to proper instruction). If that wasn’t enough, there is more good news. Despite not losing any weight since the inception of my EMSCULPT sessions, my waist size went down from 36” to 34”. I definitely look better!

So maybe I’m an aberration. I decided to test out my theories on others. My son would be the perfect guinea pig, a young golf professional that unfortunately inherited my genes and was bothered by lower back pain and stiffness. He always had a difficult time loosening up, and playing golf two days in a row would mean plenty of Advil and a chiropractor on call. He had tried everything from yoga to Pilates, and nothing worked. I then put him on EMSCULPT and gave him five sessions. He is a different person and recently played golf four days in a row without any stiffness or discomfort—something he definitely couldn’t do before EMSCULPT. Next was Jeff Pierce. Jeff is a teaching pro that works with several of the PGA Tour’s finest players, including the world’s #1 player, Brooks Koepka. Jeff has been in for three sessions so far, and this is what he recently posted online, “Emsculpt has made a HUGE difference in my core and relieved a tremendous amount of pain from my lower back from lack of abdominal strength! Down a few pounds and have a significant amount of muscle development in places I haven’t had in years.”

Ok, so EMSCULPT is amazing, but why am I now so passionate about golf?  Because these days, golf provides me with everything that I need. Physical activity, mental stimulation, the enjoyment of the outdoors and my surroundings, an opportunity to socialize (without embarrassment), and most of all, the realization that it is just me against the course—and that I can always improve. Yes, I do have an advantage. I have access to one of the finest teaching pros out there, and he calls me “Dad.”  For Father’s Day, he gave me a video swing analysis of my last round at Augusta National, and that helped me immeasurably. It is for that reason that I decided to create an EMSCULPT golf package that includes a complimentary video analysis of each client’s golf swing when they enroll in our program. For those golfers that want to take it to the next level, we certainly can get them hooked up with the proper professional.

About Elliot Bellen

Elliot Bellen is the owner of Forever Wellness (www.foreverwellness.com), located in Boca Raton, FL  Forever Wellness launched in 2017 with a mission to improve health and well-being in the Boca Raton community. After founder Elliot Bellen had a body composition analysis and learned his metabolic age was 76, he was inspired to make a change to his life. Not just for him but also for his children that he wanted to be around for and watch them grow. So, he began a weight loss program that included EMSCULPT, and the results spoke for themselves. He lost over 50 pounds, trimmed nearly 10 inches around his waist, and that shocking metabolic age of 76 – dropped down to 47, which is less than his actual age of 61.

About Atticus Bellen

Atticus Bellen is a Class A PGA Professional from West Palm Beach. Bellen has worked with many of the industry’s top professionals and instructors at Augusta National Golf Club, Whistling Straits, Medinah Country Club, Old Marsh Golf Club, and other prestigious courses. He currently works alongside Jeff Pierce, one of the PGA Tour’s most noted short game instructors, teaching many high profile PGA players, including Brooks Koepka, currently ranked # 1 in the world.