TPI Specialist Africa Madueño Alarcón is helping to "grow the game" through excellence
We are pleased to welcome TPI Specialist,
Africa Madueño Alarcón to World of Golf
as a featured contributor. She holds several certificates with TPI. She is one of three TPI specialists in all of South America holding the F3 (Fitness Certification) — the highest attainable through the TPI program.
She is the former Head Athletic Trainer at the Brazilian Golf Confederation – CBG, and she is the principal of Golfefit and GolfePilates in Brazil. Africa also holds a Medical - 2 certification through TPI in addition to the Golf - 2 certification.
We asked Africa a few questions so that our members and readers can get to know her a little better:
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Madrid (Spain) and lived there until I was 12 years old. My family moved to São Paulo, Brazil in 1992 and that’s where I now live with my husband and two kids. I also have one sister that went back to Spain 10 -ten years ago for a semester and never came back. She works in Marketing.
2. You attended University and graduated with a degree in Physical Education – How did you go from a physical education degree to “golf fitness”?
After I graduated I was looking for something different to do. I knew I was not one to be content with just being one more fitness trainer. I wanted to do something special, working in a field that was unexplored and challenging. It was in the middle of my Pilates certification course that my inspiration came to me. I was in a rotational exercise when I started thinking about golf and how this type of exercise would be helpful. So, I decided to explore it a little. I went to a local drive range in São Paulo. I talked to the owner and his golf professionals, inquiring about injuries, training regime, and the athletic needs of a golfer. That’s when the hard work started.
I went back to my college’s library and researched all of the scientific papers about golf performance and injuries that I could find. I read every book that I could get my hands; pretty soon I was attending to my first clients.
I started writing articles for a magazine called New Golf and then presented to a golf trade show in Brazil. My business name started to grow and my agenda filled up exclusively with golfers wanting to get better. At that time, when I started, there wasn’t anyone working with "golf fitness" in Brazil so I quickly became a well recognized name.
3. What do you like about “Golf Fitness”?
I love how passionate golfers are! They are obsessed and committed to getting better. When you have good information with an effective method, golfers are very loyal and appreciative.
I also love the physics and the biomechanics in golf, how every component is related and dependent in kind of a symbiosis. Simple things like foot proprioception (an awareness of your foot's movement ) and ankle mobility can have a huge effect on a golfer's technique by simply allowing for better weight transfer and transition.
4. How would you describe the growth of the sport in South America?
South America is still very much influenced by the United States. The golf idols, the tournaments and the golf news and information all comes from there. Slowly, more and more good professionals are helping to grow the game in South America, bringing with them more education and professionalism. They are gradually replacing the “old school” coaches who used to simply be pro players, introducing more modern teaching and coaching techniques with the use of better technology and better education.
Better coaches, better club and national golf federations are growing the game and increasing the number of players. New celebrities like Joaquin Neiman are inspiring the new generation and, with better opportunities for kids to play and learn, numbers are increasing.
Some good tournaments in the Korn Ferry tour are now attracting some of the best pro players to LATAM (Latin America) and that’s a huge help in bringing more media coverage and raising public attention. It’s very difficult for other sports to gain media coverage in Latin America as futball (football - soccer) is the most dominant sport, receiving most of the media coverage. That is especially true here in in Brazil as Brazilians live and breathe soccer, while golf is still an exclusive sport with a much smaller audience.
5. What countries do you see golf doing well?
Colombia, Mexico and Chile are a growing force with young players right now. These countries have a good financial situation in LATAM right now and parents are supporting their kids with traveling, camps, coaching and opportunities. Argentina has a huge number of players and has a lot of great pro players but, the economic situation in Argentina over the last 10 years has taken a big toll on the sport.
6. What are your favourite experiences in Golf?
I love big amateur tournaments. One of my favorites is the LAAC and the Annika Invitational. I love watching the young golfers in the practice range and imagine who will further in the sport. They are all so nervous and excited and I feel that energy. It just makes me so hopeful for the future of the sport and its inspiring to see these kids devote themselves to such a hard and demanding sport at a young age – it’s really remarkable.
7. As a featured contributor, what are your goals?
I love to write and research. It is one of my passions. As a writer, I love to be able to pass along reliable information that is both easy to understand and functional. When you stumble upon something that just clicks inside of you and offers a new insight to improving something you have been working on is special. I want to be able to do that for our readers!
For more information about the TPI certification program, please see: