Smart Fitness owner Andrew Noble and Kenny Nairn, a golf professional based in Windermere, are coming up on a year of partnering together to help LPGA pro Jacqui Concolino take her game to the next level.
OCOEE It’s a Saturday morning in August, and Jacqui Concolino has just finished her workout.
With some downtime between the RICOH Women’s British Open at the beginning of the month and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open that began Aug. 24, Concolino took advantage of the opportunity to return to Central Florida, where she resides — and where her team is.
That team includes Andrew Noble, a certified personal trainer and the owner of Smart Fitness in south Ocoee, where Concolino just finished her workout. It also includes Kenny Nairn, a Scottish PGA Professional and a managing partner at Central Florida Golf, who also happens to be a Windermere resident.
One of them has known Concolino since she was a standout junior golfer with a lengthy drive, while the other got to know her through a Lifestyle Family Fitness gym in Hunter’s Creek. Now, though, they’re a dynamic duo of sorts for the fifth-year pro on the LPGA, and on this Saturday, they are conferring with their client on a plan of action that she will take with her on the road in Ottawa.
After all, through their shared client, the two local professionals are a team that hopes to put Concolino in the best possible position to continue her successful professional career.
“Andrew and Kenny have developed a really good relationship over the last 10 months,” Concolino said. “They talk to each other when I’m on the road. They’ll say, ‘Hey, this is what Jacqui’s doing in her swing, is there anything she can do in the gym?’ We’re always bouncing ideas off each other.”
Nairn has an extensive golf résumé and has made the acquaintance of many golfers over the years, but he still remembers the first time he observed Concolino hitting off tee.
“It’s not often that you see someone that age, and especially a female, who hits the ball that far,” Nairn said.
Not long after, Nairn started to train Concolino, who at the time was a prep golfer for Bishop Moore Catholic High in Winter Park. With that relationship now dating back more than a decade, Concolino said her chemistry with her coach is what has made the working relationship so successful.
“One of the things I mentioned to Andrew (Noble) recently is that I feel like I’m getting stronger when I’m on the road for three or four weeks, rather than breaking down."
— Jacqui Concolino
“Personality-wise, we get along very well,” Concolino said. “And then Kenny is a very good player himself — so I know that he knows what I’m going through in tournament mode.”
The working relationship with Noble does not go back nearly as far — the two met in 2010 — but it has become an important one in its own right. Noble, then a trainer for Lifestyle, had observed the rigor Concolino — who was on a break from competitive golf at the time — exerted during her workouts, and he thought he could help her.
The two worked together for two years, until Concolino turned pro in 2012 and began to travel a lot. After a few years on the tour, though, they reconnected early last fall, and the results have been tangible.
“One of the things I mentioned to Andrew recently is that I feel like I’m getting stronger when I’m on the road for three or four weeks, rather than breaking down,” Concolino said.
Indeed, Noble will confer with Nairn on any trends or areas of importance within Concolino’s game — something as specific as a particular muscle group that Nairn would like to see strengthened or stretched out. Then, he’ll put together a program that she will do while she is on the road.
In the hunt
The results have been impressive, and all the more so considering the way technology and communication enable the trio to work toward a common goal. Of course, at the end of the day, it is Concolino who puts the plan into action, and Noble said her work ethic is at the core of her success.
“She works hard, and it’s showing — it’s definitely showing,” Noble said.
By showing, Noble is referring to her growing number of top-15 finishes. Concolino recently placed 13th at the Ladies Scottish Open in late July, collecting a healthy $25,094 in winnings. A month before that, she finished 10th at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
The highlight of 2017, though, was Concolino’s third-place finish at the ShopRite LPGA Classic the first week of June.
Remarkably, the career she is now enjoying — along with the $927,486 in career earnings — was once in doubt. Feeling burnt out after her collegiate career at Vanderbilt University ended in 2009, Concolino took some time away from the game at a competitive level. After some downtime, she found she had rediscovered her passion for the game that had been the center of her world since middle school.
“I just needed to find myself,” she recalled. “I never gave up on my dream, but I had certainly pushed it to the side and wanted to make sure that it was what I wanted to do, personally.”
Now, especially given her recent success, she is more motivated than ever.
“I’ve been what you would consider ‘in the hunt’ probably a handful of times this year and — it’s addicting,” Concolino said. “It’s an adrenaline rush.”
Helping her to continue to her chase of that adrenaline rush will be her West Orange-based team. And if Nairn’s hunch is correct, there may still be an exciting ride ahead, as the veteran golf pro believes his client is primed to become an elite player on the LPGA Tour.
“It’s only a matter of time — her peers know it and a lot of the broadcasters know it,” Nairn said. “She has all the capabilities to win — and when she does win, she won’t just win once.”
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].