PGA Tour Player Performance Center

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Last weekend during the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial I had the opportunity to visit the PGA TOUR’s Massage Envy Player Performance Center. It’s a mobile athletic wellness facility staffed by professional physical therapists, chiropractors and athletic trainers who assist PGA TOUR players in rehabilitative and preventive care, personal conditioning and stretching programs. It measures 16.5 ft. wide, over 14 ft high and 60 ft long and houses state-of-the-art fitness and therapy equipment, providing a trusted training spa for PGA TOUR pros.
The Massage Envy facility boasts some high profile PGA TOUR Ambassadors like: World Ranked #1 Justin Thomas, Henrik Stenson, Tony Finau, Smylie Kaufman, Patrick Cantlay, Brandt Snedeker, Jamie Lovemark, Bud Cauley, Patrick Rodgers, and Jonas Blixt. These players have continued to demonstrate how increased flexibility and mobility can help improve performance on the golf course. As a golf instructor I’ve always been very cognizant of the importance of staying flexible and getting my students to incorporate stretching into their games so I was excited to see the facility.
Upon entering the trailer I was greeted by Corey Hug whose a Physical Therapist for the PGA Tour Player Performance Center.  Hug spent a little time with me and provided lots of insight to this interesting aminity provided for the touring pros.
TW:  How long have you been at the course?
CH:   Since Monday. We get here on Monday to get things setup. On Tuesday we start at 7 am and go until the last guy tees off so it can be anywhere from 12 to 14 hours. We have a team of four physical therapists and we go two at a time and overlap each other. On the chiropractic side each guy works from one to five tournaments a year. All of these guys on staff have been specifically trained for golf. It’s pretty much all hands on treatment in this trailer. If you were to ask what’s the equipment we use the most in here it’s 95% our hands as we are manual therapists.      Sometimes you only have a few minutes with a guy because they have to tee off really quick.
TW:  What is the biggest injury you have to deal with on a regular basis working with PGA Tour players?
CH:  Out here on the tour it’s primarily spine issues which are number one and then we get into the hips and then it might be a shoulder, wrist or elbow and that’s the progression we see as far as the injuries. Commonly most of the injuries are all based on overuse. We access each guy that comes in and a lot of them we know really well. We keep detailed medical records on the players going back years. We have some guys that utilize the facility twice a day. Once for their pre-round warm-up and then for a post round cool down. Others use it just when they are hurting and some guys won’t use it until they really need it.  Next door there are a lot of guys that do a lot of workouts as that’s the fitness side of things. We’ve got two certified athletic trainers that work with guys on their exercise programs. The players will come in and we start to see the pattern and we try to intervene. We look at a player whose mobility is bad so we are going to work on that joint that is stuck. To build strength we will get them doing the corrective exercises to make that movement pattern better so there are not scratching that itch and over scratching it which could shut them down. These guys play golf every day and hit 500 balls a day which can easily end up being an eight hour day average for some of these guys. They spend five hours on the course and then you’ve got hours before and after a round practicing. That’s where the overuse can come in which is different than other sports and that’s why we focus on the flexibility and the recovery aspects which is the big part. Golf is one of the few sports where athletes practice after they play. Because that is a unique part of the sport there is a lot of overuse and fatigue that goes on.
TW:  Can you tell me the role ice plays in your physical therapy?
CH:  We do a lot of icing for recovery. Say someone is using over and over again and they’ve got that tired, fatigued tight muscle. We use ice to help relax the muscle. People often think the ice is going to make the muscle tense up, but in the long run it helps to relax the muscle. As that cold is taking place it’s calming and it’s a pain reliever as well. Once the ice is removed blood starts pumping back and forth and that softens up the muscle and gets rid of the lactic acid that has built up. Some guys will use heat to warm up beforehand and we like them to do an active warm up whether it’s doing a little bit of cardio work or doing some band work with multiple repetitions. That’s the same thing we tell the amateur golfer if they can do 15 minutes of warm up that will save you. If not it may take you the 4th or 5th hole to get warmed up and that way you may lose some strokes to your buddies. So try to do some simple band work, some rotations and some flexibility exercises you’ll be much better off and help to prevent injuries. In amateurs we see more elbows, wrists and shoulder injuries because they are stiff in certain areas. In the big picture everyone needs to work on their flexibility and trunk and hip rotation.
It became crystal clear to me after seeing the facility and speaking with Corey that nearly every professional athlete uses assisted stretching in their training and condition routine.
Another interesting thing that is being offered to the public is the Streto Method which is a proprietary Total Body Stretch service, a Massage Envy professionally- assisted stretching protocol. The Streto Method is built around a sequence of 10 targeted stretches that work to help your muscles reach maximum flexibility and help boost performance. Streto combines the research and expertise of an acclaimed chiropractor, massage therapist and ergonomist, who all collaborated to develop Streto exclusively for Massage Envy.
The Top 10 Benefits of the Streto Method are:
1. Increased physical efficiency and performance.
2. Decreased risk of injury.
3. Increased blood supply and nutrients.
4. Helps to contribute to improved circulation & nutrient transport.
5. Promotes greater tissue elasticity.
6. Increases neuromuscular coordination. 7.Improves muscular balance and postural awareness.
8. Helps reduce muscular tension, promotes muscular relaxation.
9. Helps decrease risk of lower-back pain.
10. Allows greater freedom of movement, may decrease joint degeneration.
So I highly recommend you contact a Massage Envy near you to learn more about the Streto Method and how you can get the maximum benefits to not only help your golf game, but provide you with overall better health. Checkout their website at www.massageenvy.com
Tom can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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