The United States Open is being held this week at Los Angeles Country Club for the first time. As a new venue it presents a new set of challenges to the PGA golfer's skill set and conditioning level. It only took three days of practice rounds for the staff in the PGA Performance Trailers to see where our week was headed. Two things became very apparent.
First the USGA remains consistent and predictable with providing thick, heavy rough that all PGA golfers will definitely be concerned with. Consequently players have presented with lower back symptoms that require thorough assessment and treatment. In all cases their symptoms are in the lower back and hip areas. Most are primarily due to dysfunction in the lower back. Others are due to stress in other body parts like the shoulders, forearms and hands. When these areas have trouble will the extra stress demand a course of this nature provides the lower back often tries to pick up the slack and struggles. In these cases lower back pain is secondary to a primary problem elsewhere in the body.
Second many have finished their round with their legs heavy and fatigued due to the course being hilly and having spent a lot of time on it the past 3-4 days. This time of year is the homestretch of the season. PGA golfers have played frequently the past couple of months. Travel, different hotel beds, and inconsistent eating patterns add to the physical challenge. Leg fatigue also plays into lower back accommodations and pain.
To keep the golfers functioning at a high level of efficiency comprehensive assessments and treatments in the Player Performance Centers are crucial. The Chiropractor and Physical Therapists on staff provide effective advanced care for correction and recovery of their symptoms and injuries. Many PGA golfers come in twice per day to overcome their injuries and play their best golf. A support system of this nature is a must if the player is to contend this week. Their bodily challenges demand an effective sports medicine team.