TL 14

Tom LaFountain

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This is a very exciting time of year for golfers on the PGA Tour. Their off-season was a very small window of time from mid-November to the end of December to correct physical problems and improve swing mechanics. More often than not physical problems and swing mechanics are directly related. A stronger relationship exists if there are symptoms associated with the physical problems. In more challenging and less obvious cases there are no symptoms. Correlation must then depend on the sports medicine specialists' education, field experience and understanding of golf biomechanics. Comprehensive physical assessments in the early off season will provide guidance to improving biomechanical efficiency through a team effort of treatment, exercise, and golf instruction. 

The importance of the physical assessment cannot be overstated. Not only must accurate information be attained from proven testing, but interpretation of the tests from those experienced in how the body responded to physical challenges is crucial. If accurate, the corrective exercise component improves movement efficiency and allows the golfer to respond to his PGA instructor. 

PGA golfers I work with privately or in the PGA Performance Facility are assessed in late November. Treatment can then begin immediately to address any physical dysfunction. At this time input from their golf instructors is very important. It provides the objective of treatment and exercise and will directly reflect the capabilities of the sports medicine specialist to diagnose and treat effectively. 

The off season is short. The better the communication between the golfer, their instructor, manual specialist (chiropractor or physical therapist), and trainer, the better prepared the PGA golfer will be when they arrive at their first tournament.

The golfer has two major challenges in the off season. One, to find a team of professionals that are capable of expert evaluations and communicating their findings as a team. Second, to improve their movement patterns, sequencing capability, and swing efficiency in 6-8 weeks. Professional Sports Care has provided many PGA golfers a reliable source of manual sports medicine specialists that have been specifically trained in advanced assessment and treatment procedures. That guidance is extremely valuable since all professional athletes are bombarded by people who promise they know the secret to improving their performance.

Golfers who have done their homework will come out of the box winning tournaments or placing in the top ten right away. Others will realize they are in need of further commitment from their team to achieve their goals. Unfortunately , some golfers will feel prepared but will just not be ready. 

It is an exciting time of year - especially if the PGA golfer is ready!






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