Observations from the USGA Senior Amateur Championship

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

As some of you may have seen on Facebook, I had the opportunity to be a part of the medical staff at the USGA Senior Amateur Championship which was played at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey.

For the majority of the day(s), I had my treatment table set up in the woman’s locker room (no, woman were not allowed in the locker room during the tournament) and was there to perform manual therapy for the golfers. Needless to say, it was an honor and pleasure to be part of the event and most importantly, the golfers seemed extremely happy with our work.

All that being said, I just wanted to share some notes and observations that I made from this past weekend.

1) These guys are freakin’ good! Just to give you an idea, through the first two days of the tournament, the leader was at 5 under par. And maybe even more amazing is the fact that scoring in the high 70’s is considered a poor round. For you non-golfers out there, an everyday golfer is considered good in my eyes if they can consistently shoot in the high 80’s.

2) Hydration seemed to play a huge factor with these guys. This became evident with simple manual muscle testing as many would begin to cramp while on the table. Since this was a national tournament, it seemed as if many of the athletes from warmer climates were cramping the most. I think this was due to the fact that the climate was actually much cooler than they were used to. Counterintuitive, I know. Because of this, these guys did not feel like they were ‘thirsty’ or that they were sweating and did not hydrate properly.

Or maybe as one guy told me,

It’s because they all drink beer every night.

Touche, sir.

3) Before treating, I put each athlete through the Top Tier assessments of the SFMA. Consistently, most had similar FN’s (functional/Non-Painful) and DN’s (dysfunctional/Non-Painful).

MSF (Multi-Segmental Flexion) was surprisingly and consistently FN. Remember, these athletes all need to be over 55 to qualify for this tournament so compared to the general population of similar age, these guys had much better mobility in this range.

MSE (Multi-Segmental Extension) was consistently DN or DP. Of note, they were generally hanging on their low back for extension with limited anterior translation of the hips and extension in the thoracic spine.

SLS (Single Leg Stance) was also consistently DN. I found that most players lacked the proper hip stabilization required to balance on one leg.

All in all, it was a great experience and can’t wait for a chance to do it again.

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