Rob Hillman, Physio Unit Director for the European Tour, opens the door to the Tour’s physio truck.
The term athlete may be used loosely to describe some golf pros, but that doesn’t mean the needs of Monty and John Daly are any different from the Mo Farahs of this world.
“We all experience aches and pains,” says Hillman, “and more golfers are now trying to condition their bodies to handle the rigours of competition”.
The European Tour Physio Truck has become a hive of activity because of it, providing pros with a high-tech treatment and workout facility before and after play.
Hillman leads a team of 16 specialists that travel to 65 tournaments every season, but what exactly do the players have access to?
We were granted an exclusive tour and here are five things we found out.
1. Squat rack
The truck has recently had a bespoke-built squat rack and Smith Machine installed. The latter is mainly used for squat safety given the space limits, with the free bar being used for both squats and deadlifts.
These are fundamental exercises for golf because they involve triple extension at the ankle, hip and knee. That’s where all the power comes from in the downswing.
2. Spin bikes
There are two high-tech IC7 spin bikes which can calculate a golfers functional threshold power.
Each bike is programmed with ‘Coach by Colour’ software, which enables users to work out their heart-rate zones and tailor their workout intensity.
3. Treatment tables
There are three beds to carry out injury assessment and treatment, with prehab and strength and conditioning exercises taking place in the gym area. The Tour say they are trying to move away from manual therapy towards strength and conditioning to create strong and robust athletes.
They do a lot of work with players on hip and shoulder rotation to help reduce the strain on the hands, wrists and elbow.
4. There is an ultrasound scanner
Most golf injuries are tendon-related, so the Tour have fitted the truck with a scanner for on-site diagnosis.
It can be as good as an MRI scan for certain parts of the body and helps with assessment of key injuries linked to the shoulder, wrist and hand.
5. Free weights area
Rob’s team carry the usual gym equipment, including traditional weights and kettle bells. They are very versatile and great for hip extension exercises and hip hinge movements.
They also have plenty of bars, foam rollers and balance tools.