Fitness Center Life


I am continually asked about life in the PGA Tour Player Fitness Center: “What goes on in there?” and “Do many players use this facility?” These are just two of the common questions asked on a weekly basis and partly the essence of this issue’s fitness column.

The week and the days start early. Although Monday is a travel and set-up day, the week begins in earnest on Tuesday morning about 11/2 hours prior to the first tee time ending between 6:30 and 7:30 PM through out the week. Sunday’s are exceptions in that we usually try to have the truck packed up by the time the last group has teed off, leaving the rest of the day for travel or (imagine this) watching golf.

The time between Tuesday and Sunday is packed with all the usual stuff of a typical physical therapy clinic: maybe a workout session and conversation with Tom Watson or a story telling session with Lee Trevino while he tackles the treadmill. O.K., so not so typical, but the foundations of our treatments here are just the same as most clinics. Besides the fitness aspects of our facility, many players see our staff prior to play for injury treatment or specific flexibility exercises even if not injured.

Most commonly, players come in 1 1/2 to 2 hours before they play for warm-up and return afterwards for exercise and work out programs. If you ever think about golfer’s being out of shape, think about how you feel after walking 18 holes of golf in high heat and stress. Now you’re ready for a nice hour work out, right? As incredible as it seems many of the Tour pros do just that.

During a rain delay the fitness center is often transformed into a mini-theater with many players enjoying one of the 80 or so movies we carry. Yes, Happy Gilmore is a favorite. Back to those questions: Yes, a lot of the pros do use our facility and as far as “what goes on in there?” Well, not much more than you’re typical physical therapy clinic.

Ralph Simpson