TRAIN­ERS HAVE THEIR SAY

Golf Digest Middle East - - The Golf Life -

ll right, golf’s weight-lift­ing skep­tics have had their say. To the train­ers who ac­tu­ally work with tour pros—frus­trated that their meth­ods are still so of­ten ques­tioned— there re­ally isn’t much of a de­bate.

Dr. Ara Sup­piah, an ex­pert in func­tional sports medicine and the 2016 U.S. Ry­der Cup team’s physi­cian, un­loads when given the floor. “What crit­ics are say­ing is not sci­ence, just anec­do­tal ob­ser­va­tion from a very small sam­ple size with many vari­ables,” he says. “For ev­ery golfer who has been hurt or sim­ply ac­cused of be­ing hurt in the gym, I can name many top play­ers—Hen­rik Sten­son, Adam Scott, Ser­gio Gar­cia, Jor­dan Spieth—who work out reg­u­larly but have never been in­jured. The crit­ics of pro golfers have it back­ward. They say the gym work causes golfers in­jury, but to­day’s play­ers and their train­ers know first­hand it’s the sport it­self that causes in­jury, and that they train to keep from be­ing in­jured.

“Ath­letes in other sports get hurt, yet we never say they shouldn’t be in the gym,” Sup­piah says. “But we say it about golfers. You would never say Rafa Nadal’s arms are too big. But we con­stantly say th­ese things about golfers.”

Sup­piah’s ar­gu­ment is that pro golf has evolved into a more ath­let­i­cally de­mand­ing sport. Much like ma­jor-league pitch­ers throw­ing 95 miles per hour or faster who seem­ingly get in­jured more of­ten, or ten­nis play­ers with more pow­er­ful rack­ets get­ting in­jured from swing­ing harder, golf’s now-com­mon 120-mile-per-hour club­head

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