How the world’s top PGA golfers over 50 are beating the ageing process
If anyone who wants to try and stay perpetually young, or hold off the ageing process as long as possible, it’s the golfers on the PGA Tour Champions.
They’re all 50 and older. Most have various physical ailments. Back, shoulders, knees, elbows, hands, hamstrings … once you get past 50, as most know, things begin to hurt and often in numbers.
Rocco Mediate has had a bad back since he was 28, when he said he was pulling his golf bag out of the car and, “Bang, disc went bye-bye.” Now 54, that’s 26 years of trying to stay loose and flexible enough, and relatively pain-free enough, to play golf for a living.
There are now two trailers at each tour stop, both sponsored by Massage Envy, huge rigs that house a workout centre and physical therapy centre.
Kent Biggerstaff, a conditioning coach, spent more than 30 years in Major League Baseball before joining the PGA Tour Champions 12 years ago.
“After 50, you naturally start to lose muscle,” Biggerstaff said. “Most people lose about one to one and a half percent of their muscle after 50. Those who become successful out here find ways to either make that loss zero or as little as possible with workouts.”
Pro golfers often walk ten to twelve kilometres a day, which meets the aerobic needs, he said. Most come to the trailer to work on core strength, balance and flexibility.
Biggerstaff said golfers are often one-sided – for example, one has a strong right side and weaker left side. His job, he said, is to make the difference between the two as small as possible for better balance.
Golfers do a lot of one-leg exercises, he said.
“The glutes stop firing for a lot of guys as they age, and other body parts help to compensate,” he said, noting one-legged exercises force the gluteus maximus muscle to fire.
Biggerstaff said he often opens the conditioning trailer at 5:45 a.m., and already has golfers lined up in carts. Tour pro Steve Flesch tweeted that it “looked like a drive-thru” and many are regulars.
“If you’re in reasonable shape you shouldn’t hurt more just because you’re older,” Mediate said. “And you shouldn’t get hurt easier.”
That’s why he’s often at the trailers.
“These guys keep us in one piece” he said.
Experience the benefits of stretch and schedule a session today… Your body will thank you for it!