To help golfers relax sore muscles and ease stiffness, the PGA Tour has a small cart filled with therapy guns that is brought to the practice area at each event. Devices like the Hypervoltage 2 Pro ($259) use percussion massage therapy, but for travelers, the Hyperice Volt Go 2 ($99) it is a more portable and less expensive option.
He also brings two 18-wheelers full of exercise equipment, massage tables, and equipment. That’s where you’ll find Digby Watt, a physical therapist who works with the PGA Tour. He helps players keep their bodies in top shape and knows all about travel fatigue.
“The things we focus on with guys start with sleep, which is challenging, but you have to get good sleep for the body to heal,” Watt said.
He PGA Tour partnered with Whoop, a maker of wearable devices, in 2020 and made the device available to all its players after Whoop research revealed it could help golfers who had contracted COVID-19 learn they had the virus before they developed symptoms . However, Wow ($30 per month) It’s designed to track a person’s heart rate and exertion level throughout the day, then shows how much sleep is recommended and how well a person has recovered the next morning. By combining the data it collects with daily user input, Whoop can reveal which habits are positive for recovery, like meditation, and which are detrimental to recovery, like late-night eating.
Watt recommends that players wake up early in the morning after arriving in the tournament city and drink caffeine, but does not recommend that players drink caffeine after lunch.
“If you’re going to take a power nap, which is good for catching up on sleep, we recommend taking it earlier in the day so it doesn’t affect nighttime sleep.”
She also recommends avoiding alcohol, avoiding junk food, and reducing screen time later and at night. Smartphone screens and televisions emit blue light, which can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and reduce your natural production of melatonin. Watt says that melatonin supplements taken at night can be helpful for many players.
Many golfers also benefit from a session with Hyperice Normatec Tights ($699). After the legs are slipped into the boots and closed, a compressor that connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth is activated and the leggings are inflated, much like the cuff your doctor uses to measure your blood pressure. Rory McIlroy said he occasionally rides in his Normatec boots but tends to wear them after intense workouts.
“You apply gradient pressure, starting at the lowest point of your body, your feet, and working your way up. It moves the fluids that accumulate on planes back to where they can be drained.” Watt said. “It’s like getting a deep tissue massage. When you stand up, your legs feel a little lighter.”
Fifteen minutes on a stationary bike can also create this effect.
Rahm, McIlroy and the other players at Royal Liverpool depend on their bodies for a living. On the other hand, you only want to play nice when you’re on vacation. Remembering some of these tips and planning ahead can help make that happen.