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Reflection of working across European Tours 2022

2022 was a very busy year. I worked a total of 11 tournaments between the Legends, Challenge and DP World Tour. The tours are most active in the summer therefore the years’ work was concentrated mainly between June and September resulting in very little competitive golf for me.

The gym/physio room in Dritec for the Czech Challenge

Trips consisted of five Challenge, two DP World Tour and four Legends competitions. I covered events in Scotland, Sweden, Denmark x2, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. The physio service itself tends to run from seven in the morning to seven in the evening to allow competitors to access the service before and after their round. The pre-round sessions tend to be based around helping get players moving past stiffness and pain with the goal of getting full movement for practice and play. Treatments after play tend to be more focussed on recovery and getting the player as ready as possible for the next day.

A two week stretch allowed for some rare down time. Palm Beach! (in Denmark)

Most of the work is around managing and maintenance of chronic problems. There is the occasional new injury which demands thorough assessment skills as well being able to liase with other specialists in the fantastic ETPI team to provide follow up investigations and care. Most injuries on the challenge tour are neck related with the occasional wrist. For this reason, I feel an aspiring young golfer should have neck strength exercises in their gym routine as part of an injury prevention program. Wrist injuries although less frequent tend to be more costly in terms of time loss and withdrawing from events.

Sunny Stockholm

Fatigue is an issue on challenge tour as players can be spreading themselves between access tours, challenge tour and main tour. I met a few players from access tours beginning to get challenge tour starts due to their excellent form. Some of these players were playing 10-15 weeks in a row and were showing marked symptoms of mental and physical fatigue.

I was very impressed generally with the players physical fitness with many golfers being tall, athletic, and attending the gym regularly. I would now find it hard to differentiate professional golfers from footballers. Very few of the challenge and legends tour venues had gym facilities. Players tend to access local gyms with the tour often having an agreement to allow them access for a reduced rate.

Laundry is £100 in Sweden............

On the seniors tour low back pain is the most common injury. Injuries tend to be chronic in nature and only on occasion golfers must withdraw due to a low back pain. Sufferers tend to get through the season by minimising practise as much as possible. The season is short but intense and low back pain tends to worsen as the season goes on due to lack of recovery time. Plenty of golf over the winter and a good strength program would help improve this however most of the Legends Tour pros have busy coaching jobs to support their playing career.

Not so sunny Gleneagles

My highlight of the year would be the Seniors Open at Gleneagles. Gleneagles is a beautiful resort, and the Kings course brings back fond memories of when I used to watch the Scottish open in the 80’s as a junior. It was great getting to watch the stars from my childhood such as Vijay Singh, Ernie, Els, Retief, Goosen, Padding Harrington and Paul Lawrie.

My favourite golf resort was Osteraker in Sweden. The facilities were incredible and this allowed me some practice in the evening as sunset wasn’t till 11pm. Clubs were generally happy to let me use the facilities to practice as long as this did not interfere with competitors. I found it extremely helpful in managing long hours and working away for long periods. It also did wonders for my short game!

My biggest insight of the year would be that tour life isn’t nearly as glamorous as painted on television. It’s many weeks away as well as a very uncertain future for many golfers. Being mentally, and physically robust seems key to success on tour.

Par 3 course in Osteraker, Sweden. An amazing Golf facility.

Working for the European Tour presented an amazing opportunity to work with the world’s best golfers traveling all over Europe. I owe a huge thanks to my partner and close family for support.


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