U.S. Senior Open: Health and fitness trailers a 'career saver' for some pro golfers

BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, Staff Writer, cstavenhagen@opubco.com Published: July 10, 2014


photo - Certified athletic trainer Kent Biggerstaff demonstrates an exercise inside a training trailer for tour players during the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Certified athletic trainer Kent Biggerstaff demonstrates an exercise inside a training trailer for tour players during the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

EDMOND — In the parking lot of any PGA Tour or Champions Tour golf tournament, there are two big, red trailers.

It’s a common sight. No big deal to most on tour.

But Fred Funk, who had a knee replacement in 2009 and a thumb fused in 2011, said these trucks saved his career.

Some say they’ve changed golf entirely.

“The reason I’m even out here is because of those fitness trucks, no question,” Funk, 58, said.

As the brainchild of a former Los Angeles Dodgers team trainer, the PGA Tour introduced the Player Mobile Health and Fitness Trailer in 1985.

Then, it provided the basics of a training room, plus a few workout options. In 1986, the Champions Tour got its own truck.

As sports medicine changed and golfers such as Tiger Woods started flexing and bombing balls down the fairway, one truck turned into two. Now, pro golfers have a fully functional training room and a multipurpose fitness room at their disposal. The trucks are even sponsored by Visionworks.

Paul Schueren, a physical therapist for the PGA and Champions Tour since 1988, watched the evolution firsthand.

“When it started out here, it was an anomaly,” Schueren said. “Most tournaments were like, ‘What do we need this for? It’s golf. These guys would rather go have a beer.’

“Now every tournament wants this. It’s turned around from the days of the guy opening the door and shutting it and running away to guys running in. It’s a big part of the daily routine.”

The training trailer features a chiropractor and multiple physical therapists. Golfers can go in at any time and get whatever treatment they need. The trailer has knee braces, elbow braces, wrist braces, moist heat, cold packs, training tables and even a GE diagnostic ultrasound. It also offers dermatology treatments a few times a year.

“When you’re out on the road, you can’t go see a doctor, you’re trying to play through a lot of injuries and stay out here,” Funk said. “You don’t want to miss a start so you end up going in there a lot, and that saved my career.”

The fitness trailer has every band, weight, cable and machine you could ask for, complete with a certified athletic trainer to assist golfers with their workouts. It even provides players with workout attire.

Schueren said 60-70 percent of Champions Tour golfers use the fitness trailers on a regular basis. On the PGA Tour, the number is even larger.



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