Golf Conditioning with Noted Expert Keith Scott, D.C.
Do you often wonder if, and how, you could measurably improve your golf game? If you take a page from the pros, and from Keith Scott, D.C., CCSP, CCST of Multi-Specialty HealthCare (MSHC), you’ll surely make strides in your game, in both performance and injury prevention.
In June 2013, Dr. Scott, celebrated 25 years since his graduation from chiropractic college. It has been a busy and productive quarter century, all spent working at MSHC, and including Dr. Scott’s developing into one of the foremost chiropractic experts in the sport of golf.
An avid golfer, Dr. Scott began working with professional golfers in 1993. Hearing that PGA Tour player Tim Simpson had flown home to Georgia from a tournament to have his back adjusted by his chiropractor, Dr. Scott had a note inserted into Mr. Simpson’s locker at the Kemper Open, offering continuation of that treatment with his services at the tournament in Potomac, MD. That eventually led to him providing services to the PGA players at that tournament on an annual basis, as well as an august position as the on-site chiropractor for the U.S. Open, in 1997 and U.S. Senior Open, in 1996. Dr. Scott was eventually retained as one of only ten traveling chiropractors in the country employed by the PGA Tour. As part of that position, from 2000-07, Dr. Scott spent about two months a year on the road treating professional golfers. He is currently the Director of Chiropractic Services for the Mid-Atlantic Professional Golf Association (MAPGA).
Since 2000, Dr. Scott and MSHC have been ahead of the curve, with their use of a unique indoor driving range for swing analysis and golf conditioning, located in MSHC’s Severna Park facility. Dr. Scott conducts golf clinics, and treats a number of golfers of all levels. Ironically, as Dr. Scott celebrated his 25 years, the New York Times featured a page 1 article on the ‘new trend’ of golf conditioning. The article proved just how cutting-edge Dr. Scott and MSHC are in their approach. The article reports on the current PGA Tour: “Two trailers follow the golfers on tour, one a mobile gym, the other a physical therapy center. Workout clothes are provided along with weight-lifting equipment, treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, trainers, therapists, chiropractors and nutritionists.”
NY Times – Today’s Golfers Work Out Like Serious Athletes
“Conditioning is actually much more relevant to amateur golfers,” reports Dr. Scott. “Their habits are not as good as the pros. In addition, with the time amateurs have, they often just want to play, and not invest time in a golf specific exercise program.”
Most injuries experienced by the pros are due to repetitive stress on the joints, whereas amateurs may suffer injuries, primarily to the lower back, due to poor biomechanics. Dr. Scott suggests that amateurs be properly fitted for equipment (clubs). Clubs off the shelf are manufactured for average height (5’7”), but club size should be individually matched to the shorter or taller player. Players should also engage in a general fitness program. Golfers aren’t looking to build bulk, but rather, general fitness, such as strengthening core muscles to stabilize the spine, and doing flexibility exercises.
Once upon a time, Dr. Scott relates, the pros “didn’t get it.” Their normal regime would consist of playing 18 holes at a tournament site, and then jumping into their car and playing another 9 holes at a different course. “Now it is rare for a pro to practice 18 holes consecutively. They’ll typically play 9 holes and then do fitness training for 2-3 hours.” Conditioning has evolved for amateurs as well, explains Dr. Scott, as they follow the habits of the pros, and they are exposed to more publicity and information, such as videos and the Golf Channel.
“Injuries are inherent to golf,” explains Dr. Scott, a game in which “everything revolves around the spine. For other sports, it’s compressive or concussive injuries, but for golf if you can maintain good biomechanics—with good posture including a straight spine—you are much less injury prone. It’s rounded shoulders (poor posture) and improper biomechanics that put the extra stress on the body.” This, for example, also illustrates the need for proper golf club fitting.
Finally, a good 10-15 minute warm-up before hitting the driving range, and a 10-15 minute cool down after the round are important ‘good golf’ measures. As Dr. Scott knows all too well, it’s a new era for golfers, and that should include a new regime.