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The Quick Steps to a Tour Player Recovery

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Tiger Woods reacts after making birdie on the 13th green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 07, 2022Getty Images

Tiger Woods played his last competitive round 509 days ago. Of course, so much has been written about the surprise we all received to see him here this week. As so many were wondering how he would play, I was quite certain his game would be in order. My question(s) surrounded his ability to recover once the rounds were completed.
Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most difficult golf courses to walk on the PGA Tour. Though most courses don’t have a lot of even lies, ANGC really has none except for those 18 tee boxes! It’s difficult to say for Tiger which is tougher, the walk down #10 or the climb back up #18. With a splendid round of 1 under par 71, Woods signed his card and went back home to start the process of preserving his body for three more demanding assaults on ANGC.
Many of us face aches, pains, and injuries between rounds. Seldom though do we ever treat them following the final hole. Mobility should be our top priority and although we won’t be playing in the Masters anytime soon, we can all learn a thing or two from the tour when it comes to recuperation.
Start the process as soon as you get home. If you have a foam roller or even a massage gun, take some time to loosen the areas you used the most while playing. Start with the leg muscles and work your way through the back and arms. Get a good roll or gun massage on those regions. Break up the muscle fibers and keep them loose. We all tend to tighten up significantly right after we are done playing. Stretch out that tightness and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel the next day.
The second step I’m sure Tiger will implement this evening is to ice any areas with significant soreness. Cooling an area off increases blood flow and will help it heal faster. Many of these players will even take ice baths back at the house to revitalize their legs. Getting a proper ground push in our swing requires fresh legs. Many of us rarely play back to back days, let alone four in a row. By implementing these specific steps your next round will likely be as successful as the last one from a fitness perspective.
Rest is the most valuable component of a healthy return. Make sure if you are playing on consecutive days, you get plenty of rest. If you won’t be playing for a couple days, make sure you get plenty of sleep the day you just played. Many of us wear Apple watches, Whoops and Fitbits. In doing so, we’ve learned through technology to monitor our own personal health. One piece of vital information is getting a great slumber soon after strain is really important. The last successful step takes place right before the next round. Make sure you revisit those foam rollers or electric massage devices daily. Seldom do we work on our golf bodies in- between two rounds. Leave a little time each day to increase your mobility. Do yourself a huge favor and take a couple extra minutes prior to your next round for loosening up those joints as well.
None of the items I have mentioned take a ton of time. In fact, the more often you do them, the more efficient you’ll become. Follow these couple steps:
  1. Follow the round with a roller.
  2. Ice the areas that need it.
  3. Prioritize some rest.
  4. Add in a daily dose of mobility work.
  5. Get yourself moving prior to the next round.
We might not all be able to play like a tour player in consecutive rounds, but we can all feel as good as one!
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