Breckenridge hosts golf series
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE ” As Jay Platt put it, the golf swing is the most complex movement in all of sports.
“You stand perpendicular to your target, then rotate 180 degrees around your spine to propel the golf ball that direction,” Platt said, adding that each swing puts a force on one’s spine equal to six to eight times their body weight. “That’s what puts the physical stress on your body. It’s not a contact sport, but there’s a lot of twisting.”
That’s why Platt, a golf-specific physical therapist, says that a golfer needs to understand their body in order to get the most out of their golf swing. And, this spring and summer, Platt is offering that opportunity to the people of Summit County.
Through Avalanche Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation, L.P., Platt is hosting the “Strengthen Your Game ” Golf” series in Breckenridge. A spring tune-up special is already available through the Breckenridge Recreation Center, and, once the Breckenridge Golf Club opens in June, Platt will take his work to the driving range.
The program is set up on an individual basis, Platt said, with all work dedicated to the individual’s needs.
It begins with a golf-specific physical
“I see whether they have the right flexibility, strength, posture, etc. to get into the right positions to support the club,” Platt said.
Then, Platt focuses on the golfer’s biomechanics, or in other words, how the person’s body works within the motion of their golf swing.
“Once we’ve done that evaluation to figure out where their limitations might be, we devise an individual exercise program for that limitation,” Platt said.
Platt has seen firsthand the fruits of his labor paying off ” with PGA Tour players.
Since becoming a physical therapist 28 years ago, Platt began working with golfers exclusively in 1998 while living in Austin, Texas. In 2006, he began working as a traveling physical therapist at PGA Tour events. Last summer, he spent 20 weeks working with some of the best golfers in the world. His client list has included major winners Ben Crenshaw, Zach Johnson, Steve Elkington and Davis Love III.
Through his experience of working with players who have donned Green Jackets, Platt has learned a lot about how to help the average hackers who won’t come any closer to Augusta National than watching it on TV.
“The average Tour player is very in-tuned to his body; they can tell if they’re out of position or if their body isn’t moving correctly,” Platt said. “The recreational player, they don’t hit five or six hundred golf balls every day; they’re lucky to hit that in a year. … So, they’re not quite as in tune with their body.
“When I’m looking at them biomechanically as part of my assessment, I’m turning over stones where they didn’t realize that they didn’t have the strength or stability to get into these positions.”
With the help of programs such as the one Platt’s providing, he said that the recreational golfers can begin to “bridge the gap” in becoming more in tune with their bodies and how they work through the golf swing.
In addition, the work of Platt and his program also helps a golfer get more out of their time with their golf pro and allows for more productive lessons.
“There’s a synergy between the biomechanics and how the body works and with the swing mechanics. So, as I got into this more in detail, I started working with golf pros as a team,” Platt said. “They work on the swing and I’m working on the body. Golf pros will find that, if they can’t get someone into the right position, then there’s a problem between the swing mechanics and the body.”
During Platt’s summer sessions, he will team with Breck Golf Club’s head professional Erroll Miller to provide both physical and technical help.
But, as the snow still blankets the driving range, Platt recommends getting back in golfing shape before the season starts.
This is where the “Strengthen Your Game ” Golf” series comes in. The current spring session consists of two, 1-hour sessions per week for six weeks at the rec center. For information on pricing and availability, contact the Avalanche office at (970) 453-4364.
“They can’t get on the golf course yet,” Platt said, “but they can start training their body and getting the rust off.”
Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at email@example.com.
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