ENDICOTT, N.Y. – All around En-Joie Golf Club, players are continuing to prepare for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Between hitting the driving range, the putting green, or practice rounds, golfers will do whatever it takes to make sure their game is at it’s peak for the weekend.
However, there’s more than meets the eye in their preparation.
And thanks to the PGA Tour, there are even more ways for the players to be at their best.
On Wednesday, I took a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the facilities at the players disposal every week.
We start inside the PGA Tour Champions club fitting truck.
The trailer makes it’s round weekly wherever the tour goes, and with it comes the man in charge.
Brian Rhattigan is the Senior Club Technician for the tour, and whatever golf equipment needs fixing, he’s the guy the pros turn to.
“Basically, what we do is fit and build golf equipment for the players in the tournament that week. We’re here to just help them with repairs, or build them a new club, or fit them into something different. Changes shafts, grips, et cetera,” says Rhattigan.
Now, it may sound like it’s all business inside.
However, Rhattigan says that you’ve got to be able to handle some smack talk if you hang out in there.
“The nickname is the barbershop. It’s kind of like an old man barbershop. I mean, there’s definitely a lot of razzing. You can’t have very thin skin to be in here. It can get tough some times. But, it’s fun. It’s all in good humor, good fun.”
With, as Brian calls it, their usual “trouble children” who often wander into the truck, there’s no shortage of laughs and jokes while also being productive and helpful.
Our next stop was over to the PGA Tour Player Performance Center, another mobile unit designed to help the golfers enhance their game.
This time, the focus is on their bodies, and their workouts are led by Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Hall of Famer Kent Biggerstaff.
Biggerstaff spent 36 seasons with the Mets, Pirates, and Brewers.
After spending six months in retirement, he was called upon by the tour to come and help them out.
Fourteen years later, Kent is still a crucial part to the players being ready to perform at each event.
“This trailer is all about fitness for the players. We use it extensively in the mornings for the players to warm up before their round, and get their bodies ready for the riggers of the day. Then, after the round and after their practice sessions as over, they come in and they do their conditioning programs,” Biggerstaff said.
With over four decades of experience in the field, Biggerstaff knows what’s important in order to keep the body moving, and he even shared some advice to golfers everywhere about what they should be doing.
“The importance of a warm up. People see Miguel Angel Jimenez on driving range rolling his knees around in circles and think that’s the warm up that he does. But, he’s actually in the trailer for thirty to forty minutes before he goes to the range. Even if the amateur golfer could spend five minutes warming up before they go to the 1st tee, they would stay healthier and enjoy golf more because their body would feel better.”
So whether it’s a club or their body that needs some adjusting, there’s always somewhere for the players to turn to no matter where the tour takes them.
I could see instantly why the players would enjoy spending time in those trailers.
For the resources, of course, but also for the entertaining company as well.