If you are a golfer, you may have more in common with some of the top PGA players than you know. Since the beginning of the year, Will Zalatoris, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama have all experienced injuries that either sidelined them or caused them to miss the cut at tournaments.
As a licensed physical therapist and owner of PerformanceAbove, Hetal Acharekar has seen and treated plenty of injuries over the years. Many of her patients are athletes, golfers to be exact. They come in suffering with lower back, shoulder, and hip pain which are fairly common ailments among golfers.
“Instead of focusing on a hip or knee, I wanted to see the person as a whole,” Acharekar explained. If you’re out on the course watching them swing or their stance, it helps with the best plan of treatment.”
It’s one of the reasons Acharekar started playing golf herself, so that she could better understand a patient’s needs. She learned what happens to the spine, knees, and shoulders when golfers tee off, hit shots from a sand trap, or putt.
“It was eye-opening and opened my world to body mechanics which helps optimize the golf movements, while preventing the most common injuries,” she said. “I use a research-based approach and video analysis to assess mobility, strength, speed, agility, and endurance from head to toe.”
Acharekar’s expertise is in chronic injuries, especially those of the back and hip that are associated with repetitive movement dysfunctions. Much of her work focuses on the integrative concepts of posture, stability, and mobility, and how they influence movement.
“I can customize a golf performance program based on the results and goals of my patients,” she said.
Golf Fit is a comprehensive, evidence-based training program designed to help golfers of all skill levels improve their physical fitness, golf-specific movement patterns, and overall performance on the course. Achareker is offering a 50% discount for the Golf Fit program.
PerformanceAbove isn’t limited to golfers or other athletes. Many of her patients are aging, but want to stay active and mobile. Acharekar teaches them why staying active is important and can lead to a longer, healthier lifestyle. But isn’t that part of the reason Baby Boomers play golf?
For the younger generations, performance training could be a game-changer in athletic longevity. What’s ahead for Acharekar and PerformanceAbove?
“I would love to see performance training implemented at USC Aiken which has a successful golf program,” Achareker said.
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means!
If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at email@example.com.