Challenge Tour Members at the Karnten Golf Open by Markus Brier Foundation this week are benefitting from an extensive medical treatment service from professionals specialising in golf injuries.
ALTIS Humanomed Sports Medizin is an interdisciplinary team based on site at Klagenfurt-Seltenheim Golf Club in Austria during Wednesday’s Pro-Am and for the entire tournament.
All Challenge Tour events have a physiotherapist on site during the competition, but what is on offer this week gives players the opportunity to have thorough check-ups, exploratory work on any niggling injuries and get advice on how to stay in the best possible shape for their game.
A relaxation chair – a huge leather chair which vibrates to give a massage – is one of the most popular aspects, but the jewel in the crown is a €70,000 ultrasonography machine used to investigate muscular and ligament problems.
The players can also have physiotherapy and massage, osteopathy, pain therapy, pharmaceuticals and general medical ‘MOTs’. There are Swiss balls for core strengthening exercises and spinning bikes to warm up before and cool down after a round.
The medical team present every day comprises three therapists and a doctor, and there will also be opportunities to see specialist doctors during the week.
Dr Michael Kröpfl said: “On Friday we have a doctor who specialises in knee and hip injuries in golfers and the chief specialist for shoulder problems has been in today. We even have a heart specialist here for a couple of hours every day.
“It is very important for golfers to take care of their bodies and to look out for signs of injuries. The most common problems are with the shoulder, hip and ankle, and I see a few with wrist problems.
“Last year we had the massage chair and there was someone in it all the time. The players loved it. There was sometimes even a queue to sit in it. These cost about €7,000 so it is a very good service to be able to offer.
“It’s also important to have a doctor on site every day so a player can check if any medication he needs to take does not infringe on the rules. It saves them having to go to a hospital to check.”
Dr Kröpfl is usually based in the local hospital but enjoys having the opportunity to work with professional golfers.
“I love golf but I don’t have much time to play it,” he added. “This is the next best thing and I always ask my boss to be here this week. From our window we can see the ninth and tenth holes and sometimes if we are not too busy we like to watch the players.”
Challenge Tour Director Alain de Soultrait said: “This is a fantastic facility to have this week at the Karnten Golf Open and the players are very fortunate to have these kind of specialists at their disposal.
“Sports medicine is increasingly becoming an important part of professional golf and I’m sure our Challenge Tour Members will appreciate the high level available to them here.”
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