PGA Tour

Louis Oosthuizen’s physio - part magic touch, part hairdresser!

2016-04-01 14:31
Dave Marshall and Louis Oosthuizen (Facebook)

Cape Town - During the final of the Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club, Dave Marshall caught up with Marnus Marais, Louis Oosthuizen’s physio.

DM: Where did you grow up and please provide some background regarding your progression as a physio?

“I grew up in Pretoria and graduated as a physio from the University of South Africa in 1999. I worked there for a couple of years.”

“Then I moved to England where I planned on working for a few months but ended up working for 10 years! I worked for the National Health Service mainly for the military.”

“I had a great experience working for the military there. I really enjoyed my work life balance with them.”

“Then I started to become interested in golf and golf related injuries. I started doing some further education in that field.”

“I first started working on the European Tour as a golf physio whilst still working for the military.”

“When the travelling became too much I started working full time with professional golfers. This has been my job for the last 5 or 6 years now.”

DM: How did you break into the European Tour in the first place?

“I went on a Titleist Performance Institute course where I met some physios working on tour who asked me to join them.”

DM: Louis in one of a few guys you currently work with. How long have you been working with him?

“I met Louis on tour when he was working with one of the other physios. Just over a year ago we started working full time together.”

DM: Please go into some detail about how your current set up with Louis works?

“Louis has an English strength and conditioning trainer called Kevin Duffy who lives in England. So Kevin and I work very closely together.”

“We are very proud of how this relationship operates as a team. I think it is very important in this environment working with these players to be able to work as a team.”

“It doesn’t often happen. Kevin and I have a great working relationship.”

“He handles the strength and conditioning whilst I look after soft tissue work as well as providing some guidance on his supplementation (vitamins, minerals, protein powders, meal replacements).”

“I also assist with recovery tools. There is an ice compression device called Game Ready that he uses to help with his back and neck. It is an ice compression garment that he wears on the affected area.”

DM: What is Louis routine on a playing day?

“Before he plays a round I look at areas susceptible to stress, areas that we have identified as being important to keep an eye on. I bring him back into alignment where necessary. This usually takes 15 minutes”

“Louis then undertakes his exercise routine that Kevin has designed specifically for his body type and potential problem areas. This takes another 15 minutes.”

“After a round I once again check the key areas as these can repeatedly present as problematic. I go through my soft tissue work as well as mobilisations that are required.”

DM: As with any client/practitioner relationship rapport is very important.

“I feel rapport is a very important factor that determines which players work with certain practitioners. I feel that the matching of personalities with rapport is very important.”

“It is very important in the decision making process when both parties are deciding if they are able to work together.”

DM: How are you in delivering tough or bad news?

“I am very honest but I try to deliver any potential bad news sensitively. It’s crucial to be able to adapt to different personalities, cultures (I met so many different people from around the world in the UK), performances and age ranges.”

“Someone may come to me who has missed the cut whilst the next person may be leading the tournament. They will have different energies that I will have to be aware of and manage accordingly.”

“I take my job very seriously and my aim is to always have the best interests of the client at heart.”

“My message may not always go down well but it’s important that I think of their long term health and well-being.”

DM: Who else do you currently work with?

“Louis is one of 4 clients I currently work with. I also work with another South African, a European and an American.”

“I enjoy the variety of different cultures, personalities and age ranges (from early 20s to mid-40s).”

“One client takes some motivating to undertake programs whereby one I have to work on holding back!”

“I’m part psychologist and like a hairdresser at times where I am told many different stories by my clients.”

DM: Can you tell us a few things about Louis that people might not know?

“He’s a very committed family man.”

“He’s very organised. He plans ahead. I like that structured approach too as I am a systems person.”

“His favourite food is braai meat.”

“He’s very respectful.”

(He also takes his own personal mattress with him wherever he goes to help manage his back issues).

DM: Some ways for Louis to relax and unwind after a round of golf?

“Spending time with his family (wife and 3 daughters).”

“Being with his family is an important part of his self-care. He gets away from the course after a round to see them as quickly as he can.”

DM: How are you as a spectator when you are watching your clients play golf?

“I get stressed as I care. I want them to do well. It is nerve wracking and I don’t walk that often. I feel a little bit uncomfortable at times.”

“I do enjoy watching match play so I always try and walk around during this format.”

“I try not to tie my worth into the performances of my clients. It’s their achievement when they do well and their responsibility when they don’t do so well.”

“It’s important for me not to be too attached to their performances on the course.”

Thanks to Marnus who chatted to me whilst watching Louis taking on Jason Day for the title of Dell Match Play champion for 2016. Although Louis lost 5&4 to the now world No 1, he had a great week nonetheless.

Read more on:    louis oosthuizen  |  golf


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