Dr. Troy Van Biezen interview

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Director of Strategic Initiatives, GolfForever. Founder of ChiroSport Specialists of Dallas. The man behind the success of world number one golfer and defending Masters champion Scottie Scheffler
Posted on
April 3, 2023
by
M. James Ward in
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Major championships define lasting legacies. This week's Masters will certainly add to that when the Green Jacket is bestowed on the champion. Since the emergence of Tiger Woods in 1997 the competitive landscape at the highest level of professional golf has intensified to such an extent that a key focal point is getting sufficiently prepared for such events.

The amazing escalator ride upwards for world number one Scottie Scheffler continues to be a story that is ever evolving.

Winning last year's Masters was the Texan's first major victory. But his rise to stardom began long before that with claiming the USGA Junior title in 2013 and eventually being selected to the American Walker Cup team in 2017. Scheffler had a successful collegiate career at the University of Texas before turning professional in 2018.

Scheffler's talents were apparent to his peers, and he was picked by USA Captain Steve Stricker for the 2021 Ryder Cup team without even having won a PGA TOUR event.

The critical moment for Scheffler's profile came when paired against world ranked number one Jon Rahm in the Sunday singles matches. Many did not see the 26-year-old defeating the talented Spaniard, but Scheffler opened with a barrage of birdies on the early holes and never looked back in showing the firepower he possessed.

His first win on the PGA TOUR would come months later with the 2022 Waste Management event and, in short order, other victories followed, capped off with his stunning win at Augusta National last April.

To maintain a competitive advantage over a clearly talented base of other players, Scheffler has engaged key experts to assist with his overall development. The intersection with Dr. Troy Van Biezen showcases how off-course preparation has meant on-course success.

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The Dr. Van Biezen Story

Dr. Troy Van Biezen interview

After Dr. Troy Van Biezen retired from his professional hockey career, he studied to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. His passion was to educate his patients on his knowledge of a health and wellness lifestyle.

In 2005, he founded a Chiropractic sports medicine/sports performance facility, ChiroSport Specialists of Dallas (CSS). After a few years, CSS became one of the premier facilities in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

Dr. Troy’s clientele elevated to many professional athletes from the NHL, NFL, MLB, Olympians and PGA Tour.

As a performance coach on the PGA Tour for roughly two decades, he built solid relationships with the game's top talents. He has worked with Major championships winners Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Zach Johnson, as well as NFL quarterback Tony Romo, Art Ross trophy winner NHL player Jamie Benn and World Series Champion Mark Texeira. Dr. Van Biezen worked with four different Masters champions and three different professional golfers ranked number one in the world at the time.

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How did your relationship with Scottie Scheffler start?

He came to work with me when he was 14, at my facility, ChiroSport Specialists of Dallas. He was going through a big growth spurt and was experiencing back pain that carried into high school and college.

Scottie has a unique swing that would put stress on his low back. We worked hard to improve his range of motion in his hips and mid back which helped getting his body moving properly and took stress off his low back.

 

When you two sat down in late 2021, what specific elements was Scheffler interested in working on to better prepare himself for competition?

We had to build up Scottie's endurance. We felt that he didn’t have the cardio endurance to finish strong going down the back nine on Sunday. Looking on the performance side of it, I had to make sure he had enough gas in the tank, as the physical fatigue can cause mental fatigue. Part two was to continue to build on his mobility/stability foundation. We really worked hard on improving his hip and core strength. That’s where the GolfForever Swing Trainer came in.

We basically incorporated it into his new workout routine in early 2022. Coincidence or not, he started winning. He’s won six times now since he’s gotten on this program.

What was the first thing you noticed about him when working together?

Scottie needed to get stronger. So, you’ll see in the videos of him doing GolfForever training, he works a lot on stability and mobility patterns. GolfForever is a highly beneficial, low-risk training tool. I think golf fitness has probably gone down one extreme where you see players doing Olympic lifting when they are not physically ready and guys can get hurt.

I've always said the game of golf is a marathon, not a sprint. These guys can play for a long period of time and perform at a high level if they just keep themselves healthy.

Another training component that Scottie and I do in the gym, which is under a controlled environment, is to reverse engineer the movement patterns that we want to have him integrate into his golf swing. This is important that his golf coach Randy Smith and myself continue to communicate. The GolfForever SwingTrainer has been one very versatile, durable tool that we can apply those movement patterns under a light load but generating that neural pathway pattern to get that brain working on certain movements we want him into ingrain.

How frequently do you intersect with Scottie once the PGA TOUR season gets underway?

I travel with Scottie full time on the road. We are together at most of the PGA Tour stops and majors several days a week. On off weeks, he comes to ChiroSport frequently when he’s home in Dallas for his treatments, recovery and training.

 

What kind of things does Scottie want you to help him improve?

Endurance, like we mentioned, was one key. Strength and power is what we are currently working on. Our goal was for him to be as physically, mentally and emotionally strong on Thursday morning as he is on Sunday afternoon going down the back nine. I could tell after not very long, he was hitting better shots late in tournaments.

Also, here in 2023, I think he's already gained six or seven yards off the tee. He's always asking questions. He wants to continue to get better and improve his athleticism. We continue to methodically improve his power, speed, strength, and endurance.

I also want him to be able to move properly, so we're big on mobility patterns. We're big on soft tissue muscle pliability to absorb the forces the golf swing creates for injury prevention and to create elastic energy in those muscles that create speed. He's still young and we want him to have, obviously, a long and successful career.

What specific aspects in your working with him can be of value to regular golfers of all skill levels?

When people see Scottie and guys like Ryan Palmer using the GolfForever Swing Trainer, they ask a lot of questions about the movements and exercises. When I put Scottie and my guys through these workouts, this is a full body workout.

You have to stabilize a certain body part while you move another body part – whether it's the hips, the core, the low back muscles, quads, or the feet. Those are the big factors.

GolfForever is convenient so you can use it at home. And you have video instruction right in front of you – somebody telling you what to do and how to do it. They're coaching you along the way.

 

Biggest mistake people make when starting a program to improve their overall physical capabilities.

Get exercise that offers a high benefit but low risk. There are a lot of injuries out there. People love the power and speed, and they get hurt. I see a lot of that at my office from all age groups, but anytime you pick an exercise or workout program, you want it to be a high benefit and low risk.

People should increase their range of motion through mobility and stretching exercises, but also build stability on those new range of motions.

By going through some of the exercises we have on GolfForever, they're able to increase their hip mobility. That way, we provide the stability on those new ranges so there isn't a high risk for an injury.

What does GolfForever provide that other companies cannot match?

Everybody wants to hit the ball farther. You don't have to be strong to hit the ball farther. You just have to move better. With my PGA Tour players, I have a couple of guys who went down a rabbit hole and lifted a lot of weights.

They got a little stiff as they didn’t work on their mobility couldn't turn very well, and lost clubhead speed.

With GolfForever, it's the mobility and flexibility part of it that gets people out of pain. And then, we have stability exercises and speed work. It's all-encompassing, and we get feedback from all different dimensions.

 

How do you see the relationship with Scottie evolving given his standing in the game now as the world ranked number one player?

I'm constantly changing his workouts in the gym for the purpose of creating muscle confusion, not really letting his body adapt to the exercises. I think that consistently challenges Scottie and I feel it progresses his athleticism a lot quicker. For example, we can do a power lift followed by a speed move or a power lift followed by a mobility move.

We are constantly changing things up. A lot of times, we'll do a new exercise or do a movement pattern and it exposes a limitation or exposes a weakness and it’s enlightening and we'll work on that side of it.

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For more info go to:
www.golfforever.com

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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