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John Deere Classic Pro-Am

PGA Tour Pro Patrick Rodgers talks about the importance of stretching and massage to help maintain his fitness Wednesday at the John Deere Classic.

Other than top-flight equipment and lots of knowledge, the biggest asset a professional golfer has is his body.

It was seen Thursday when defending champion Bryson DeChambeau had to withdraw from his first title defense because of a right shoulder injury.

Staying healthy and in top form is crucial to short- and long-term success, and that is why they have professionally trained physical therapists, trainers and chiropractors traversing the country with them week to week.

For the weekend warriors — and even the desk jockeys and stay-at-home moms out there — keeping your body fit can mean a world of difference in a happy and healthy life.

What do the two have in common?

The same Streto Method stretching program that is used on the PGA Tour is available to anyone at Massage Envy locations across the country, including one in Davenport.

Massage Envy, the Official Body Care Sponsor of the PGA Tour, started that partnership with the Tour last summer, and now an estimated two-thirds of players in Tour fields each week take advantage of the program in the Massage Envy Player Performance Center.

“It would be silly for a player to not utilize these services,” said Patrick Rodgers, one of 10 player ambassadors — including 2016-17 PGA Tour Player of the Year and FedExCup champ Justin Thomas — who represent Massage Envy. “Taking care of your body is the most important thing you can do as a player.”

The unique aspect of the Streto Method is that there is no sweat equity involved. The person being stretched is worked and contorted by the specially trained therapist.

It may seem like passive activity on the surface, but the therapist is getting a good workout.

“A lot of things may appear passive, but there is feedback that goes on,” said Cory Hug, one of the physical therapists on duty in the Massage Envy Performance Trailer this week at TPC Deere Run. “There is feedback that the player gives and feedback that we feel from the muscle. It may seem passive, but there is a lot of feedback that goes on.

“We can assess the mobility, and if they feel fine, we leave them as they are. If we feel something that is not right, we can work more on their flexibility.”

While the Tour pros will work specific areas that may need attention, the stretch offered in brick-and-mortar shops is designed more to focus on head-to-toe improvements.

“There's a lot more knowledge people are gaining about the benefits for your circulation or your mobility,” said Margaret Ortiz, managing partner of the Davenport Massage Envy shop. “Whether you're a pro athlete or just in your garden, it doesn't matter.

"No one stretches like they will stretch you for a half hour in the program.”

Rodgers agrees with that, calling Hug and the rest of the pros in the Massage Envy trailer the hardest working guys on Tour. He also can see the benefits of the program for anyone.

“As a fan, you see guys every week, and once their golf swing is broken down in slow motion you see the incredible mobility and dynamic movement they are able to perform,” Rodgers said. “I would say it's exponentially more important for an amateur golfer to take care of their body and go to a Massage Envy and improve their mobility.

“I think as a pro, it's more about maintenance and feeling the same every day. For an amateur, you can see massive improvements in the way you feel and the way that you perform on a daily basis on the golf course even as a recreational player.

"It's maybe even more important for a healthy lifestyle, just to wake up and feel good and have your body function the way you want it to as you age.

“It's an overall quality of life improvement with the full-body experience.”

Hug said that anything you can do for your body is helpful, especially the weekend warriors.

“If you feel good,” he said, “you play good.”

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