By Drew Olson Special to Published Jul 29, 2006 at 10:59 PM
When rain hit the U.S. Bank Championship Friday afternoon at Brown Deer Park, many spectators headed into the merchandise tent to purchase umbrellas.

The golfers already had umbrellas.

So, many of them hit the fitness trailer.

"We were pretty busy," said Paul Scheuren, a physical therapist who is manning the Stryker Physiotherapy Associates trailers on the grounds.

"When it rains and we have four hours of nothing, we have a two-fold purpose. We treat about the same number as players as usual, but then there are guys that come in just for a place to hang out. Some guys are looking for a little respite. They might hang out and watch a game for a little while.

"It’s still busy, but there are a lot more guys just sitting around."

The two 48-foot trailers, which are located near the media tent and the clubhouse, contain a variety of exercise equipment, treatment tables and TVs. Players use the facility for a range of rehabilitative, preventive and conditioning needs.

Scheuren, who is working this week with a handful of doctors, therapists and athletic trainers -- including former Pittsburgh Pirates trainer Kent Biggerstaff -- said that traffic in the trailers tends to increase as the summer progresses and it’s not just because players like the air-conditioned environment.

"Guys are getting tired, not just physically, but mentally," he said. "When you get tired mentally, a little bit of physical fatigue goes along with that, too. Some guys are playing up to 30 weeks. As the season goes on, there are some guys who might play four, five, six or seven weeks in a row.

"That’s 28 days of competition, plus practice rounds and Pro-Ams. That’s a lot of repetition; a lot of swings.  There is a chance for tissue to break down and injury to occur.

"At this time of the year, guys start thinking about where they are on the money list. It’s different than other sports, because if guys don’t perform well here they don’t get paid. They’re playing for their livelihood this year and next year and beyond that. That plays into how they handle injuries and treat the minor, nagging things that come up."

Physiotherapy Associates, a division of the Stryker Corp., is based in Memphis and provides care for the PGA, Champions and LPGA Tours.

Asked if there were differences between players on the PGA and Champions (formerly Senior) Tours, Scheuren didn’t hesitate to answer.

"It’s kind of apples and oranges," he said. "With the guys on the Champions Tour, their season is broken up and they have built-in breaks. They don’t have the opportunity for about 42 events a season like guys (on the regular tour).

"The older guys are hovering around 28 to 30 events. They may have three weeks in a row, then a week off, then two weeks (in a row) and a week off.  I think the longest stretch they have is five weeks in a row.

"I think the pressure is the same in terms of being on the money list and what tournaments to get into. There are less spots to get into there than there are here. The variables are different. But, they still want to win and compete. There aren’t too many that want to go out there and just beat it around.”

When aches and pains crop up, players hit the trailer for help.

"We have a core of guys who are in here every day," Scheuren said. "It’s part of their routine. Other guys will hear about us from another player or they’ll have a minor injury and they’ll walk in and say "I hurt myself a little bit. What do you guys do?""

Players can come in for a specific injury, or they can get help with stretching. They can work sneak in a cardio workout or they can simply get out of the rain or heat and watch a game.

"It's cool in here now," Scheuren said, "but pretty soon we'll get six of them in here and they'll suck the air-conditioning right out of the trailer."

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.