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Golf perks include rubdowns before and after rounds

Melinda Hunter
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Carla Kennedy, from In Therapy Massage works on a client Wednesday during the practice round of the American Century Championship.
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STATELINE – The lush and lavish benefits of being a celebrity go above and beyond receiving multimillion dollar paychecks. Having a high-profile status also includes hordes of perks and freebies.

With the American Century Championship this week, celebrities receive the accustomed VIP treatment on and off the golf course, proving this tournament, too, is no exception to the rules of celebrity indulgence. Benefits for Tahoe-bound celebrities include before- and after-tournament massages.

Upon receiving the all-important invite to the tournament, celebrities can be assured that complimentary hotel rooms and complimentary massages, Pilates sessions, and chiropractic services, among other things, will be provided by tournament sponsors.

Dr. Donald H. Miner, owner and founder of Miner Chiropractic Offices in Gardnerville, was hired by the tournament officials to assemble a team that provides such services as massage therapy, Pilates for golf, and physical therapy to the celebrity golfers who volunteer their time and game to play in the tournament, which is raising money for the Autism Speaks charity this year.

“We loosen up the kinks before the game and then work out the kinks they acquire after their round, as well as introduce them to new methods of doing so,” said Ada Wells, a certified Pilates instructor and physical therapist who is part of the team Miner assembled.

Wells describes how last year, the team introduced baseball’s Mark McGuire to the art of Pilates. He liked the difference he felt after his first session so much that he decided to return every day of the tournament after that initial introduction to practice Pilates, Wells said.

Trent Dilfer and Maury Povich are also said to be avid Pilates fans because of the increase in flexibility the exercise provides, said Janet Luszczki, certified athletic trainer and a member of Dr. Miner’s team.

The seemingly exclusive location where the celebrities can wander in to receive a complimentary session of their choice is located in the downstairs addition to the clubhouse and is fully equipped with the necessary machinery and staff to serve the purpose.

Celebrity golfers may also catch a quick rub down while on the green since a part of the team’s staff provides their services along the practice range line as well.

“We (physical therapists and athletic trainers) are just as important as these celebrity’s physicians who can only provide a prescription for pain while physical therapists work on treating the problem,” Dr. Miner said. “So it is definitely a group effort and team approach.”

The whole staff concurs that younger athletes already know the importance of going to a physical therapist for upkeep and maintenance while the older athletes, some of whom may have been exposed to poor team physicians when continuous shots of cortisone was the preferred solution to most pain problems, are beginning to rely more on them to help with the damage that has been done.

“Since the game of golf involves a lot of rotation from one range of motion to the next in less than 2.3 seconds, it is important for the athletes to have the opportunity to come in and relieve the stress the muscles are placed under,” Wells said.

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