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Therapist-author predicted injury problems for Tiger Woods

In 1998, Pete Egoscue, a self-taught therapist who developed the Egoscue Method, authored “Pain Free: a Revolutionary Way to Stopping Chronic Pain.” In the book, Egoscue devoted a few paragraphs to how Tiger Woods would battle injuries throughout his career if he didn’t take the proper precautions.

Egoscue never claimed to be a fortune teller, but Woods would have been wise to take his advice. He won 13 major championships after the book’s release, but he has battled recurring knee and back injuries and undergone multiple surgeries.

Egoscue, who isn’t a traditional doctor, practiced for many years in Del Mar, California, but now lives in Florida, where he is semiretired. He has taught his method to therapists around the country who continue to pass on his ideas to patients. The method is based on keeping one’s body in balance.

“Golf requires the athlete to come to the game with balance, strength and coordination,” Egoscue wrote as an introduction to his thoughts about Woods. “Without those preconditions, he or she cannot perform at a high level and is likely to get hurt.

“After Tiger Woods joined the pro tour, I received phone calls from journalists wanting to know how long it would be before the young superstar wrecked his back swinging the club as hard as he does. Ironically, Woods will probably end up at some point in his career with back or shoulder problems. Golf will be blamed, even though golf will only serve as the scene of the accident, not its cause.”

Egoscue also described in great detail how Woods’ shoulders were out of balance and would be the core issue that would lead to his downfall. Egoscue believes the body compensates for any imbalance, which causes various muscles to get stronger while others weaken. The effect is injury.

One of Egoscue’s most noted patients was Jack Nicklaus, who first met Egoscue in the late 1980s before a pro-am. Nicklaus was having trouble walking at the time. Egoscue helped provide some quick relief, and the Golden Bear remained a patient and avoided surgery, which doctors had recommended, for many years. Nicklaus was so indebted to Egoscue that he wrote the foreword in his first book.

I have personal experience with Egoscue. My mom had serious back issues that would never heal, but after a suggestion from a family friend, she began working with Egoscue and has avoided surgery for three decades. And about 10 years ago, I was told by a doctor I needed back surgery, but I avoided it by embracing the Egoscue Method.

If you scour the internet, there are pleas for Woods to visit Egoscue, whose theory is that it is possible for an injury to be temporarily solved with surgery or other methods. But if the cause of the issue isn’t fixed, it will reoccur, just as it has with Woods, most recently at the Dubai Desert Classic last weekend, when he withdrew because of back spasms.


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UNLV sophomore Harry Hall finished tied for 16th out of 84 players last weekend at the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational in Sea Island, Georgia.


UNLV golfers Hall and John Oda getting tips from Las Vegas resident Kevin Na, a PGA Tour player, on the putting green at Southern Highlands.

The golf notebook appears Thursdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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