I'm Mitchell Supler. I am a neurosurgeon based out of Orlando, Florida, and I am an avid golfer played since I've been 10 years old.
So you've sat in on some rotary swing clinic stuff. Now, what do you think?
Um, I'm very impressed from two perspectives. One from all my history of playing golf and two from being a neurosurgeon and understanding the mechanics of the body of particularly the spine and also, uh, learning capabilities. Um, having gone through some injuries myself and understand now what true biomechanics are to help prevent injury. I am impressed with the rotary swing method that maintaining proper spinal alignment, hip alignment, proper mechanics of the pelvis, proper mechanics of release through the ball, that this is the best way to prevent an injury with the golf swing. The golf swing is not a natural movement. It is completely against what we would normally feel we would evolutionarily do with our body. So we need to protect ourselves if we want to play this game that we love.
Yeah. So for golfers who have been injured before, like we deal a lot with injured golfers, especially being here in Florida and stuff. What would you tell them to do as far as trying to make sure they prevent injury in the future,
Uh, to understand what you're trying to accomplish with the golf swing and with that your step-by-step method of proper setup, which could, if you're set up in properly, that may mean that you're going to have poor swing mechanics from the beginning. So proper setup, proper understanding of what the core does, proper understanding where your takeaway is related to your core movements, your weight shift, as it relates to lateral movement with some rotary movement, not extreme of one, not extreme of the other. That combination allows you to be in a, in a position at impact that has the least stress on your body. Right? Um, I was raised in 1970s playing golf and my original instructor had me drive my knees through the ball. And I had this big old reversi when I'm 13, I can do that when I'm 54, I can't do that if I want to be able to have surgery the rest of the week to make a living. So, um, understanding the limitations of the human body, uh, is important and the rotary swing method does understand that and allows you to efficiently hit a golf ball, uh, with power in distance and consistency.
My father came to me when I was 10 years old and said, would you like to learn how to play golf? And every ten-year-olds like, no. And he said, okay. Yes, you will. So, uh, it was a very good bonding with my father and just started me with discipline. Uh, started me understanding that to improve. You had to work at something. So golf laid a foundation for my future as approaching any other subject in my life, first lessons with a local pro. And he was just concerned about me making contact with the ball. Okay. That's great. Then I started to get fairly good at that at it. And then when I'm, uh, 14, 15 years old that says, okay, I think that you can be good. Let's get a very good instructor. And I started taking lessons with Bob Thomas, who was a guru back in the late seventies.
Um, small guy, I was small. Since effort was powerless. Let's try to get you maximizing what you can, but it was a typical 70 style golf swing. So a lot of leg drive, a lot of me drive, uh, and a lot of pulling with the left arm. And that was, it was successful somewhat, but I had some control issues with it. Um, but that was the golf swing that was first embedded into my brain, my pathways and how so now I'm a left sided. I was left-handed. So they said, this is even better. You pull with your strong side, what tend to golf clubs were not really around in the late seventies. So I learned how to play left. Right-handed was not clearly coordinated with my right arm, but he said, don't worry about it. It's a left side of gums. Um, played on my high school.
Golf team, never was number one, but because I'm pulling on pulling driving, um, then I go to college and to medical school, golf game kind of gets dormant, but then I come back and now I'm taking golf lessons from university of Florida assistant coach for their golf team. And now it's a completely different concept. Now he wants me to turn, turn, turn. This is your power. You wouldn't turn. So like, oh, I'm driving with my legs and pull now, now, now we're going to fire from the right side. Okay. So now I'm firing from the right side buying from the right side. And now I I'm, I'm still driving because this is embedded and now I'm throwing with the right arm and now I'm getting all mixed up. Then I move on through life and I try different different instructors. I even tried stack and until well, let's put myself on the left side.
I didn't get in there. And I started getting back pain. Um, I started having issues with my hips and my back because of the position where I wasn't at the top. And I'm like, oh my God, this is just, where do we go from here? You want, I watch TV. I read, I read books and it's kind of all over the map. So obviously I want to find something that is repeatable consistent. That is easy to understand. And it's not going to put a lot of pressure on my body because now I'm 54 and that 14 year old kid that could drive his legs and pull that kid. That guy has gone. I'm somebody else now. So, um, with the concepts that you're professing, which are big moves with the body, small movements with the arms maintaining good spine angle and releasing through the ball, allowing the momentum that you've set up in your golf swing to, to let go at impact.
I don't have to rip my upper body through the ball. I don't have to drive my needs to the target. I just agree. Need to rotate transport, weight release. And if I can do that, I can, I can do that, that I can do. So I just need to change the wiring. It just kind of focused now on body movements and not worry about hit a golf shot. I won that one when right. Why did that one go? Right. Okay. Well, so maybe I, you know, I, it was opened, it impacted when you need to turn it over and it start all these manipulations that are incredibly difficult to repeat. But if you have, if I can control bigger muscles and not worry about, you know, manipulation and compensation, then I can do more business.
So it was stacking sill and being a neurosurgeon and experiencing some back pain that kind of like set off alarm bells, like, wait a second. Or are you just like, you know, what made them just, just go. I just, I have to have that back pain. So part of the thing where you're like, wait a second, maybe I'm doing something
Pretty much. I mean, I took stack until from the founders of stack and templates. So I knew that I was doing it properly. So the concern was, well, maybe I'm just not doing it correctly. This is why I'm in pain. Now I, he was putting me in those positions and I'm, and I'm practicing. And I'm like, this doesn't feel very good. And, and I liked to practice. So I couldn't practice without having discomfort. You know, I was feeling a lot of pain, particularly the right lower back when I was coming through. And this is just not making sense. Um, and then I'm getting pain, holding my angles through it. It, it bothered me because the instructors very nice people, it doesn't look like they were intending to, uh, to fool anybody. They truly believe what they were doing, but it definitely wasn't for me. And I'm not in horrible shape. So I can't imagine other people that, that are not in the best shape or trying to get into these positions and they're going to have pain too. And I was uncomfortable with continuing to follow that concept because I know I was doing it properly, but these positions were causing me pain and I stopped them.
Do you have a lot of patients that come to you who are golfers, who are suffering some sort of golf related injury that's bringing them to you? Absolutely. What do you see typically?
Certainly I see a, a tremendous amount of lumbar spinal issues, particularly the last two disc levels, L four or five L five S one. Um, the pain is usually at impact and follow through it. That's where they're feeling that the symptoms not so much on their back swing, but it's, it's when they're funky. And so that, that anticipation of pain, as you're getting close to the ball, you cannot play that way. Um, and I've seen this with professional golfers as well as amateur monitors. Um, and the professional golfers. I'm seeing them come to me younger than, than I used to see. And so now I'm seeing them in their late twenties and early thirties coming with these issues and they have multiple disc herniations, maybe not that large, but they're certainly bothersome. They can't practice. And if they can't practice, they can't improve. And they can't put in the practice rounds.
Like they can't play in the pro-ams and th this affects their career. Um, and that that's concerned. And, and when you're seeing those lower disc levels start to be affected, it's going to shorten careers and, and for the recreational golfer, um, you know, if this is what they look forward to at the end of their week to go and play golf, and now they can't, I can't tell me, people says, well, I'd given up golf and they want me to do the surgery so they can go play golf. Well, surgery may help some of the symptoms, but then we have to get to the core of why this happened to them, and then change their mechanics, such a way that this doesn't happen again.
How do you do that? I mean, obviously the surgeon, they're not coming to you for golf instruction advice, but at the same point, you know, that if you fix them and they keep repeating the same movement patterns you get, they're gonna, you're gonna see them again. It's just onboard.
So I explained to them that this is, this is the beginning. So the surgery is not the end point, it's the beginning. So we correct an issue that may be causing them pain, whether it's compression of a nerve, that's giving them left light pain, perhaps they didn't need a fusion. So let's say, now we've recovered. Now I, I have to then refer them to people that I feel comfortable that are going to properly rehabilitate some of the muscles that they think have lost some of the strength and then point them in direction of proper instruction to, uh, to avoid injury feature. Okay. Hopefully
It will be a place that you might refer him to.
Yes. Without that, this definitely it is, that's become a very good option.
Yeah. So one of the things that I think we've talked about a little bit yesterday is the recurring trend that we're seeing of younger and younger players, that my opinion, we're going to see more of this, a decrease in older players, playing golf. If they get to the forties and fifties, I think the pro level is just going to change a little bit because of the way instruction is today and the way that the golf has shifted to be such a power game. What do you think you're going to see in the future with golf and the younger golfers that you're already seeing coming
In? Unfortunately, I think, um, because of the emphasis on the power game and because the technology has driven the game in that direction, uh, the professional golfer I think, is going to have a shorter career. So the, the golfers that are powering it out there now, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, these young guys that are just ripping through the ball. Um, Rory McIlroy has already had an injury. Jason Day has already had an injury and they're not out of their twenties. Um, the game at the highest level, I think the careers are going to be short.