MIDDLETOWN — Middlesex Health recently opened its new Golf Performance Centerwhich offers physical therapy and other health care aimed specifically at improving golf performance and preventing golf-related injuries.

The unique new facility, located at 512 Saybrook Road, is staffed with physical therapists who are Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 and medical certificate. Appointments are now available for a variety of services, all aimed at keeping golfers pain-free, according to Middlesex Health director of physical rehabilitation Brian Taber.

“We just want to help people enjoy the game of golf,” he said.

Taber, an avid liaison himself, said he and his staff believe they can do more to help people with issues, such as golf-related pain or injuries. Elbow, shoulder, knee, foot, ankle and back pain are all very common among golfers, he said.

“Any part of the body, really — there’s so much that goes into a golf swing,” he explained.

Middlesex Health is the official healthcare provider for the Connecticut State Golf Association.

Antoine Piopi, 59, of Middletown, is an avid golfer, writer and golf historian. He has published five books on the game and is also a part-time caddy at Hartford Golf Club.

His 2021 golf season was cut short due to pain related to tendonitis in his right Achilles tendon. “It ended the season,” said Pioppi. “I was frustrated by that.”

His injury required physiotherapy sessions, which helped him realize the importance of precautionary measures that every golfer should know to prevent injury.

“For people who play a lot of golf, prevention is the way to go,” Pioppi said.

Golf is different from most sports, he added, in that these athletes constantly repeat one type of movement, with the potential to overwork or strain certain parts of the body. Also, said Pioppi, flexibility is more important than most people realize.

“I don’t think it’s something the average golfer understands,” Pioppi said. “I wish I had known about this years ago.”

Preventive measures and understanding your own body are beneficial for everyone, no matter how serious a golfer is, Taber said.

Some of the services offered at the Center for Golf Performance include a multi-point physical assessment that focuses on specific body movements, such as body rotation and posture; swing analysis using a sophisticated motion device and specialized computer program that gathers key data points to determine an individual’s swing efficiency.

These features will help players understand their weak points and limitations. The information will then allow health care providers to create improvement plans that include follow-up sessions, home exercises, and conditioning tailored to each golfer.

“All of this translates into an improvement in your swing and a reduced risk of injury,” Taber said.

Last weekend’s Connecticut Golf Show gave Taber and his team the opportunity to showcase their new service. ” It went very well. I think we had a lot of interest,” he said.

For information, visit middlesexhealth.org.