VAIL, CO – The golf season in the Vail Valley has ended as the seasons change and snow begins to fall, but that doesn’t stop the innovative team at Steadman Philippon Research Institute (SPRI) and the Steadman Clinic to help golfers continue to enjoy their beloved sport.

On November 1, SPRI launched its new golf sport medicine program and opened a golf simulation lab as part of the world-renowned Biomotion lab at its Vail headquarters. The unique combination of cutting-edge technology, golf instruction from a professional PGA master, and the use of medical data and research conducted at a world-class biomedical engineering facility makes the new venture truly one-of-a-kind SPRI.

SPRI’s Biomotion Lab has always focused on improving the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, preventing sports-related injuries, and maintaining and improving physical performance for individuals of all ages and all ages. athletic ability. This new program gives him the opportunity to provide all this information, data and research on one sport in particular: golf.



The SPRI Golf Sports Medicine program uses state-of-the-art golf simulation technology alongside state-of-the-art advanced imaging technology within the Biomotion lab.
Linda Sampson / Courtesy photo

“Dr. Philippon started a golf sport medicine program in Pittsburgh when we worked together years ago. When we envisioned this new program at SPRI, we looked at simulator technology to combine the idea of ‘a sport-specific golf program with our advanced world-class imaging and biomechanics research in our Biomotion lab,’ said Dan Drawbaugh, CEO of SPRI and The Steadman Clinic.

It didn’t take long for SPRI to find the technology Drawbaugh was looking for.



Within the Biomotion Lab, SPRI installed a custom golf simulator that includes the Foresight GC Quad Launch Monitor – the most accurate system available. Using infrared object tracking and high-speed, high-resolution camera technology, the system measures all aspects of club impact data and ball launch performance in addition to its highly accurate simulation on the course. When combined with the cutting edge technology already in use in the Biomotion lab, the Golf Sport Medicine program can provide unique and valuable assistance to everyday golfers who simply want to continue playing golf as smoothly and without pain as possible as they face nature’s physical stumbling blocks that aging bodies so often endure.

Research assistants apply wearable sensors to a participant in SPRI’s golf sport medicine program.
Linda Sampson / Courtesy photo

“Throughout my career, I have worked with hundreds of golfers,” said Dr. Marc Philippon, Managing Partner of the Steadman Clinic and President of SPRI. “From elite players to recreational golfers, one thing is common to all of these patients: wanting to get back on the course safely and as soon as possible. Earlier in my career in Pittsburgh, I was director of a golf medicine program, and my goal was to bring golf-specific biomechanics research and recovery to the labs at SPRI.

“Our goal was to leverage the excellent resources we already had in the Biomotion Lab,” said Dr. Scott Tashman, Director of Biomedical Engineering at SPRI. “The golf program will use the same cutting-edge technology that was developed for our advanced orthopedic research programs and benefit from our extensive expertise in biomechanics. “

With the golf technology in place, the next step was to add the golf instructional professional who could help golfers improve their game. Drawbaugh and SPRI didn’t have to look far to find the new one. responsible for the program.

The Program Director, Steve Atherton, is a PGA Master Professional, one of 216 nationwide. Twice named Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year (2008, 2019), Atherton is an engaging golf instructor with extensive experience in golf swing mechanics. From 2009 to 2016, he was on Golf Digest’s list of America’s Best Young Teachers and has published several articles in golf publications including Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. He has been a professional teacher at the Eagle Springs Golf Club near Wolcott, Colorado for the past ten years. Prior to that, he spent over a decade as Vice President of Education at GolfTEC, one of the first to use video and motion technology for golf education.

“It’s an amazing setup,” Atherton said. “When someone comes to our lab, they’re going to have an incredible experience, a world-class experience. They will have the ability to measure things that very few other places in the world can measure. With my guidance as a teacher and the technology we use, our clients and patients should have everything they need to play better, injury-free golf.

“We see this program as fulfilling the mission of ‘keeping people active’ that we constantly strive to achieve here at SPRI and the Steadman Clinic,” Drawbaugh said. “There are a lot of golf performance programs out there, but there really aren’t any that aim to help people stay active and stay on top of their game as they get older. This is really what we are trying to accomplish here.

“This program is at the heart of our mission,” said Dr Philippon. “We combine sports medicine care, organized for each patient and participant, with the unprecedented biomotion lab and golf-specific instruction. The Golf Sport Medicine program will allow our patients to safely return to their sport after injury or surgery with the confidence gained from this world-class experience.

Atherton defined the mission of the new program in layman’s terms.

“We want our clients and patients to play the game. Play better. Play longer. Play without pain. We want them to keep playing the game they love for as long as they want and still have fun doing it.

For more information on the Golf Sport Medicine program at SPRI, contact Steve Atherton ([email protected], 970-479-2050) or Lynda Sampson, VP External Affairs ([email protected], 970-479 -1563)