Golf's Fountain of Youth Lies in Dusseldorf, Germany

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Golf's Fountain of Youth Lies in Dusseldorf, Germany
EDISON, NJ - AUGUST 27: Vijay Singh of Fiji watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the third and final round of The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club on August 27, 2011 in Edison, New Jersey. The tournament was cut down from a 72 hole competition to 54 holes due to the the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Are you a professional golfer struggling through some kind of injury?

Well, just hop on a plane and head to golf’s new fountain of youth in Dusseldorf, Germany.

At a small clinic in Dusseldorf, a world-renowned “miracle” doctor has been performing Orthokine therapy, a procedure that uses autologous, anti-inflammatory proteins, which are isolated from the patient's blood and then injected back into the joint.

Although the medical community has known about Orthokine therapy for some time, it was Fred Couples that brought the eyes of the golf world to this ground-breaking procedure when he showed up at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship looking spry and pain free for the first time in years.

“Basically I took some MRIs and sent them around to a lot of doctors and almost well, four out of five said, you can rest and then have a surgery[.] I rested a lot in November and December, and I came back and hit balls the first day and I was right back to the same spot, not a week later,” Couples said in Snoqualmie, Washington, where he was on hand for the Boeing Classic.

Couples has been plagued by back problems for the better part of his career. However, the pain seemed to take a turn for the worse in 2011 where the 51-year-old was limited to just 10 professional events.   

“I would take three weeks off and feel really, really good, and then I would go hit balls, and normally the second day it would just start to ache. Honestly I wouldn't sleep. I hated everybody. I couldn't get through the day, and I was not playing good, so that's where we were,” Couples said.

Until he decided to take a trip over to Dusseldorf, Germany, that is.

“The procedure was a no brainer,” Couples said.

“I went in there and they took a bunch of blood, and each day I went back at 11:00[,] except for one day I went for two treatments, but I went each day at 11:00 and was out of there at 11:30. It took the guy to prepare you and then shoot the stuff back into it. But originally I didn't know what I was getting into. But it really, really helped. I don't know how long it'll help, but I haven't had any pain.”

Now, before all you armchair officials begin reaching for your yellow flags, know this—although Orthokine therapy is not an approved procedure here in the United States, the procedure was fully approved by the PGA Tour prior to Couples’ trip over to Germany, as it didn’t involve any unnatural performance-enhancing substances being injected into the body. 

To simply say that the procedure was a success would be the understatement of the year.

Immediately upon returning to the states, Couples won the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship and then tied for 16th at last week’s Boeing Classic. 

And more importantly, Couples looked completely pain free for the first time in more than a decade.  

“I couldn't have felt any better,” Couples said. “I don't know, it just was a very unnatural feeling, even swinging a club, just not stiff or no pain.”

Although Orthokine therapy initially made headlines after Couples’ win at the Senior Players Championship, Couples was not the only golfer to have visited Dusseldorf in the past 30 days.  

Vijay Singh was in Germany just days after Couples to receive the same Orthokine therapy procedure on his back, which had been giving the 48-year-old three-time major champion trouble for the last three years.  

“I went to Germany and got some shots in my back exactly as Couples did," Singh said last week at The Barclays. “Actually he was there a few days before me. It's worked miracles.”

“I'm playing well here, because I'm feeling good. I can be more aggressive and not really worry about how I'm going to wake up the next morning, and if I can play or not. So I've been struggling with this for two years, so it's the first time I feel really comfortable to go out there,” Singh went on to say.

Although Singh didn’t give “Dr. Miracle” his second win in two weeks, he came close.

Singh was just one stroke off of Matt Kuchar’s lead heading into the final round of The Barclays and wound up finishing in a tie for third at the rain-shortened tournament.

Singh’s win earned him $464,000 and moved him from 36th to 8th in the FedExCup point standings.

Not a bad return on investment for a procedure that likely cost him less than a yearly physical here in America.

Following the recent success Couples and Singh have experienced since undergoing Orthokine therapy, it’s by no means a stretch to believe that a parade of PGA Tour golfers are about to make a beeline towards a small clinic in Dusseldorf, Germany.

And who knows? You may even see Tiger Woods walking around the streets of Dusseldorf in the coming weeks. Woods is likely in the market for a new doctor after his former blood-spinning guy—Dr. Galea—was arrested in 2009 for carrying illegal drugs across the Canadian border. 

For more golf news, insight and analysis, check out The Tour Report.

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