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The Loop

Dr. Frank Jobe's enduring contributions to golf

March 07, 2014

Dr. Frank Jobe was best known for performing the first ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, more widely known as Tommy John surgery, that resurrected many baseball careers, but he also left his mark on golf, too.

Jobe, who died on Thursday, was instrumental in introducing the fitness trailer to the PGA Tour. At the time, he was researching how a training regimen might help golfers and later authored a book on the subject, "Thirty Exercises for Better Golf."


(Getty Images photo)

In 1983, Jobe and an avid golfer, Lanier Johnson, who was involved in the research, presented to PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman their idea of a mobile gym that would travel with the tour and would include physical therapists, trainers and other medical professionals.

Today, the tour fitness van is among the most popular perks for PGA Tour players, and features a mobile gym and physical therapy center.

Jobe also was involved in the detection and treatment of the cancer in Paul Azinger's right shoulder. In the summer of 1993, the year he won three times, including the PGA Championship, Jobe, concerned with Azinger's unrelenting pain in his right shoulder, suggested he get an biopsy.

"He's unbelievable," Azinger told Golf World contributor Bob Verdi in December of 1993. "Dr. Jobe worked on my shoulder in 1991, when I was having problems. He cleaned it out, removed a small sliver of bone, tested it for cancer. Negative. Since then, he'd been all over me to come in again. He was after me like I was his son. He treated me like his son. And when he told me the results of the latest biopsy, you'd have thought I was his son. But, I think we got it in time, thanks to him."

Jobe was 88.