Date: July 09, 2019
Author: Mark Hayes

Meet Hannah Green’s secret weapon

Hannah Green thanked plenty of people when she won this year’s KPGM PGA Championship, her breakthrough victory on the LPGA Tour.

She spoke of family; she spoke of coaches; she spoke of friends. All of whom have been critical in her becoming a major champion.

But there was one name who received a more private thanks and congratulations – Anne-Lise Bidou.

Bidou is the French-born physiotherapist who has become a critical element in Green’s ongoing physical preparations.

As arguably the golfers who travels the furthest from her home base to compete at an elite level, Green has come to rely on Bidou’s unique skills to ensure she’s fresh and ready to go every Thursday.

“Fitness in golf through the past decade has become a big part of the conversation about what it takes to improve as a golfer, so it can be a legitimate problem for some of our athletes to stay in peak condition,” Golf Australia high performance general manager Brad James said.

“The LPGA season goes for 10 months every year with more than 30 events played around the world – each week often far from the last meaning Hannah spends countless hours on planes, especially when going to and from her home base in Perth.

 “So we have to figure out ways to keep her fit and ready to perform at her peak as often as possible and Anne-Lise has become one of our key weapons in helping Hannah achieve these goals.”

Bidou graduated as a physiotherapist in France in 2008 then moved to Australia in 2010 and graduated with a Master of Physiotherapy in 2011 from Sydney University.

She worked in a private practice in Sydney for six years with a special interest in sport physiotherapy, working with rugby teams (including the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team for indigenous Australians) travelling overseas for rugby tournaments.

Bidou developed a passion for golf and decided to specialise more than six years ago. She travelled to the US and Canada to attend golf-specific TPI fitness courses.

While working with all level of golfers in Sydney, Bidou became involved with Golf Australia and developed a strong interest in working with elite golfers – all of which led her to the LPGA Tour two years ago.

“Having been an elite athlete when I was younger (handball and tennis) and going through injuries that affected my sporting career, I have always wanted to work with female professional athletes and help them prevent injuries and improve their performance to become the best athlete possible,” Bidou said.

“Helping athletes to reach their optimal goals is very rewarding and that is my goal on the LPGA – to  help all the players I work with to reach their peak performance and stay injury-free.”

Bidou has since been employed full-time by 11 LPGA players, including Green, and is charged with the critical task of helping to prepare athletes weekly.

“I started working full-time with Hannah at the start of the season and my role is to keep her body moving as efficiently as possible, day in day out,” Bidou said.

“I communicate on a regular basis with her team from Perth including her physio, her strength and conditioning coach and her swing coach to ensure that we optimise Hannah’s treatment plan.”

BIdou regularly treats Hannah on Monday for recovery sessions to get her body moving well and get rid of any tightness and discomfort from playing at the weekend and subsequent travelling.

Throughout the week, Bidou focuses on optimising her players’ body movements including mobility, stability and strength.

“Being such a repetitive movement and with the amount of practice the girls do and game they play – usually a practice round on Monday or Tuesday, a pro-am on Wednesday and four rounds (hopefully) from Thursday to Sunday – Hannah and the other players can get some tightness, loss of mobility, stability and sometimes discomfort or pain, so I assess them and treat them accordingly so that we maintain some consistency in the way their bodies move.”