The LPGA tour announced on Friday that several partners are assisting the tour with its plans to restart professional women’s golf in the United States. Cambia Health Solutions is providing masks to players, caddies and staff members, and Global Rescue is providing medical advisory support to players who are competing in tournaments. Among the other brands mentioned is a new partner, Whoop, a Boston-based company that has become a major presence in the world of golf over the past year.
Whoop is providing LPGA and Symetra Tour players, caddies and staffers with Whoop 3.0 straps. The PGA Tour partnered with Whoop in June to get straps for its players, caddies and staff members, as well as individuals on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Whoop’s 3.0 strap can be worn on a person’s wrist or biceps and it holds a small electronic sensor. The waterproof sensor measures your heart rate over 100 times per second and the amount of strain that your body endures throughout the day. It also measures the quality of your sleep, and over time, Whoop’s algorithms reveal how efficiently your heart and body are working using a free smartphone app. It also measures how much rest you need to recover from the previous day and more.
After studying user-submitted data during the COVID-19 pandemic, Whoop researchers learned that a person’s respiratory rate (how often they breathe as they sleep) often spikes if they become infected with the virus.
Nick Watney saw his Whoop indicated an elevated respiratory rate on the Friday morning of the RBC Heritage and while he felt only mild symptoms, seeing that number encouraged him to get tested before the tournament’s second round. Watney tested positive and withdrew from the event.
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EXCLUSIVE! After a sudden spike in his respiratory rate data raised immediate concern, Pro Golfer @nick_watney became the first player on the @pgatour to be diagnosed with #COVID19. We are thrilled to have Nick Watney join @willahmed on this special edition of the WHOOP Podcast to discuss for the first time how his data led him to get test for the virus and how he hopes sharing his story can help someone else stay safe. “People have asked me, ‘If you had no symptoms, why did you get tested?’,” Nick says, “It’s because of the WHOOP data.” Swipe up in our story to listen now or catch up later on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Alexa, and more. WHOOP is wishing Nick and all those impacted but he COVID-19 virus a safe and speedy recovery. #whywhoop #pgatour
On the LPGA tour, Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda and Christina Kim are among the players who already wear a Whoop strap. On the men’s side, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Billy Horschel and Rickie Fowler were among the players who wore a Whoop strap before the company partnered with the PGA Tour.
Wearing a Whoop 3.0 strap will not stop someone from contracting COVID-19. But, if it can alert golfers and other people who are asymptomatic but still carrying the virus, golf’s governing bodies want athletes and the people around them to wear the device.