October 31, 2023

UAMS Reopens Newly Renovated Dan Snider and Jon Zieske UAMS Golf Lab

By Linda Satter

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) on Oct. 30 reopened its newly renovated golf laboratory that has been named in honor of renowned Arkansas golfers Dan Snider and the late Jon Zieske, in recognition of their contributions to golf in Arkansas.

Snider is chief operating officer emeritus of the private Alotian Club in Roland, which is considered one of the best golf courses in the country. Zieske served as director of golf from the time the club opened in 2004 until his death in 2017. The men were close friends and were regarded by Golf Digest magazine as among the top golf instructors in Arkansas. Both are also in the Arkansas State Golf Association Hall of Fame.

The Dan Snider and Jon Zieske UAMS Golf Lab is located inside the 5,000-square-foot UAMS Biomechanics Lab at 1701 Aldersgate Road, where UAMS researchers conduct clinical and biomechanical research to help physicians better understand how patients move before and after orthopaedic surgical procedures and treatments. This helps physicians and researchers generate publications to help inform the field of orthopaedics and develop best clinic practices based on scientific findings.

C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., chair of the UAMS Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, opened the facility as his private laboratory in 2010. When he came to UAMS in 2014, it became the UAMS Biomechanics Lab. Researchers have used the lab in a wide variety of gait, balance and movement studies, including those involving yoga and ballet, with golf-focused research added later.

Earlier this year, a gift by an anonymous donor funded improvements to the UAMS Biomechanics Lab as well as the creation of a separate dedicated space within the building for the golf lab. Previously, all the researchers shared the same space and equipment.

Now, the golf lab has its own motion capture system, complete with infrared cameras that record the research subjects as they perform various movements. Meanwhile, force plates embedded in the floor measure ground reaction forces to create a comprehensive, real-time picture of the mechanics of swinging a golf club.

The new space also includes an interactive golf simulator in which subjects can play many golf courses around the world. Participants hit golf balls from an artificial turf. The system calculates ball speed, launch angle and the distance the ball would travel on a real golf course. The upgrades also include new equipment in the existing gait lab.

“I am very grateful to the anonymous donor for allowing us to upgrade this facility to improve our ability to help current and future patients stay active and live their best lives,” Barnes said. “I’m pleased to name it in honor of Dan Snider, whose name is synonymous with Arkansas golf, and in memory of Jon Zieske, who gave up a professional golf career to share his talents with Arkansas. Golfers across the state owe much of their enthusiasm and skills to these men.”