Bernhard Langer set for PGA Tour Champions return after Achilles tear

Bernhard Langer of Germany tees off the second hole during the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Golf Club on January 18, 2024 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (

At age 66, Bernhard Langer believes he still has a lot of good golf left in him.

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Bernhard Langer is set to make a triumphant return to the PGA Tour Champions at this week’s Insperity Invitational — his 342nd start on the senior circuit — three months after the 66-year-old tore his left Achilles tendon.

Langer injured his Achilles tendon on February 1st during a game of pickleball. He had surgery the next day, and his recovery timeline derailed his previously-announced plans to make this year’s Masters his last.

Langer isn’t the first Tour player to sustain an injury playing pickleball. Recent PGA Tour winner Akshay Bhatia dislocated his shoulder playing the game a couple of years ago — an injury that still bothers him.

Langer told the Champions Tour he was encouraged by New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who underwent surgery for a torn Achilles in September, and was throwing footballs again three months later.

“That lifted my spirits, hearing he was back on the field throwing the ball after eight or nine weeks,” Langer told the Champions Tour. “That encouraged me that I may do something similar.”

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Langer opted for the same “SpeedBridge” procedure as Rodgers, which is touted as allowing for immediate weight-bearing and range of motion, thereby enabling a faster track to full recovery.

Langer was serious about his PT, and spent time wearing a boot, getting around on a scooter and with a crutch as support. He says he was able to stand unassisted for the first time just a few weeks ago, and has only recently started hitting balls.

Langer will turn 67 this summer, and has been setting a new standard for senior-level achievement since he joined the Champions Tour in 2007. Langer is the only player in history to have won all five senior major titles, and last year, he eclipsed Hale Irwin’s win-total record with his 46th title at the U.S. Senior Open.

“I think I can still be very productive for a few more years,” Langer said. “I still think I have a lot of good golf left in me.”

Click here to watch the full video on Langer’s recovery on the PGA Tour Champions website.

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