Injury - Spine

By Golf Fitness MagazineJanuary 8, 2009, 5:00 pm
Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Recently, I was speaking with two good friends, both avid golfers who also happen to be interested in golf-related fitness. Interestingly, we were having the conversation due to their concurrent back injuries. Although their injuries were vastly different in nature, recovery, and impact on their golf game, I realized that I was advising them on similar pre- and post-golf exercises. I was inspired at the moment to write an article highlighting pre-/post-golf exercises to help prevent or reduce back pain and injuries.
 
It must be noted that back injuries are very complex and treatment should be individually. Since there are no cookie-cutter or one-fits-all injuries, there is not a cookie-cutter treatment. I often cringe when I hear someone say that he or she threw my back out and then treat it as a non-event. They often only rest before resuming all activities, without paying any attention to treatment or prevention of future back problems. Many of my patients, when describing their medical history, list years of on and off back pain with either no or inadequate treatment. A mute point, but so often I wish we could go back in time to that first injury and set them on course to lessen or potentially prevent their current situation.
 
Taking care as I step off my soapbox (I dont want to injure my back!), the moral of the story is to take care of your back. Dont ignore little pulls or strains or throwing your back out; dont rush through your gym workouts ignoring your core for those muscles that make you look good; and most of all, dont skip that pre/post golf (or any sport) warmup or cooldown - it serves a very important purpose.
 
Now that Ive pleaded my case for focusing on your back and core, let me add that the following exercises are not meant for everyone. There are almost an infinite number of core-strengthening exercises. If you have had any back injuries in the past, a physical therapist will thoroughly examine your spine and provide specific exercises to meet your needs. I would advise you to attempt the following exercises as a warmup/cooldown to start with. If you have any pain, symptoms or questions or as you progress past these exercises, please seek advice from a PT to tailor exercises or treatment to your needs.
 
Abdominal Brace
 
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button and ribs into your spine. Try to keep your legs and upper body relaxed to focus on abdominal contraction. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10-15 times. Once this becomes easy, advance to Abdominal Brace with Leg Lift (as pictured). While drawing your abdominal muscles tight, slowly raise one leg 1-2 inches off the floor. Hold several seconds and alternate legs with the focus on the abdominal muscles maintaining your back flat on the floor.
 

 

 
Side Plank
 
Lie on your side with your knees bent and your elbow propped underneath. Keep your shoulder, hips, and knees in one line. Tighten your abdominal muscles and rise up so only your bottom elbow/forearm and knees are on the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5-10 times on each side. Once this becomes easy, advance to Side Plank with Knees Straight (as pictured). Again, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift so that only your bottom elbow/forearm and foot touch the ground.
 

 

 
Hip Lift
 
In quadruped position (on your hands and knees) draw your abdominal muscles tight. Unweight one leg from the ground by raising that hip 1 inch. Do not shift your weight to the opposite side. Hold 5 seconds and repeat 5-10 times on each side.
 

 

 
Rotating Lunge
 
Perform a walking lunge by dropping your back kneecap toward the floor. Try to keep your ear, shoulder, hip, and knee in one vertical straight line. While lunging, reach forward across your body with that arm, focusing on maintaining your abdominal muscles tightened. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.
 

 
Stretching
 
It is always important to stretch your main muscle groups. Specifically for golf, you want to stretch your hips, hamstrings, calves, low back, mid back, and shoulders. There is an abundance of information available on stretches, and I advise you to try several of them to find the stretches that best meet you needs.
 
Erin Booker, MPT, MTC, CSCS, is a GFM Advisory Team Member and Clinic Director for Physiotherapy Associates in Ocoee, Fl. For further information on Erin, log onto www.golffitnessmagazine.com/advisoryteam.
 
EDITORS NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFMs team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site golffitnessmagazine.com for more information.

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''