Just Go Nuts On and Off the Course

By Golf Fitness MagazineDecember 27, 2010, 7:04 pm

Fun Facts:

• Walnuts are the richest known food source of melatonin, a hormone with powerful antioxidant properties to fight disease.

• Peanuts are actually not nuts at all, but rather a legume and they grow underground, unlike other nuts that grow on trees.

 

• 80% of the world’s pecans come from the United States with Georgia leading in

production.

• Almonds cannot grow unless their blossoms are pollinated by bees, so almond

growers bring in bee hives during blooming season.

• In order to get the omega-3 from inside the tiny flax seed, you need to grind it or

chew it really well.

Need something to carry with you on the course that won’t melt or get soggy in the summer heat and humidity? Nuts are the way to go. Besides being convenient and tasty, nuts and seeds have a variety of health benefits.

Many people avoid nuts because of the high fat and calorie content. While nuts are high in both, there are numerous other beneficial components of nuts that make eating them worthwhile and even beneficial.

Components of Nuts & Seeds Fat

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim stating, “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” The type of fat in nuts is unsaturated, either in the form of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat. Walnuts and flax seeds are particularly high in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat found to reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and prevent plaque buildup in arteries. This is good news for heart disease prevention, but also for a golfer looking for natural anti-inflammatories. “Research has shown promise using omega-3s to reduce inflammation in people with arthritis, a big concern for golfers,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Nuts and seeds also contain plant sterols, which research shows helps to reduce LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels.

Calories

Even though nuts and seeds are high in calories, they do not seem to lead to weight gain. Studies on walnuts, almonds, and peanuts have shown that people can substitute nuts for other fats in the diet with positive results. When nuts are added, the subjects studied reported feeling more satisfied, helping them to control the total number of calories they were eating that day. The high fiber, protein, and fat in nuts all contribute to feelings of satiety, or fullness.

Fiber

Nuts are a tasty and convenient way to boost your fiber intake. They contain mostly insoluble fiber, but also some soluble fiber. “Insoluble fiber is great for promoting digestion, while the soluble fiber acts like a sponge soaking up cholesterol,” says David Grotto, RD, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life!. He also points to the fiber in nuts to aid in blood sugar control.

Energy

Golfers are unique athletes because of the low intensity but long duration of the sport. “Nuts are beneficial for golfers as a snack to maintain energy levels and keep you satisfied throughout your game,” states Jamieson-Petonic, a specialist in sports nutrition. Nuts are convenient and easy to pack into the golf bag without concern of spoiling in the heat. Because nuts can give you long lasting energy, they can keep you mentally sharp, something very important when you are trying to make those tough putts.

Nutrients

Nuts are high in selenium and Vitamin E, both of which act as antioxidants, protecting our cells from damage. Most nuts also contain some magnesium, copper, and vitamin B6. All nuts have some phytonutrients, but each type of nut is slightly different in which nutrients it contains. For that reason, it is a good idea to eat a variety of nuts to get a nice mix of nutritional value.

Just a handful a day

Because nuts taste so good, it is easy to go overboard with our portions. Just a small handful, or about an ounce, is just the right size for most people. The number of nuts that fits into an ounce varies per nut (see chart). “A handful of nuts every day may keep the doctor away, the scale at bay, and you golfing another day,” says Grotto.

Creative ways to add nuts to your day:

• Spice up your oatmeal with some chopped walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds

• Make any salad more exciting with added whole or candied nuts

• Add ground flax seed to smoothies or muffins and quick breads

• Throw some chopped walnuts into your blueberry pancakes

• Instead of peanut butter, try Sunbutter (sunflower seed), almond butter, soynut

butter, or cashew butter

• Top your low fat frozen yogurt with chopped pecans or peanuts

• Make your own granola using flax seeds, almonds, pecans, and oats

• Mix various nuts with some dried cherries, blueberries, and cranberries for a

convenient energy snack on the course

• Grind pecans and mix with bread crumbs to coat fish or chicken

• Toss pine nuts (or any nut) with your favorite pasta or rice dish

 
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. 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.
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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”