Just go nuts on off the course

By Golf Fitness MagazineMarch 10, 2009, 4:00 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 worlds 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 wont 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. 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
 
Tara Gidus, MD, RD, CSSD, is a Board Certified specialist in Sports Dietetics, a nutrition consultant and a member of the GFM Advisory Team. For further information on Tara, 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.
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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.