NUTRITION Focus on Food

By Golf Fitness MagazineOctober 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
Do you ever have trouble concentrating during your game? Does the heat get to you and you lose all focus and miss what should be easy shots? This could have something to do with what you are eating and drinking before and during your game. If you want to concentrate better on your swing, start to focus on the food going into your body and you will see improvements in your game.
 
Timing
Eating something before you tee off is vital to your focus throughout the game. Carbohydrates are your brains preferred fuel source, so make sure you eat something that is primarily carbs at least an hour or two before you tee off. In addition to the carbs, mix in a bit of protein and fat, too. Try to eat something every 3-4 hours, so if you ate breakfast an hour or two before you tee off, you will need a snack during play. Pack something healthy so you dont have to rely on the snack cart and the potential nutritional disasters waiting for you there.
 
Hydration
Even slight dehydration can cause you to lose mental focus and make you feel fatigued. Drink at least 16 ounces of water before you tee off and 4-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes during play. You can choose water or a sports beverage'either one will hydrate you and keep you focused on your shot.
Even though a cold beer sounds good during play, it is going to inhibit your concentration and dehydrate you. Even just one beer can impair your ability to focus and perform, especially on those all important puts.
 
Nutrients
Certain nutrients have been found in research studies to assist in memory, focus, and concentration.
 
B Vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B6, B12)

These help your body produce energy within its trillions of cells. In some recent studies, folic acid has been shown to improve cognitive function and may help prevent Alzheimers disease. B vitamins are found in grain products (bread, cereal, pasta), wheat germ, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. B Vitamins are abundant in our food supply.
 
Antioxidants and Phytochemicals

These naturally occurring plant substances help keep your brain sharp and may preserve brain cells. They help kill off free radicals that attack your cells, helping to maintain healthy brain cells. Antioxidants and phytochemicals are found in fruits (especially high in berries, apples, citrus, cherries, melons), vegetables (especially high in legumes, spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes), whole grains, and nuts and seeds.
 
Omega-3 fatty acids
 
These healthy fats are good for brain development and function. Specifically, the DHA in omega-3s is found in the brain and studies show that omega-3s may actually help build the brains gray matter. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish (especially salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna), ground flax seeds, walnuts, fortified eggs, and other fortified foods (read labels).
 
Choline
 
This is an essential nutrient that we dont hear much about. It has been shown to help with memory and maintaining and building healthy brain cells. Choline is found in egg yolks, peanuts/peanut butter, lettuce, cauliflower, and soy lecithin.
 
Here are some ideas of meals and snacks to eat before or during your game. These are high in carbs, but have some protein and fat and contain at least one of the nutrients listed above.

    Whole grain toast with an egg or peanut butter and a piece fruit
    whole grain bagel with light cream cheese, smoked salmon, and a slice of tomato and onion
    Smoothie with milk (or soy milk), fresh berries, and a tablespoon each of soy lecithin granules and ground flaxseed
    Cottage cheese and fresh fruit
    Whole grain cereal, milk, and a banana or berries
    Oatmeal made with milk and fresh berries
    Veggie omelet with whole wheat toast
    Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato and fruit salad
    Chefs salad with low calorie dressing and whole wheat roll
    Snacks: banana, apple, grapes, nutrition bar, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, trail mix (dried fruit and nuts), fruit leather, granola bar.

 
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Rahm, with blinders on, within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

“It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

“I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

“I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

“I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

“If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.

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Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


“Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

“I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

“I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

“We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

• Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

• Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

• Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1