Phil can do it and so can you

By Golf Fitness MagazineAugust 6, 2008, 4:00 pm

After shedding a few unwanted pounds, Phil Mickelson went on to shed the title of the best golfer in the world not to have won a major when he captured the 2004 Masters. But after a few years, Mickelson, who readily admits he regularly indulged in fried food and let his fitness regimen slide, recommitted himself to fitness and a healthier diet, resulting in a lighter, healthier, happier Phil with the start of the 2007 golf season.
At the end of the 2006 season, I know he was quoted as saying that he got away from his golf fitness training to a degree during the year, and that may have affected his play as the year progressed, says Sean Cochran, Mickelsons fitness trainer.
The world's No. 2 player returned to action 20 pounds lighter with the help of Cochran, who devised a specific program for Mickelson to help him increase flexibility, balance, muscular strength and power for more clubhead speed, and to combat fatigue. 'Once the younger players started to come on Tour, Phil realized that he had to start working out to maintain longevity in his career,' Cochran explains.
Mickelsons fitness regime is based on a periodization system in which Cochran divides the year into three different training stages. We have an off-season program where the intensity and volume of his training is high, a pre-season program where the volume and intensity is moderate, and an in-season program where the volume is low and intensity moderate, explains Cochran.
Mickelsons commitment to fitness helps him increase flexibility for greater range of motion in the golf swing, strengthen the lower body and core to help maintain proper posture and swing positions, and increase power for more distance.
Along with exercise, Mickelson changed his diet, which helped speed up his metabolism, resulting in weight loss. Mickelson now eats four to five small meals of protein and vegetables during the day, and has cut out junk food.
During the off-season, a typical week of training will consist of four to five days of aerobic conditioning for 30 to 45 minutes, and a one-hour strength training session.
Here are a few simple golf-fitness training exercises recommended by Cochran to help you with your golf fitness training:
Begin by placing feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended overhead, hands clasped together, and eyes looking forward. Slowly extend the hands toward the top of your feet. Extend downward to a level where a stretch is felt in either your hamstrings or lower back.
Pause for one second and return to the starting position of the exercise. Rotate your torso, shoulders, arms and head to the right. Extend your hands downward to the outside of the right foot. Pause for one second and return to the starting position of the exercise. Repeat the same exercise sequence to your left. Perform 10-15 repetitions.
Physio-Ball Russian Twist
Place your head and shoulders on top of the ball. Elevate the hips to a position horizontally in line with your knees and shoulders. Place your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor, extend the arms straight, and clasp your hands together.
Begin rotating to the left, allowing the ball to roll underneath your shoulders. Allow the eyes to follow your hands during the rotation. Continue to rotate to the left to a position at which your left upper arm is resting on top of the ball. Return to the starting position and repeat the rotation to your right. Alternate the rotation left and right for 15-20 repetitions.

PB Russian Twist

Single Leg Airplane Rotation
Place feet together, bend at the hips so the back is flat and chest is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight out from the shoulders. Lift the right foot off the floor and balance on your left foot. Keep the right foot off the floor the entire exercise.
Begin the exercise by rotating your left arm downward toward the left foot. Simultaneously rotate the right arm upward. Create the rotation in the torso of your body. Continue to rotate to a position where the left hand is directly above your left foot, and the right hand is pointing up. Return to the starting position of the exercise and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. Repeat the exercise sequence, balancing on your right foot.
Airplane Rotations

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.