Off-Season Conditioning for Juniors

By Golf Fitness MagazineFebruary 5, 2009, 5:00 pm
Every junior golfer wants to maximize their fitness potential in the off-season, but few know how to accomplish this crucial task. Before we investigate the method of off-season conditioning, we must define off-season and junior. Weight training references are generally intended for junior golfers over 14. No junior golfer should use external weights if they cannot support their own body weight during reasonable exercises such as push-ups, planks or lunges. And since there is no magical age to begin weight training, growth factors must be considered, and consultation with a golf fitness professional is encouraged to ensure safety for all ages. Golf is a unique sport. The golf season for many is year-round, whereas others must wait an entire winter before they can tee it up again. For our purposes we will break the off-season training routines into three categories: Fall Conditioning (September, October, November), Winter Conditioning (December, January, February), and Spring Conditioning (March, April, May).
 
Fall Conditioning: By September the junior athlete has probably participated in a full range of competitive events during the summer, and is weary from traveling, competition, and lingering injuries. September is a good month to help your body recover from the summer grind, and prepare for a solid off-season conditioning program. During this month, the junior golfer should continue hydrating consistently. This facilitates quicker healing and decreased inflammation. The best method for calculating your water intake is dividing your body weight by two, and drinking this amount in ounces every day. You should add a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt to your water to supercharge it with over eighty minerals and trace elements. The junior golfer should have their parents schedule them for physician and physical therapy evaluations for any injuries acquired during the competitive season. Avoid golf practice! Activity in September should be limited to running, swimming, low-impact aerobics, basketball and other enjoyable cardiovascular exercises. As the junior golfer enters October and November they can begin strength training and resume golf practice as injuries subside. It is important to have an assessment of flexibility to reduce the potential of injury during training. Strength training will begin in the presence of continued participation in the other cardiovascular exercises listed above. Your strength training should consist of lower resistance and higher repetitions. For instance, if performing dumbbell presses while lying on a Swiss ball, you would perform 2 sets of 15 reps with a lighter weight, versus 2 sets of 8 with a heavier weight. Higher repetition workouts with lighter weights will condition you over the next two months in preparation for heavier weights in the winter.
 
Winter Conditioning: As the junior golfer moves into December, January, and February, the focus will shift to strength and power. Practice should resume according to the golfers normal routines, and begin participation in competitive events. The junior golfer should have a reassessment of flexibility to ensure that the loaded joints and muscles are prepared for the increased weights. It is not within the scope of this article to suggest specific workout routines. You can visit www.juniorfit.com and learn how you can be evaluated and progressed through an age-appropriate exercise program. During this conditioning period, the junior golfer will want to add explosive activities to their workouts. Explosive activities are more functional and dynamic, and typically include plyometrics. Plyometrics uses the stretch-shortening cycle within your joint-muscle complex to help you effectively generate more speed and power. There are numerous functional movement patterns that the average junior golfer can participate in during their gym sessions. Cable machines and functional movement tubing (FMT) are great ways to challenge your body through normal movement patterns, and these patterns will equate to a more efficient and stable golf swing. Another consideration in this phase is circuit training. You can vary your workout from upper body exercises to lower body exercises within the same workout to get cardiovascular benefit as you increase muscle strength and power.
 
Spring Conditioning: For many junior golfers, this part of the season will include an increase in tournament play and travel time. This is a good time to focus on golf-specific exercises. Focusing on the larger muscle groups and dynamic shoulder muscles (abdominals, hips, rotator cuff, and leg muscles) will be of the greatest benefit in this stage. Once again, as with each stage, have your flexibility reassessed to insure safety for your muscles and joints. Flexibility, along with the stable foundation you have built up to this point in your off-season, will be the greatest determining factors of the quality, safety, and efficiency of your swing. As your playing schedule gets into full swing, it is recommended to continue working out. As a junior golfer, you need to exercise caution and look for some of the signs of overwork. In-season workouts should continue on a similar schedule that was used in the off-season, with less intensity and duration.
 
Golf is a stressful sport on the body. It is imperative as a junior that you have a safe, effective workout program designed specifically for your needs. Every junior develops at different times during adolescence and has different needs. Be sure to check the credentials of your choice of trainer to ensure they are educated in the unique art of fitness for junior golfers. Have a great off-season, and play fit!
 
About the Author: Brian Knight, author of Junior Golf Fitness is a Physical Therapist (PT), Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS), and Level 3 Medical Golf Fitness Instructor with the Titleist Performance Institute.
 

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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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.