Top 10 Things Not To Do This Winter
1. Break 80?
2. Lower your handicap?
3. Play without pain?
4. Increase your driving distance?
5. Not improveagain?
Again, the question is, did you perform and accomplish the goals you set for this golfing season? If your answer is no, then you must consider why. Is it because the new club(s) you bought just didnt perform like you thought they would? Is it because you didnt take enough lessons? How about because you didnt commit to enough practice time?
My challenge to you is to consider that it is not any of the above! It is what you did or did not do last fall, spring and winter, your off season preparation for the 2008 season.
I hope you dont expect to do close to nothing over the winter, then when March comes around think you are going to go out and play well, score well and otherwise be properly prepared. You know what, though? A majority of golfers think that they can do that, and then wonder why their game is suffering, their bodies hurt and their egos are deflated.
So, lets work on re-programming your idea of golf success next season, by learning the ten things you should not do this winter.
1. Be lazy
I mean, seriously! General fitness, function and performance in life (not just golf) are integral to longevity and physical prowess. If you are like me and expect to ride your mountain bike, play golf, backpack and water ski till your dead, you cant be lazy.
Recent studies reveal that between the ages of 65 and 89, explosive lower limb extensor power (part of the golf swing) declines at three and a half percent per year compared to a one to two percent per year decrease in strength. Another study revealed that maximal anaerobic power declines more than eight percent per decade from ages 20-70. In case you are slow at math, that is more than 40 percent in 50 years. In other words, you are losing almost 50 percent of your bodys oxygen carrying capacity!
2. Not stretch
I deal with clients every day in my practice that have pain because of immobility (joints) and inflexibility (muscles). And what do you think is the primary cause? Work! Thats right; the seated workstation is the primary work position for most people, and the one that wreaks the most havoc.
So, if you want to remain able bodied, and reap the benefits of maximum flexibility, then do your daily stretches. Realize the benefits of flexibility on your golf game (better posture, increased range of motion, higher club head speed), and you will hit the ball farther, lower your score, and most importantly, decrease your risk of injury. I recommend hiring a TPI-certified professional to create a specific stretching program for you. Go to mytpi.com and search for find a fitness pro.
3. Not strength train
Studies have shown that a regular weight training program can grow muscle tissue, and strengthen ligaments and tendons with participants as old as 92! Let me challenge your thought process about human function by asking a question: At your present fitness level, do you think you would have done well if you lived 250 years ago? In other words, if you think about how people lived in the 1700s, do you think you would have been able to function well in your present physical condition? Let me make it easy for youprobably not! Think about what early pioneers had to endure just to survive, including hunting for their food, cutting down trees to build their own houses, protect their land, and even migration.
Without a strong weight training program there is no way for you to maintain the levels of function that would be similar to those times. Back then you had to be good at squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, bending, rotating, walking and running. Are you good at all these?
My challenge to you, regardless of your age, is to, again, hire a TPI professional to create a personalized exercise program that will make you better at all of the innate, highly functional movements. If you do, not only will you be better at golf, but better at life.
4. Not practice
It still makes me laugh how the majority of golfers take the winter off from practice and training, and then expect to go out come spring and play the way they did at the end of the summer. What are you thinking? You spend all winter working in your seated work place, being lazy, and still expect to score well in the start of spring. Do PGA Tour pros take the winter off and expect to start in January with a bang, and win tournaments right off the bat? No. They train and practice in the winter so they can expect to do well when they start at the end of January.
Ok, for those of you living in the southern part of the U.S., winter doesnt really affect you as much as it does those in the north. That aside, you should not go all winter without practicing. This is an ideal time, along with your conditioning program, to make changes to your game, meet with your golf professional and get a plan and practice until spring rolls around, so you can start your season with a bang! Do it this way this year and watch how good you will be at the start of the season.
5. Not see your golf pro at least once a month during the winter
This ties into #4. Plain and simple, see your instructor once a month and have them create a plan to success that you can stick to.
6. Not Get a massage once a month
Because golf is such a one-sided stressful sport, you undoubtedly have asymmetry in your body. Because of this your muscular system can be tight on one side and loose on the other. Your muscles need some lovin for gosh sakes! Massage will help relieve stress, get rid of accumulated toxins, promote better blood flow, help your lymph system (which helps fight infections), help you relax, and promote mobility of the joints and flexibility of the muscles. And dont forget that is just feels good!
7. Not See your chiropractor
As much as golf is stressful to one side of your body muscularly, it is also stressful on your skeletal system and spine. This is why you should visit your chiropractor at least once every quarter to ensure that your neurological system is working optimally. Dont forget that your neurological system controls every function of your body, so it is essential that it is functioning at its full capacity.
8. Not eat right
Here is when I begplease, please eat as much organic food as you can! Commercially raised and produced food is being shown in research to be a major cause of disease. I cant tell you how many times Ive heard, But Dee, it costs so much more. Listen, first of all, no it doesnt. If you compare prices, they are pretty similar for the same food products. Second, who cares! Isnt your familys and your health more important than anything? If you need to sacrifice, do it somewhere else; dont rob yourself and your kids of the best nutrition you can buy. It just isnt worth the small saving every month compared to what you gain in health benefits. So, again, please support organic food growers by purchasing their products. Not only will you benefit, but so will the environment and Mother Earth!
9. Not Manage your stress
This one is easy. Do something every day that will allow you to download from the stressors of the world. Take a walk, take a nap, exercise, play like a kid, play with your kids, eat organic food, manage your time well, love like you love to be loved, and especially go and golf, the ultimate way to reduce stress!
10. Not see a qualified TPI fitness professional to create a specific program for your issues
Just as you would hire a professional plumber or car technician to address your plumbing and automobile issues, you should hire a professional to fix your body issues. You must seek those who are most qualified to do this work for you. Do not just go to your average personal trainer down the street, who not only doesnt know anything about golf, but probably doesnt know much at all about anything else except circuit training on machines! Use the find a pro sections of www.mytpi.com or www.chekinstitute.com or www.nsca.com to find those who can most specifically help you with your issues, and not address you as a number and put you on a cookie cutter program. You deserve it, hire the best!
So, if you have a desire to be a better golfer, if you follow these Top Ten Things You Should Not Do This Winter, not only will you enjoy a better game come spring time, but all other parts of your life will improve as well. Enjoy!
Since 1999, Dee Tidwell has been working with specialty athletes including PGA Tour winners Arron Oberholser and Joe Durant. He is a Level 3 TPI fitness instructor, MAT Specialist and TPI Assistant Instructor. Dee can be contacted at tgclink firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com or championshipgolffitness.blogspot.com
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59
Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.
While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.
He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.
"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."
Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.
"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."
Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot
When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.
Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.
"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"
The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.
Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.
"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."
DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.
Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.
"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."
Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.
Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.
"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... 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."
Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.
"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."
LPGA lists April date for new LA event
The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.
When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.
The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.
The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.