Trevor Immelman Training for Balance

By Golf Fitness MagazineApril 3, 2009, 4:00 pm
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By Steve Gomen with David Herman
 
During this off season, GFM met up with Trevor Immelman and his golf performance coach, David Herman, for a few questions about Trevor achieving his boyhood dream of winning the 2008 Masters. We also got an exclusive inside look at a workout routine that Trevor uses to keep his body in perfect golf shape, and the routine he will use to prepare himself for 2009 season and to defend the Masters.
 
What we found was a confident, athletic golfer who has dedicated the longevity of his career to continuous improvement of his physical and mental golf fitness.
 
Trevor feels that he has fully digested his win at Augusta last spring and is now basically working on ways to improve. His current challenge is to bring out his best golf more times in a season. In winning his first major, his confidence has reached a new level. I definitely feel more confident. I have proved to myself that if I play my best, I can beat the best. I now fully believe that I can win the biggest tournaments.
 
Leading up to this years Masters, Trevor has worked hard in the off-season in a training program consistent with building and maintaining legs, upper body and core strength. He has no worries about his preparedness for this year, and recalled his physical challenges the prior year. After two physical setbacks in 2007 ' a stomach virus resulting in significant weight loss, and major surgery in December ' his dedicated approach to fitness enabled him to come to form and win the Masters. I found how important it is to have a trainer as good as Dave, who knows how to prepare an athlete in strength and nutrition.
 
Though he wants to feel physically strong in 2009 and for the Masters, Trevor will tweak his routine during the tournament season by using lighter weights, simple core stabilization and more elastic stretching. The focus will be on staying pain free, loose and limber for tournament play, and not lifting heavier weights, which would cause too much stiffness.
 
Trevor further elaborated on the critical importance of overall fitness to an extended career in professional golf. Golf is such a different animal than other sports when it comes to training. With other sports such as football or baseball you are lucky to have a 10-year window, so you have got to hit it with your maximum training. In the sport of golf, your training is more centered on preventing injuries and adding longevity to your game and your career; a sport where you want to play competitively until you are 50 or 60. You just need to be fit enough to play 72 holes, never loose concentration, never get tired, and enable your body and muscles to support your swing, all in an effort to avoid injury. Its a little different balance than any other sport, and thats how Dave and I got onto this angle for golf-specific conditioning and the work-out we are going to show you today.
 
As we discussed strengths and weaknesses in Trevors golf swing, he explained that one of his strongest assets creates one of his greatest weaknesses from a technical standpoint. I have very strong hips, glutes and legs. Thats why I can create a lot of speed and hit the ball so far, particularly for such a small guy. Technically, this hinders him because his hips move very fast. Consequently, he concentrates on his rhythm while on the golf course to balance his strength training in the gym.
 
And what does Gary Player ' Trevors life-long mentor ' have to say about all of this? If you recall, Mr. Player had some very inspirational words for Trevor the night before his final round at the 2008 Masters, and regularly stays in touch with Trevor. During their last conversation, Mr. Player explained how he is working on some new conditioning techniques that he felt he needed for his aging and changing body. Trevor finds it fascinating and inspiring that at age 72, Player still looks for ways to improve. It just shows what a positive attitude he has. We are always talking about golf fitness, and discussing conditioning techniques and stuff. He always gives me a slap in the abs just to see how I am doing.
 

Trevor's Golf-Specific Workout Anyone Can Do

Core & Core Stabilization Defined:
 
The main muscles involved in core stabilization are deep muscles such as the transverse abdominus, the multifidus and the muscles of the pelvic floor. When engaged, the transverse abdominus creates a protective barrier around your spine. Its the deep lower abdominal muscle you work if you pull in your belly button toward your stomach while exhaling the air in the diaphragm. The multifidus is a muscle that lies along your spine from your neck to your pelvis, with short fibers connecting one bone (vertebra) of the spine to other vertebrae near it. The muscles of the pelvic floor are most noticeable when you squeeze to keep yourself from urinating.
 
All these muscles, and muscles closer to the surface, help with core stabilization and posture, and will also help you to move more efficiently. These closer to the surface muscles include the thoracic area of the upper back, musculature of lower back and multiple gluteus muscles. Musculature connected to the pelvic that also help to stabilize the body include quads/lateral I-t bands, adductors and hip flexors. Core stabilization strengthens the body and helps you learn to use the inner muscles that create a strong, protective and balanced center linking the upper and lower body, which is optimum for golf.

Trevor Immelman-who is actually a great study of golf-specific fitness himself-used the aid of his sports performance coach, David Herman, to assemble an awesome workout routine that practically anyone can safely do on their own.
 
David has worked with Trevor Immelman ' one of the Tours most fitness-dedicated athletes ' for quite some time perfecting golf-specific exercises. And this one is one of the best routines we have seen. It encompasses all of the important aspects of the golf swing for more strength, speed and, most importantly, longevity.
 
Knowing that training for golf is unique from any other sport, they formulated a routine that promotes being 100 percent balanced during the swing. Trevor assured us that when you play a downhill lie, you will notice a difference in your stability. David and Trevor wanted a core stabilization program that was consistent with building and maintaining leg, upper body and core strength, all aspects that promote an automatically balanced swing as well as a reduced risk of injury. What they came up with is a whole upper body and leg program that is preformed while keeping the core muscles engaged and firing throughout the entire workout.
 
This routine we outlined for you is an abbreviated version of a more intensive work-out that lasts up to 90 minutes for Trevor. Or, based on time limitations to balance his professional and personal life, he will divide it into two, 45-minute sessions. But for purposes of this routine designed for you, 30 minutes is all that is necessary to get through the exercises. Dave suggests a 10 minute cool down walk and light stretching to keep your muscles loose and long.
 
Plan to only maximize the weights to a degree where you can continue to focus on keeping your core engaged. This makes the routine very safe for any healthy golfer. This program is all about minimizing the risk of injury to your back, both in the gym and on the course, explained Dave.
 
You should begin this routine by starting with lighter weights, building yourself up as you strengthen your core muscles. Even though this routine may appear like there isnt much to it, it involves an immense amount of strengthening to the hundreds of tiny muscles that stabilize the center of your body, not to mention the strength you will add to your upper body and legs. If you have not already participated in a program that conditions your core muscles, be sure to step into this lightly. Expect some instability and wobble with your body in the beginning. As you improve your strength, you will notice that your stabilization skills will improve automatically for better body control. This stabilization process is the result of strengthened muscles that are needed to create a more balanced and safe swing, which, of course, means more distance, lower scores and added longevity to your game!

Trevor's Workout

Equipment you will need:
Ankle Bands
Looped Resistance Band
Stability Ball
Yoga Brick
Bosu Ball
Medicine Ball
Pilates Ring (optional)

As you begin this workout, it is important to understand exactly what core stabilization is (see inset), and to re-emphasize the necessity to keep your center (core) engaged like a vacuum around your spine to keep the pelvis in a neutral and safe position throughout each exercise.
 
If you are not regularly doing this type of training program, or suffering
with lower back injury issues, always consult your physician, physical
therapist or personal trainer before starting this exercise routine.
 

 

WARM'UP
Do a 10-20 minute warm up using a treadmill, stationary bike or
elliptical machine. Follow with a light stretching routine or a dynamic stretching routine with a loop resistance band if possible.
 

#1: ABDOMINAL STABILIZATION ON BALL

Using a resistance band (either with a partner or by simply attaching it to something stable) perform abdominal crunches focusing on rolling from a horizontal to a vertical position, and hold. Follow this holding movement with a set of short, rapid repetitions. Be sure to make a small exhale with each repetition.
 
>> 2 sets, holding for 15 seconds at the top each time.
>> One set 10 full-range crunches at a quick pace.


 

#2: CHEST-ALTERNATING DUMBBELL

Place an ankle band around the lower legs, which will help engage the lateral muscles of the upper legs, while also engaging the glutes/buttucks and abdominal muscles. Lay with your shoulder blades centered on the stability ball and focus again on engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain a bridge position. Alternate single arm chest presses (as pictured). Light weights are recommended to start with because this exercise is about concentrating on keeping your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise with proper technique.
 
Each arm is fully extended and retracted before switching to the opposite arm. You should feel the center of your body slightly shifting side to side while performing the exercise.
 
>> 30 repetitions (15 repetitions each arm).
>> Repeat exercise 1-2 times.


 

#3: STANDING SINGLE LEG SHOULDER PRESS

As with the entire exercise routine, it is important to keep the core engaged throughout the exercise, particularly with this one. As you engage the center of your body, keep the spine straight and a neutral pelvic position before lifting the weight above your head. Place an ankle band around the lower legs, which will help engage the lateral muscles of the upper legs and hips. Stand with one leg on the floor (or on a yoga brick for added difficulty) and be sure to keep your supporting leg slightly bent. Begin with dumbbell weight elevated in shoulder press position. Press the dumbbell slowly up and down while maintaining a strong stable core, balancing on one leg. Use light to medium weight so that you can focus on core stabilization throughout the exercise.
 
>> 1 set of 12 repetitions on each leg.
>> Repeat 1 time.


 

#4: PLANK EXERCISE WITH ENHANCED STABILIZATION

This exercise can be preformed with varying levels of difficulty (as pictured) for more intensity. Trevor describes it as a killer of an exercise for the golfer. You can begin this exercise by simply starting with the elbows and feet directly on the floor, working toward the more advanced levels that enhance the firing of your core stabilization muscles. Make your best effort to hold a plank position and be careful not to let your neck drop down too much. Focus on something in front of you and remember to breath as you hold the position.
 
>> 2 sets of 20 seconds, gradually building to duration of one minute.
>> Advance to Level 2 using the Bosu ball.
>> For Level 3, use a yoga brick below your toes to add additional instability opposing the Bosu ball.
>> For Level 4 add the medicine ball below your feet.


 

#5: CORE BRIDGE ON BALL WITH LEG EXTENSION

Lay with your shoulder blades centered on the stability ball and focus again on engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain a bridge position. Exhale while focusing on a strong, stable and centered position. Slowly extend your right leg and hold for a 3 second count while taking small, short breaths, holding single leg balanced position. Release leg slowly to floor. Re-stabilize the core and switch to left leg for a 3- second count. Use caution because this exercise is more difficult than it appears. It may take a few workouts to get your body under control.
 
>> Start with 3 repetitions on each leg, and hold the leg extension for 3 seconds.
>> Build to 5 repetitions on each leg, holding each leg extended for a 5- second count.


 

#6: DUAL/SINGLE LEG HAMSTRING CURL

Lie on your back and begin in a bridge position with legs straight and heels of your feet placed on top of the stability ball. Roll the ball toward your buttocks until your feet are flush against the ball, then slowly return to the starting position. With this exercise, you can add two levels of intensity, and one variation using a single leg (as pictured).
 
>> Start with 8 repetitions and build to 15 repetitions.
>> Level 2 ' Add weight with a disk or medicine ball (as pictured).
>> Single Leg ' Us.


 

#7: CORE ROTATION WITH STABILIZATION

This exercise is a basic core rotation movement that Dave has modified to increase core stability and recruit fast twitch muscle fiber in the abdominal and oblique muscles. It can be performed with just the looped resistance band for a good rotation exercise, however, you can greatly intensify the effectiveness of the exercise for all of the core muscles by adding the ankle band and Pilates ring. Step into the position and rotate the shoulders and chest until they are centered with your hips, then hold for 15 seconds.
 
>> Repeat 1-2 times on each side(hold for 15 seconds).
>> Add the ankle band to engage the lower body.
>> Add the Pilates ring to engage more of the upper body.


 

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.

LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:56 am

NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.

Parity reigned.

Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.

Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.

Here’s a summary of the big prizes:

Rolex Player of the Year
Ryu and Park both ended up with 162 points in the points-based competition. Park started the week five points behind Ryu but made the up the difference with the five points she won for tying for sixth.

It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.


Vare Trophy
Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.

There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.


CME Globe $1 million prize
Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.

By winning the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn had a shot at the $1 million, but she needed Park to finish the tournament eighth or worse and Thompson to finish ninth or worse.


LPGA money-winning title
Park claimed the title with $2,335,883 in earnings. Ryu was second, with $1,981,593 in earnings.

The tour saw a tour-record 17 players win $1 million or more this season, two more than did so last year.

Ryu came into the week as the only player who could pass Park for the title, but Ryu needed to win to do so.


Rolex world No. 1 ranking
The top ranking was up for grabs at CME, with No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu all within three hundredths of a ranking point. Even No. 4 Lexi Thompson had a chance to grab the top spot if she won, but in the end nobody could overtake Feng. Her reign will extend to a second straight week.


Rolex Rookie of the Year
Park ran away with the award with her U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open victories among her 11 top-10 finishes. She had the award locked up long before she arrived for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Ko ends first winless season with T-16 at CME

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:07 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko carved a hybrid 3-iron to 15 feet and ended the most intensely scrutinized year of her young career with a birdie Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

“Nice to finish the season on a high note,” Ko said after posting a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for 16th. “Obviously, not a top-10 finish, but I played really solid. I feel like I finished the season off pretty strong.”

Ko posted two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a tie for fifth in her last eight starts.

“Ever since Indy [in early September], I played really good and put myself in good positions,” Ko said. “I felt like the confidence factor was definitely higher than during the middle of the year. I had some opportunities, looks for wins.”

Sunday marked the end of Ko’s first winless season since she began playing LPGA events at 15 years old.

Let the record show, she left with a smile, eager to travel to South Korea to spend the next month with family after playing a charity event in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).

In the final summary, it wasn’t a Ko-like year, not by the crazy high standards she has set.

She saw her run of 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 end in June. She arrived in Naples holding on to the No. 8 ranking. She ends the year 13th on the LPGA money list with $1,177,450 in earnings. It’s the first time she hasn’t finished among the top three in money in her four full years on tour. She did log 11 top-10 finishes overall, three second-place finishes.

How did she evaluate her season?

“I feel like it was a better year than everyone else thinks, like `Lydia is in a slump,’” Ko said. “I feel like I played solid.

“It's a season that, obviously, I learned a lot from ... the mental aspect of saying, `Hey, get over the bads and kind of move on.’”

Ko said she learned a lot watching Stacy Lewis deal with her run of second-place finishes after winning so much.

“Winning a championship is a huge deal, but, sometimes, it's overrated when you haven't won,” Ko said. “Like, you're still playing well, but just haven't won. I kind of feel like it's been that kind of year.

“I think everybody has little ups and downs.”

For Ariya, Lexi, finish was fabulous, frustrating

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 12:47 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Lexi Thompson can take a punch.

You have to give her that.

So can Ariya Jutanugarn, who beat Thompson in the gut-wrenching conclusion to the CME Group Tour Championship Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

They both distinguished themselves overcoming adversity this season.

The problem for Thompson now is that she’ll have to wait two months to show her resolve again. She will go into the long offseason with the memory of missing a 2-foot putt for par that could have won her the championship, her first Rolex Player of the Year Award and her first Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Thompson took home the CME Globe $1 million jackpot and Vare Trophy for low scoring as nice consolation prizes, but the Sunday finish was a lot like her season.

It was so close to being spectacular.

She was so close to dominating this year.

That last 2-foot putt Sunday would have put Thompson in the clubhouse at 15 under, with a one-shot lead, which would have added so much more pressure to Jutanugarn as she closed out.

Instead of needing to birdie the final two holes to force a playoff, Jutanugarn only needed to birdie one of them to assure extra holes. She went birdie-birdie anyway.

Thompson was on the practice putting green when she heard the day’s last roar, when Jutanugarn rolled in a 15-foot birdie to beat her.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted to end it,” Thompson said of the short miss. “I don’t really know what happened there. It just happens. I guess it’s golf.”


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


Thompson was asked if the weight of everything at stake affected her.

“No, honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it,” she said. “I putted great the whole day. I guess, maybe, there was just a little bit of adrenaline.

“We all go through situations we don’t like sometimes.”

Thompson endured more than she wanted this year.

She won twice, but there were six second-place finishes, including Sunday’s. There were three losses in playoffs.

There was the heart-wrenching blow at the ANA Inspiration, the season’s first major, when she looked as if she were going to run away with the title before getting blindsided by a four-shot penalty in the final round. There were two shots when a viewer email led to a penalty for mismarking her ball on a green in the third round, and two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Thompson was in tears finishing that Sunday at Mission Hills, but she won a legion of new fans in the way she fought back before losing in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

There was more heartache later in the spring, when Thompson’s mother, Judy, was diagnosed with uterine cancer, requiring surgery to remove a tumor and then radiation.

For Thompson fans, Sunday’s missed 2-foot putt was a cruel final blow to the year.

This time, there were no tears from Lexi afterward.

“Just going through what I have this whole year, and seeing how strong I am, and how I got through it all and still won two tournaments, got six seconds . . . it didn’t stop me,” Thompson said. “This won’t either.”

After Thompson bounced back from the ANA loss to win the Kingsmill Invitational in May, she acknowledged how the loss motivated her.

“I'm as determined as any other person out here,” Thompson said. “We all want to win. I have a little bit more drive now.”

She was so close this year to elevating herself as the one true rock star in the women’s game. She will have a long offseason to turn Sunday’s disappointment into yet more fuel to get there.

Thompson will prepare for next year knowing Jutanugarn may be ramping her game back up to dominante, too.

Jutanugarn looked as if she were going to become a rock star after winning five times last year to claim the Rolex Player of the Year Award and then rising to No. 1 with a victory at the Manulife Classic back in May, but it didn’t happen.

Jutanugarn struggled through a summer-long slump.

She failed to make a cut in six of seven starts. It wasn’t as miserable a slump as she endured two years ago, when she missed 10 consecutive cuts, but it was troubling.

“Even though I played so badly the last few months, I learned a lot,” Jutanugarn said. “I’m growing up a lot, and I’m really ready to have some fun next year.”

Her surgically repaired shoulder was bothering her again, but it was more than that.

“This time it was more about becoming No. 1,” said Gary Gilchrist, her coach. “I think all of the responsibilities got to her.”

Gilchrist said he could see a different focus in Jutanugarn this week. He credited Vision 54s Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott for helping her deal with all the pressure that has mounted with her growing status.

“It’s been a long process,” Nilsson said. “She’s felt too much expectation from everybody else, where she loses focus on what she can do.”

Marriott said they asked Jutanugarn to come up with something she wanted to do to make herself proud this week, instead of worrying about what would please everyone else.

It worked.

“I told my caddie, Les [Luark], that thinking about the No. 1 ranking wasn’t going to help me be a better golfer,” Jutanugarn said. “I wanted people to say, `Oh this girl, she’s really happy.’ That was my goal, to have fun.”

Late Sunday, hoisting the trophy, Jutanugarn looked like she was having a lot of fun.

Thomas vs. Rose could be Ryder Cup highlight

By Rex HoggardNovember 19, 2017, 11:40 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – For those still digesting the end of 2017 – the European Tour did, after all, just wrap up its season in Dubai on Sunday – consider that the PGA Tour is already nearly one-fifth of the way into a new edition.

The Tour has already crowned eight champions as the game banks into the winter break, and there are some interesting trends that have emerged from the fall.

Dueling Justins: While Justin Thomas picked up where he left off last season, winning the inaugural CJ Cup in October just three weeks after claiming the FedExCup and wrapping up Player of the Year honors; Justin Rose seems poised to challenge for next year’s low Justin honors.

The Englishman hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since August and won back-to-back starts (WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open) before closing his year with a tie for fourth place in Dubai.

Note to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk: Justin v. Justin next September in Paris could be fun.

Youth served. Just in case anyone was thinking the pendulum might be swinging back in the direction of experience over youthful exuberance – 41-year-old Pat Perez did put the veterans on the board this season with his victory at the CIMB Classic – Patrick Cantlay solidified his spot as genuine phenom.

Following an injury-plagued start to his career, Cantlay got back on track this year, needing just a dozen starts to qualify for the Tour Championship. He went next level earlier this month with his playoff victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


They say these trends come and go in professional golf, but as the average age of winners continues to trend lower and lower it’s safe to say 25 is the new 35 on Tour.

A feel for it. For all the science that has become such a big part of the game – from TrackMan analysis to ShotLink statistics – it was refreshing to hear that Patton Kizzire’s breakthrough victory at the OHL Classic came down to a hunch.

With the tournament on the line and Rickie Fowler poised just a stroke back, Kizzire’s tee shot at the 72nd hole came to rest in an awkward spot that forced him to stand close to his approach shot to keep his feet out of the sand. His 8-iron approach shot sailed to 25 feet and he two-putted for par.

And how far did he have for that pivotal approach?

“I have no idea,” he laughed.

Fall facelift. Although the moving parts of the 2018-19 schedule appear to be still in flux, how the changes will impact the fall schedule is coming into focus.

The Tour’s goal is to end the season on Labor Day, which means the fall portion of the schedule will begin a month earlier than it does now. While many see that as a chance for the circuit to embrace a true offseason, it’s becoming increasingly clear that won’t be the case.

The more likely scenario is an earlier finish followed by a possible team competition, either the Ryder or Presidents cup, before the Tour kicks off a new season in mid-September, which means events currently played before the Tour Championship will slide to the fall schedule.

“So if you slide it back, somebody has to jump ahead. The mechanics of it,” said Davis Love III, host of the RSM Classic and a member of the Tour’s policy board. “I’m still going to go complain and beg for my day, but I also understand when they say, this is your date, make it work, then we'll make it work.”

While 2019 promises to bring plenty of change to the Tour, know that the wraparound season and fall golf are here to stay.

Product protection. Speaking of the fall schedule and the likely plan to expand the post-Tour Championship landscape, officials should also use the platform to embrace some protections for these events.

Consider that the RSM Classic featured the third-strongest field last week according to the Official World Golf Ranking, behind the season-ending tournament in Dubai on the European Tour and the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour.

The winner in Dubai received 50 World Ranking points, a marquee event that has historically been deeper than that week’s Tour stop, while the Dunlop Phoenix winner, Brooks Koepka, won 32 points. Austin Cook collected 30 points for his victory at Sea Island Resort.

All told, the Japan event had four players in the field from the top 50 in the world, including world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama; while the highest-ranked player at the RSM Classic was Matt Kuchar at 15th and there were seven players from the top 50 at Sea Island Resort.

Under Tour rules, Koepka, as well as any other Tour members who competed either in Japan or Dubai, had to be granted conflicting-event releases by the circuit.

Although keeping players from participating in tournaments overseas is not an option, it may be time for the circuit to reconsider the conflicting-event policy if the result is a scenario like last week that relegates a Tour event to third on the international dance card.