His story reached the giving hearts of Fred and Sharon Funk and they took on the task to help this young man and their family. Funk started by donating 20% of his earnings to the foundation that had been established for J.T. and soon the PGA TOUR became involved by earmarking a sizable donation. Instead of Fred playing Memorial and preparing himself for the U.S. Open, he and Sharon organized a celebrity golf tournament to again help J.T. The tournament was held June 4th and 5th at my home course literally in my backyard. I live on the par 3 tee box where Fred so willingly and patiently played the par 3 with 33 foursomes! Sharon was there to greet every player and to watch the two of them give of their hearts, not to mention their zany personalities was a real treat for all! For me the greatest experience was meeting J.T. Townsend. This young man and his family are facing an incredible climb in life with such graciousness, gratitude and uplifting spirit. Celebrities like Kim Alexis, The Golf Channels own Jennifer Mills, Ron Duguay and coach Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars participated. After the last group came through I had an opportunity to visit with the Funks. Still full of the zany Funk energy they were off to New York for the U.S Open and Freds Champions Tour appearance at the Commerce Bank Championship. We thought Fuzzy was a character.the Champions Tour aint seen nothing yet!
Now back to our series. Ive taken your suggestions and comments and developed this series covering all aspects of your physical needs to improve your golf game while using workout tools that you can easily take with you anywhere!
For this series Flexibility on the Fly well use a stretching aid. If you do not have one, simply visit the golf fitness pro shop The Golf Channel subscribers receive a generous discount!
Flexibility is vital to the game of golf and general fitness. Stretching while the muscles are warm and supple will increase long-term range of motion. These exercises will speed recovery and reduce the likelihood of residual stiffness. All of the exercises will be performed two times using a static technique (no bouncing) before advancing to the next exercise. The stretch will be accelerated slightly farther the second time, which will produce maximum gains in flexibility. Move into each stretch to a comfortable position. Never stretch to the point of pain and hold each stretch, including acceleration, 30 seconds each.
Here are the benefits of this series:
1) Improve flexibility to lower the risk of injuries and improve range of motion
2) Increase flexibility of the shoulder girdle for more stability at the top of swing
3) Increase flexibility of the upper legs for improved balance during your swing
4) Increase flexibility of your hip girdle for more power and club head speed
5) Increase flexibility of the lower legs for more push-off power in the downswing
6) Increase the flexibility of the trunk which is critical in making an effective turn
7) Increase the flexibility of the forearms and wrists for better club control
8) Ultimately increase your overall fitness level!
Remember to print the exercises from week 1 to combine with this weeks exercises. Let's get started!
Start: Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and hips rotated forward. Place the stretch trainer behind the back and grip with both hands at shoulder width, palms up.
Action: Expand the chest while raising the stretch trainer back and slightly upward to create the stretch.
Finish: Return to the start position and repeat but the second time increase the stretch.
Tips: Keep the abdomen flexed and the neck in a neutral position. Keep both knees slightly flexed. Do not arch the back.
Golf & Fitness Connection: This stretch extends the range of motion for arms and shoulder girdle
Because low back problems are directly related to weak and inflexible hamstrings, its important to insure hamstring strength.
Start: Sit upright and wrap the center strap of the Stretch Trainer around the arch of one foot. Bend the opposite knee and place the opposite foot on the floor to create equal balance.
Action: Pull tension on the stretch trainer and slowly roll onto your back extending your leg with the strap upward. Gently pull the stretch trainer towards you increasing the range of motion in your hamstring.
Finish: When you have reached a comfortable position hold the position.
Tip: Do not bounce and to increase the stretch, extend the bend knee leg flat to the floor.
Golf & Fitness Connection: Flexible hamstrings help to alleviate low back pain associated with golf.
Summer is around the corner so get started and improve your game! See the golf fitness DVDs and training aids available in the pro shop at a considerable savings! Remember you will need resistance tubing to continue this series!
Click here for training aids from the Golf Fitness Pro Shop!
Editor's Note: Kelly Blackburn has traveled the PGA Tour and Champions Tour circuits as a fitness consultant and trainer for 12 years. Kelly welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at BlackburnOnTour@aol.com. Visit KellyBlackburn.com to learn more about health and fitness for golf.