Training early for lifelong success

By Golf Fitness MagazineFebruary 2, 2010, 12:40 am

It has become the status quo to take children as early as five years old and decide their course in athletics. My child is a baseball player, football player, soccer player, or golfer! If I make them train in one sport early they are sure to be a success! Not only is this approach a poor concept for sports skill development, it is a poor template for physical conditioning.

Junior fitness and sports specific conditioning has come to the forefront of marketing and advertising in the last few years. It is an enormous market and parents are quick to pay the price for their child to run faster, jump higher, or swing harder in six to eight weeks. The problem with this methodology is the development of a child is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The growth and development stages of a child through adolescence into maturity are many and differ with gender. Any short term gains for the sake of marketing typically put the junior athlete at risk for injury or burnout. High stress and high intensity workout programs early in development are typically more harmful to the developing athlete.

What must be understood by parents and coaches is that a junior should be developing neurologically and building strength through the course of normal daily activities. In today’s society of gaming systems, internet, and cable television juniors do not get the volume of “play” that was once the normative for a developing athlete. Most activities you can name that a junior could perform to build strength, endurance, and balance have been turned into a video game to be played while sitting in a chair. If you take this junior and put them directly into a sport or sports performance fitness program you are surely setting them up for injury. A junior must be prepared for demanding activities through methodical preparation using an age specific fitness program.

A solid junior fitness program is imperative to ensure your junior has safe and effective sports performance. Golf is an incredible sport. Golf teaches many of life’s lessons. Golf is demanding on the body at any age. Golf is demanding on the mind at any age. Building a healthy junior athlete for golf is a great endeavor for the parent and the junior. By creating an environment that effectively challenges a junior appropriately for their developmental stage you are ensuring a progression in sports that will develop the skills of your junior correctly.

Kid doing push-upsHere is some information to keep in mind while helping your junior athlete develop. If you want to build a great golfer, you must build a great athlete. There is no greater mistake in sports than training exclusively for your sport at a young age. Juniors must be involved in a variety of sports and play activities to help their bodies develop greater balance, coordination, speed, agility, etc… Believe it or not, skateboarding and playing basketball will provide a more well rounded skill development for golf than pulling on a rubber band in a golf motion could ever hope to achieve. Young golfers that start swinging a club at five years of age but never explore the motor patterns of movements in the opposite direction of their swing are building physical imbalances. These imbalances over time create an environment for injury and poor performance. It is important that juniors spend time jumping, running, throwing, catching, rolling, shuffling, hopping… you get the point! If you want to be a great athlete, look at the successful golfers of the past and present. What you will find is they are great at other sports as well.

How do I train? There are many ways to enhance your training to improve your golf game and your quality of movement. This article was written to give you some general ideas about how to go about this important skill. When you think of your training, think of movement patterns, not just movements. This means using as much of your body as possible to perform workout activities. You do not hit a golf ball with your back or biceps or legs. You hit a golf ball with the coordinated sequencing of all of your primary muscles and their supporting casts. For this reason, you should seek out exercises that challenge your strength, balance, coordination, and power all at the same time.

Here are some examples for smaller children (ages 5-10): push-ups, sit-ups, weight bearing stretches, bear crawls, two on two soccer and basketball, box jumping, frog hops. This list is endless and only limited by your imagination. The goal is to create activities that encourage the use of the juniors own body weight as resistance, promote simplified team games, and enhance flexibility performing stretches on your feet.

As you move into the 11-14 age division you are encouraged to get your junior involved in other sports to assist with creating a dynamic athlete that has a well developed neurological system. You can now begin to add external resistance as the junior has proven proficiency with maintaining excellent form using their own body weight. Continue with flexibility and increase the structure of the cardiovascular exercise.

Finally, as you begin training the 15-19 age division you are given more liberties with weight training and explosive strength. It is most important that as heavier weights are added and more dynamic movements at high speeds are required, the junior must maintain safe and efficient form during exercise.

EDITOR'S 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. Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our free golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game.

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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”