As luck would have it, we’ve hit a stretch of warm weather in the DMV and I broke out the sticks yesterday and opened my season. I hate to use the word “breakthrough” on the first day because my intention was just banging rust off the various components, but I did make a welcome discovery and was so inspired, that I reserved a tee time for next Sunday.
The day started at the range with a small bucket and some crisp pitching wedge shots. Tell me if you’ve ever done this: you start working on your swing in January after about five swings. This was followed by a roulette wheel of pulls, snap hooks, and push cuts with the longer clubs. No worries; there were no expectations other than to stretch the golf muscles and not endure any pain in my left elbow. I’m not sure what compelled me to start swing analysis, but there were only 25 balls left. No harm – no foul.
The excitement started when I got to the short game area. After chipping and pitching for 15 minutes, I brought out the flat stick. Recall at the end of last season I was in a dilemma with trying to line a putt up straight. Nothing was working. Change of stance, ball position, a bunch of new putters – nothing. After a suggestion from Catherine Baker, I made the simple change of lining up my putts using the straight line on the side of my Titleist golf ball. Bingo! The benefit of this change is that I have confidence in my aim, and it forces me to commit to a line and not change it while I’m over the ball. If I seriously need to change lines, I’ll need to re-mark and start my pre-shot routine all over again – at the risk of putting slower than Jim Furyk. Thank you Catherine!
So there you have it. Simple change, crisis averted, confidence built, new outlook on life, on the tee next weekend. Stay tuned and play well!
Are you chomping at the bit to get the 2018 golf season going? Trying to shed those last few holiday season pounds and/or build the golf muscles needed for superior performance? I am. A big word of caution for everybody regularly hitting the gym: Be very careful when lifting weights! You can do significant long lasting damage to muscle tissue if you aren’t lifting correctly or a working with too much weight.
Here’s a picture of me during a golf trip to Myrtle Beach in 2009. Notice the big old wrap on my left elbow? That was an injury (tendonitis) that I incurred while lifting weights incorrectly during the preceding winter. I paid for it on that trip and was running through Advil like John Daly downing M&Ms. The whole issue could have been avoided if I had sought professional help with my weight lifting technique. Slowly the injury healed, as I discontinued all workouts and limited the amount of range balls I hit.
Fast forward to 2017. I started a workout regimen on May 1 that only consisted of floor exercises. I was using the force of gravity to provide resistance and no weight. Over the summer, I was very pleased with the increase in strength and muscle development that I had experienced. In October I decided to add weights to my arm workouts. I reviewed some technique videos on bicep and hammer curls and began with the lightest of weights. The progress I made over the next few months was excellent and I slowly and cautiously added more weight. As I got stronger I got more confident and a couple of weeks ago, added a significant amount of weight, but noticed that I was struggling to move the extra weight with the same amount of repetitions. Then yesterday, I experienced the setback. The left elbow tendonitis injury returned. 😦
Please don’t do what I did. If you are working out for golf, it’s about building tone rather than bulk. Get professional help from a trainer before tackling too much weight or the wrong technique. Hopefully with some good drugs and a little time off, it’ll heal before the season starts.
Do you have any off-season workout recommendations?
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