Monday, August 17, 2015

Eating Healthy on your Golf Trip

Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean that your diet should be, too. As what you eat determines your performance, you’ll need to have a solid diet plan when you’re going on a golf trip.

More than just about improving your health in general, proper nutrition can help boost your golf performance. It’s a no-brainer. Eating healthy means your mind stays sharp enough to make tough decisions, and you have sufficient energy to play all 18 holes.

So before you grab that bag of chips for a quick energy boost, read on to know what you should be munching on your golf vacation:

Eat or drink
  • Water – Chugging down at least 8 glasses of water daily can help you keep hydrated, especially when you’re teeing off under the heat of the sun. Loss of water can lead to dehydration, which can affect your performance and physiology.

  • Small frequent meals – Spreading out your meals throughout the day allows you to replenish your energy levels without bogging you down post meal. Experts recommend 5-6 small meals instead of the usual 3 big meals.

  • The power combo – Your meals must consist of the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in order for you to have enough energy to finish all 18 holes. This trio also ensures that you are getting the right nutrients into your body.

  • A healthy snack. Forget chips. Go for snacks that are jam packed with fiber and other nutrients for a healthy digestion and lots of energy to finish the course. Go for fruits or a bag of nuts for a quick mood and energy booster, and you’re all set for a good match.

  • Alcohol and caffeine. Take it easy on the alcohol and caffeine. Both are diuretics and can cause dehydration. In addition, they can also affect your performance. Caffeine can over stimulate your mind and muscles, thus making your performance less controlled, while alcohol is on the other side of the spectrum. Too much of it, and you’ll suffer loss of coordination.

  • Food rich in sugar. Sugar-based food will only give you a quick jolt of energy, but once blood sugar rapidly plummets after a temporary high, you’ll be on an express train to exhaustion.

  • Binging 2 hours before tee time. When you have food in your digestive tract, blood gets diverted away from your brain and muscle, which explains why you feel lethargic after a heavy meal. This is another reason why you need to spread out your meals to 5 small ones instead of 3 big ones. But with that said, you must also avoid;

  • Skipping meals. Playing on an empty stomach is just as bad as teeing off on a full one. You’ll need a steady release of energy to get you through the long play. Going for small meals fuels you throughout the day without slowing down your metabolism (and yourself) and prevents sugar highs and lows.
It is important to note that your brain consumes 20% of the calories your take in. And if you’re fuelling your brain (and body) with the right type of food, you’ll be able to think on your toes all throughout the 18 holes.

Stay healthy. Have a great golf trip!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Golf Exercises for Improved Flexibility

Golfers, like most athletes, need to work hard not only on the sport but also on their physical fitness. These people need to go through rigorous exercises before heading to golf vacation destinations in order to be able to enjoy the game and to reduce chances of injury. 

A pre-game golf exercise set the player’s mood and is known to dramatically improve a golfer's flexibility - an important factor for a much smoother swing. Of course, it is a known fact that golfers can only perform a great swing from rather unusual body movement where the body can possibly become stiff. For this reason, golfers need to exercise and work on his flexibility. An exercise improves overall coordination of the body and affects a golfer's stance on the course. 

These flexibility-enhancing exercises should not only be focused on the shoulders but should also involve muscles in other parts of the body. Examples of these exercises are as follows:

Lunge with Rotation - Considered a dynamic golf stretching exercise and is known to warm up the hip flexors. To do this, position the golf club on your shoulders. Step your right leg forward for a lunge while making sure the left leg is stretched backwards and your left knee is locked.  Next, gently twist your torso to the left without moving your lower body. Hold this position for a minute or so before you release. Do this exercise at least 5 to 7 times on each side. 

Supported Squats - This simple exercise improves heart rate and increases blood flow throughout the body. To do this, extend your arms straight while holding your club. Bend your right leg and position it on top of your left thigh. Slowly squat on this position until your left thigh is parallel to the surface then go back to the starting position. Repeat at least 10-12 times on each leg. 

Supported Twist and Bend - Speed and power in hitting a golf ball towards a putting green comes from an ability to twist the upper torso. To improve in this golf skill, practice twisting and work on improving flexibility around your waist. Position the club on your shoulders and your hands on either side. Stand with your feet at least a shoulder width apart and gradually twist to the right side and then bend over as if you were trying to reach your head to the right knee. Do this exercise at least 10 to 12 times on each side.

Shoulder Rotation - Work on your shoulder griddle to reduce chances of shoulder pain that's common among golfers. Stand with your feet at least hip width apart, your shoulder blades down and your hands on your thighs. Slowly rotate both shoulders clockwise at least 8 to 10 times, then counter-clockwise 8-10 times. 

Chest Stretch - To improve flexibility of the chest muscles, stand with your feet at least hip width apart then straighten your arms backwards. Intertwine your fingers and hold this stretch position for at least 10 counts before you release. Do this at least 10 times.

Make every golf trip a fun and fulfilling one by engaging in simple pre-game exercises. Then you’ll have more power and energy for more rounds on the resort.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Golf Tips: How to Make More Birdies

Golf birdies don’t always happen by pure chance; these come as a result of excellent golf conditions and great golfing skills. Professional golfers share the following tips on how to make more birdies:

Be familiar with your yards. While on a golf trip, carefully observe professional golfers on tour and observe how they manage to almost accurately estimate how far every club in their golf bag goes. While it is essentially impossible for a beginner or an average golfer to be precise, most golfers tend to have a close idea of how far they hit each club.

The next time you go on a golf vacation, spend at least an hour on each range. Hit 5-10 shots with each club and figure out the average distance each club in your bag flies. This will give you an idea how to hit more greens and make more birdies.

 Devise a game plan and stick with it. Make a detailed, strategic game plan for every shot you want to hit at the golf course. Know exactly where you want to land your golf ball and swing your way to it.

Some golfers do not always have pin sheets for each round of the game but, whether you’re up for a competition or simply going on a golf vacation, at least plan your rounds a few days ahead.  Focus on a target each time you play and be determined to follow your game plan.

If you are a beginner, start at the green. Identify your target and know where you should be hitting from as you approach the greens. Then imagine where you’ll be hitting next to get to your ideal approach shot.

Establish control. If you’ve been watching golf tournaments, you might have noticed that some golfers tend to choke up on the club and make shorter, more controlled swing. In case you don’t know it yet, shorter, more controlled swings result to more precision and less error.

Like any other skills, control on golf clubs does not happen overnight. You might have to make several trips to your favorite golf vacation destinations so you can practice your swing as well as your game plans.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Have a Caddie on your Golf Trip

Caddies play very important roles in every golf trip. These people works with every golfer not only on practice swings and elimination rounds but even on actual golf championships. Steve Williams who is ranked the world’s No. 1 caddie, for instance, have been hopping from leading golf courses to another, working closely with top notch golfers around the world like Adam Scott, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods.

But what really is a caddie? Caddies are not hired to simply carry golf bags and other equipment. Instead, they are there to encourage, admonish, and counsel players. They serve as coaches both on practice and on actual games, and are basically expected to understand every player’s strengths and weaknesses as well as stress cycles. They are also there to guide players through emotional moments prior, during, and after every round.

The essence of a caddie far exceeds that of being a bag carrier or emotional absorber. He is also there to provide insights, share ideas, help develop a strategy, and follow through a direction to get better golf results. In a way, caddies serve as game partners.

Perhaps the best thing about having a caddie is that they have a technical know-how about the sport. They are expected to be familiar with the golf vacation destination, including distances, obstacles, hills, and valleys that are considered risk factors when playing golf. With this in mind, caddies are able to advise how to go through each course despite potential hazards.

Unfortunately, there are some caddies who don’t live up to their roles. Case in point several caddies who come to golf resorts unprepared and not knowing what exactly is on the golf course and how to strategically play the game. These types of caddies do not understand the challenges of the sport and have limited idea as to what to expect throughout the game, hence they are less likely to be able to coach players well.

For this reason, it is necessary that every golfer carefully choose his/her caddie. Ideally, it’s best to hire one who shares the player’s competitive spirit. They should be highly motivated, aggressive, and protective of the team. In addition, they must be hardworking and should be able to inspire players throughout the game.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Now Trending: Night Golf

Have you ever wanted to swing your clubs at one of your favorite golf vacation destination only to back out because of the scorching heat from the sun? Did you ever wish it was a bit darker so you can comfortably move from one hole to another without much sweat? Here’s good news! While most golf areas operate during the day, some destinations now feature night golf tournaments.

Night golf utilizes the same standard golf rules and procedures, but typically use lighted golf balls and glow-in-the-dark sticks to mark pins. This way, equipment and accessories remain visible throughout the game. Players use golf balls that are the same weight as regular ones but these types don’t go quite as far.

Night golf is a lot of fun because players can actually see the lighted ball as it take off, unlike regular daytime golf sessions when balls tend to disappear because they blend with the sky. With lighted balls, players and spectators get to see when the ball actually reaches its destination. This type of game is also known to improve focus – a vital characteristic required of every golfer. 

If you are planning your next golf vacation and would rather stay out of the glaring sun, consider a night golf escapade. Invite your family and friends for a fun game under a canopy of stars.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How to Improve Your Golf Game

Unfortunately, even the most frequent of golf trips don’t guarantee to produce a master golfer. Instead, a good method to improve one’s handicap is to follow great drives with pinpoint approach shots, which means setting yourself up for the cleanest and simplest putt on each hole.

If you seriously want to master scoring zones in golf, here are four golf tips proven to help you reach that goal:

1.       Take control of your drive distance and swing. Most weekend golfers tend to overdo things and hit with as much force as possible, instead of having accuracy and a consistent drive. Focus on making a smoother swing and deliver short approach shots. In addition, try choking down on the grip and play the ball in the middle to take 5-10 yards off your shot. Don’t worry about making a single perfect shot with an all out swing; instead take it easy and hit the green perfectly.

2.       Contrary to common sights in golf lessons, the best way to actually get the ball up with any iron is to swing down on it. That doesn’t mean the club is striking the ball on your upswing, it means the ball and club meet on the club’s initial descent down.

Longer irons tend to be less lofty so you need to make sure you give it a smooth swing down. Position your chest in such as way that it points toward the ground as long as possible each time you trust longer irons.

3.       Make good use of your hybrids. Hybrids in golf are designed to hit extra-long distances and can actually cover 180 yards to 210 yards. These hybrids are shorter than long irons and are much easier to hit and control, making these a popular choice among individuals on golf vacations. Be warned though that hybrids are to be used sparingly and are in fact, most often used only on spots that are less likely to miss.

4.       Practice putting. Set aside time to practice both short and mid-range putting. We all know that practice makes for a better player. They seem simple but it’s like a foul shot in basketball – make sure you can execute the smaller, simpler things well.

Take these tips to the links and notice your game improve one round after another! And by the time your next golf trip comes around, you'll be a whole new golfer.