March 2, 2007
The official opening of the Cape Region golf season is a month away. Now is a good time to start shaping up for it.
For example, some of you let your golf clubs sit quietly all winter in your garage or basement. Re-gripping those clubs for the first round of the year will help shake some of the rust off your game.
It’s a quick process to strip off the old grips, retape the shafts, and slip on new grips, whether made of rubber or some more exotic compounds.
I’m partial to Winn brand grips , although these tend to wear out faster than other brands. If you play golf a few days a week, using these soft grips can become pretty expensive. There are many other grip options out there, however.
Some of my friends like to re-grip their own clubs. For the rest of us, the Cape Region pros will do this for you at a fairly reasonable cost, as will the folks at both Clubhouse Golf and Ruddo’s Golf.
Many Cape Region golfers would also improve their games by shaping themselves up, as well.
There are some decent guides out there for just this purpose, in addition to the golf conditioning programs available on The Golf Channel.
Clay Harrow’s Golf Fit (Andrews McMeel; $12.95 SRP) is a good, basic primer. Harrow describes three basic programs. The first is a warm-up routine that is useful for just before a round, and also a good start before moving on the other two programs.
The second exercise program is aimed at increasing flexibility. The third program provides a series of strengthening routines, done at first without any equipment. As the golfer’s strength improves, the routines are designed to use light barbells to increase the intensity of the workout.
After going through these basics, Harrow then shows how to use short versions of the routines to save time and maintain fitness.
If weightlifting for golf appeals to you, take a look at The Golfer’s Two-Minute Workout, (Contemporary Books; $12.95 SRP). Peter Sisco and John Little came up with a unique approach that I had some success with when I first reviewed this book several years ago.
In normal weightlifting, complete workouts take a fair amount of time, with repetition a standard practice. Their new alternative technique calls for twelve weight lifts, completed in a total of two minutes or less. These specific lifts target the primary muscle groups used in golf.
In essence, you hold the maximum amount of weight you can, in positions of near-full extension, for 10 to 20 seconds. With appropriate time between workouts, this method leads to substantial gains in strength.
It works, but the method also carries its own special risks. Do not use this system by yourself, especially when the weights you’re lifting reach increasingly heavy levels.
I once reached the point where I felt able to lift 245 pounds in the bench press portion of these exercises. I went to the Dover YMCA during a lunch break to make the attempt.
I held it for a few seconds, but then the bar began slowly moving toward my chest. It came to a stop on my collarbone. I called out “A little help!” to the trim, athletic woman running on the treadmill immediately next to my bench.
She just stared right ahead and kept running.
Fortunately, another weightlifter quickly came up and helped me escape.
This brings me to the last recommendation. Always check with your physician to make sure you’re physically capable of beginning any exercise regimen, even if you think you’re the picture of health.
Otherwise, I suggest you buy a copy of Dr. Divot’s Guide to Golf Injuries, ($19.95 SRP), by Larry Foster, M.D.
You’ll need it more than the rest of us.
Pete Oakley’s 2007 Season
This weekend marks the start of the European Senior Golf Tour for 2007, and Pete Oakley is right there for it.
On February 28, The Rookery’s Director of Golf shot a 1-under par 71 to end the first round tied for 11th in the DGM Barbados Open, at the Royal Westmoreland Resort in Barbados. The three-round event ends March 2.
It’s a tough job, playing golf in the Caribbean, but someone has to do it.