PGAs of EuropeFitness – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Mon, 13 Nov 2017 21:49:28 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/ask/nutrition-for-golf-with-david-dunne/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:53:13 +0000 David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/?p=20284 Nutritionist, David Dunne, gives his insight into considerations when working with golfers of all abilities to maximise performance...]]>

Golf is, without doubt, one of the most exciting opportunities in the world of performance science in 2017. However, despite these high stakes there has been very little research done to date in elite golf.

This forces us as practitioners to extrapolate ideas from other areas of research and trial them with the players we work with as we refine and optimise our strategies and learn from the players, coaches and caddies until the research catches up.

I’m pretty fortunate to have a younger brother on the European Tour who has fast tracked my practitioner learning curve in golf and helped build up some practice based evidence which hopefully over the next few years can be trialled and tested to eventually translate into evidenced based practice.

Until such a time, I hope the following provides an insight into some considerations when working with golfers or even some food for thought (apologies for the pun) for Tour Professionals themselves.

 

Pre Round Fuelling

Golfers are faced with three different fuelling scenarios on a day to day basis. They are either out early (which often means a 5am start!), mid morning, or in the early afternoon.

Despite these timings changing, which may impact on meal timings and portion size, the underlying principles of how to fuel the round don’t.

Ok so what are we looking for? Well when we look at the demands of golf a round generally takes approximately 4 hours, top this up with 60-120 minutes of prep time (warm up, range, putting green, conversations with caddy, etc) and we are looking at about a 5-6 hour shift.

During this 5-6 hour shift mental focus, stable energy levels and adequate hydration are going to be key, as one poor decision or energy dip can ruin your card and separate the winners from the also-rans.

As a result the pre round meal should be finished approximately 90 minutes before the round to give the body time to digest the food and the player time to prepare. The meal itself should contain some high fibre low GI carbohydrates, such as oats, to provide a sustained release of energy over the coming hours.

This portion of carbohydrates should be complemented with a source of high quality protein, such as greek yoghurt or eggs, to not only supply the muscles with amino acids to support muscle maintenance and function but also to aid the production of neuro-transmitters to improve mental focus and induce satiety.

This base of protein and carbs should then be finished off with some high quality dietary sources of fat to provide some low intensity fuel, e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, etc as well as some fruits and/or vegetables to bump up the micronutrient content of the meal.

A simple example of this for a 9am tee time would be a bowl of nutty muesli topped with banana and fresh berries coupled with a 3 egg omelette and a large glass of water at 6.45am. For a 2pm tee time, a baked salmon fillet with a sweet potato and feta salad would also be a good example.

On Course Nutrition

The goal on the course is exactly the same, optimise mental focus, keep stable energy levels and remain hydrated. As a result on course snacks will follow a similar trend aiming to provide some low GI carbs, a moderate amount of protein and some high quality fats.

To ensure a steady supply of energy as well as reducing symptoms of hunger it is best to spread 3-4 snacks out evenly over the round. Depending on the length of the course players may wish to eat on holes 5, 10 and 15 (particularly if it’s a shorter course) or on holes 4, 8, 12 and 16 (better suited to longer and/or slower rounds). These snacks can be prepared (in an ideal world) ahead of time by the player or one of their team or purchased for convenience.

Some great examples of on course snacks that players/their team can prepare would be homemade protein bars, nut and seed “energy” balls, oat based banana bread.

Speaking from experience, some of these snacks can be prepared with no more equipment than a mixing bowl so could be an easy way to kill 10 minutes on a Monday and set you up for the week. However, preparing your own snacks is not always possible so picking up some nuts and seed tubes/bars, bananas, beef jerky and protein bars is also a good call.

What does need to stay more regular than the eating on course is the drinking! The best way to stay on top of this is to not only consume a few mouthfuls of fluid along with each snack, but also on each hole either as you are walking down the fairway or walking to the next tee box. You might find on hot days that you may need to do both!

As for what’s in the bottle, it is best to drink water with additional electrolytes (a simple effervescent tablet will do – sugary sports drinks should be avoided). As a result the player should be equipped with 3-4 agreed on snacks before leaving the locker room and 2 bottles of water and a tube of electrolytes to top up when needed during the round. The only time this may differ is on a Sunday, in which case you always bring more and are fully prepared to go down 19 if required!

Nutrition for Recovery/Sleep

Post-round the shift focuses to recover for the following day’s play. Again this meal should contain some quality protein to aid muscle repair and maintenance however, unlike most sports there is no need to feed high volumes of carbohydrates to refuel, a moderate potion accompanied with some tasty vegetables will do.

For example, a nice lean steak with some mash potato and pan fried vegetables would fit nicely, as would a tasty teriyaki chicken stir-fry with some additional vegetables. This meal is generally the easiest for most players to get right.

This meal should be followed up with a nighttime snack, again to support recovery but also to enhance sleep, e.g. greek yoghurt with tart cherry mixed through.

Nutrition for Travel

As the competition draws to a close on Sunday, most players make their way straight from the locker room to the airport as they head on to the next event. For Tour Professionals, the schedule can be relentless and this high volume of flights, temporary time zones and often new/foreign cuisines all increase the risk of illness for the players and caddies.

These at-risk periods and shifting circadian rhythms should all be supported with appropriate performance planning to not only ensure the player and caddy acclimatise as soon as possible for the next tournament but also minimise the volume of days a player and his caddy may lose to illness.

I hope this gives some insight and sparks some thoughts about how nutrition may impact on a golfer’s performance. With the lack of current evidence available it seems the next step is for the tours to continue to innovate in performance nutrition research – then we can see how well the worlds best can really play.

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This article appears courtesy of the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society – www.basem.co.uk/usems

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Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne
Murray & Dunstan Pair Up For 200 Mile Ryder Cup Run http://www.pgae.com/news/murray-dunstan-pair-up-for-200-mile-ryder-cup-run/ Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:07:59 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19759 Fitness fanatics, Dr Andrew Murray & Paul Dunstan, are teaming up to run 200 miles from Wentworth Club in England to Le Golf National in France...]]>

Two fitness fanatics from the world of golf, Dr Andrew Murray and Paul Dunstan, will team up to run 200 miles from Wentworth Club, England – the home of Ryder Cup Europe – to the host venue of The 2018 Ryder Cup- Le Golf National in France.

The pair will run in excess of a marathon for seven days, while taking on various golfing challenges each day in their rest breaks, including the British Speedgolf Open, and a GolfSixes, culminating in a final round of 18 holes at Le Golf National’s famous course upon reaching their final destination.

The run coincides with the Year to Go celebrations as Europe and USA prepare to lock horns in the 42nd Ryder Cup, one of the world’s greatest sporting contests, and will raise money for “Golf In Society”, enabling people with dementia to continue to play the game.

Dr Murray, a brand ambassador for Merrell UK is no stranger to long distance challenges having famously once ran 4300km from far north Scotland to the Sahara desert. However the 36 year old who also works as a Sports and Exercise Medicine consultant with the University of Edinburgh, and the European Tour Golf is recovering from a recent hospital admission with viral meningitis in mid August, and knows it won’t be easy.

Paul Dunstan & Dr Andrew Murray

“We will be racking up about 50,000 to 60,000 steps per day, eating about 5000 calories and will be on the move golfing and running most of each day,” Dr Murray said.

“We want to highlight that exercise in the great outdoors is the best thing you can do for your health. Going from being a couch potato to walking, running, or playing golf regularly can add seven years to life, it can improve health and on average make you happier. We’re urging everyone to get outside and get walking, running, golfing, or any other activity you enjoy.”

Paul Dunstan, Ryder Cup Operations Director with the European Tour added, “I’m not entirely sure what I’ve let myself in for, I enjoy running as well as golf but ask me at the end of the seven days how I feel about them! However, the main aim of the challenge is to promote the many benefits of not just golf and running, but exercise in general and having an active lifestyle, as well as funding for Golf In Society, if we can achieve these two objectives the sore legs we’ll have at the end will be worth it.“

The pair hope to raise £5000 for Golf In Society, improving the lives of persons with Dementia and Parkinson’s disease by supporting them to continue playing golf, offering additional benefits to their carers. They can be supported at this link www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/GolfAndMentalHealth.


Golf In Society are pioneering dementia friendly golf, aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia by introducing/ reacquainting them to golf. golfinsociety.com/2015/11/10/uks-first-dementia-friendly-golf-club-launches-in-lincon/

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Murray & Dunstan Pair Up For 200 Mile Ryder Cup Run
Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-health-project-launches-to-highlight-how-golf-can-benefit-all/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:48:50 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=16996 The recently launched Golf & Health Project will academically research and highlight how the game can benefit peoples’ lives, and ultimately help to grow golf]]>
  • New and unique project aiming to assess the health and wellbeing benefits of golf has launched around the world
  • An academically rigorous methodology examines pre-existing research
  • Innovative new research will fill knowledge gaps and show golf’s role in health and wellbeing

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., USA) – World Golf Foundation (WGF) – the non-profit organization developing and supporting initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values – announces the launch of the Golf & Health Project, academically researching and highlighting how the game can benefit peoples’ lives.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, led by Dr. Andrew Murray and under the supervision of leading international academics, Professor Nanette Mutrie and Professor Liz Grant, have conducted the largest, most comprehensive study of golf and health, with the results shown in a Scoping Review published in the world’s leading sports medicine and science journal, The British Journal of Sports Medicine. In total, 5,000 papers were reviewed to provide a comprehensive view on the impact of the game on health, illness prevention (and management) and associated injuries (infographic).

Key benefits include improvements in life expectancy and quality of life, as well as physical and mental health benefits. Golf is expected to decrease the risk of more than 40 major chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, colon and breast cancer. Current research shows that golf has positive impacts on cholesterol, body composition, metabolism, and longevity.

golf-and-health_infographic_main_webThe Project launches with support from all of golf’s major organisations, along with an initial eight ambassadors from around the world with more than 30 majors and 350 wins between them – Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), Brooke Henderson (Canada), Gary Player (South Africa), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Ryann O’Toole (USA), So Yeon Ryu (South Korea), and Zach Johnson (USA).

“I am delighted to be an Ambassador for the Golf & Health Project and wholeheartedly support the work they are doing to prove the health and wellbeing benefits of golf,” explained Gary Player, nine-time Major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member. “The systematic and academic confirmation of the physical and mental benefits golf gives people will be of great use to us all to spread the word to institutions, governments and the entire world!”

Current information from the Scoping Review and future research findings will continue to be available through the Golf & Health website – www.golfandhealth.org. This information is designed to be practical and usable by golf’s stakeholders to help develop the sport around the world.

The project also aims to show existing and future benefits that are identified are applicable to individuals of all ages throughout society, not just a specific sub-section of the population.

The WGF and the major golf organizations represented on its Board of Directors, along with partners such as the PGAs of Europe and the University of Edinburgh, academic collaborators and supporters from the University of California at San Francisco, and various other organizations, are working together on the Project with a view to sharing its work around the globe.

“The importance of the Golf & Health Project in the development of the sport is vital, not just for the WGF’s partners, but everyone involved with golf around the world,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “This Project is something we can all get behind, as it is universally agreed that golf is good for you. It is going to provide real, tangible resources that can be used by governments and politicians, professional tours, governing bodies, golf businesses, PGA Professionals and more – all to the sport’s benefit.”

The Project is planning various research-led activities to further prove areas of interest and also expand into currently under-researched areas such as the mental health benefits of golf, physical benefits in older players and the positive effects of spectating.

“For a number of years we’ve felt we’ve underplayed the likely benefits of golf on peoples’ health,” added Golf & Health Project Executive Director and European Tour Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roger Hawkes. “Over the last two or three years, there seems to be an interest from various bodies and we’ve been able to bring together that interest to actually study this area.”

Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All
[INFOGRAPHIC] Exploring the Health & Well Being Benefits of Golf http://www.pgae.com/news/exploring-the-health-well-being-benefits-of-golf-infographic/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:31:11 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17001 The Golf & Health Project have produced a free and open to use infographic looking at just some of the many and varied benefits of golf...]]>

The Golf & Health Project have produced a free and open to use infographic looking at just some of the many and varied benefits of golf already identified by the Project’s initial research Scoping Review.

The Scoping Review was carried out together with the University of Edinburgh and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Right-click the infographic to save your copy to use at your club, facility, or business.

golf-and-health_infographic_main_web

Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Exploring the Health & Well Being Benefits of Golf
Lance Gill: What Golf Instructors Should Know About Fitness http://www.pgae.com/ask/lance-gill-what-golf-instructors-should-know-about-fitness/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:51:38 +0000 Golf in the Life of http://www.pgae.com/?p=15165 Lance Gill explains how we’ve placed the wrong expectations on fitness, with no ONE result from fitness.]]>

We’ve placed the wrong expectations on fitness. There is no ONE result from fitness. This is just one of the concepts Lance, Lead Instructor for TPI Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness Seminars shares during this conversation.

Myth #1 – Fitness pros are out to steal your client.

A client doesn’t have to choose golf instruction or fitness. In fact Lance uses the term “pit crew” quite a few times to suggest the idea of a team effort.

Myth #2 – It takes 6 weeks to make a change.

“I’ve never built the same program twice”

Myth #3 – We’re going to ruin your golfer.

It’s all about making a plan getting closer to goals. Not just bulking up. Golf fitness and beach fitness are TOTALLY different.

There is no ONE result from starting a fitness program.

One thing Lance asks of instructors is to become educated in his world. Meaning that by understanding the body you’ll be able to better understand the role and needs of fitness in a training program. Fitness professionals are learning about the golf swing shouldn’t instructors be doing the same?

The biggest issues with certifications and continuing education is how are you going to make your money back. Lance covers a FANTASTIC concept you can easily implement. Who you should market it to. How you should run it. And what you can expect. (this is about 15 minutes in).

If you’re a golf instructors Lance believe you should go get help for you and your game from a TPI professional.

We also got some great questions from the Young Teaching Professionals group on Facebook. (great group by the way hosted by past guest Andrew Rice)

Some of the questions we cover

  • Do students get longer when working out?
  • How effective is transfer training when hitting a golf ball well?
  • How often is injury and pain due to physical issues rather than technical?

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Lance Gil is the Co-Director of the Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Advisory Board and the Lead Instructor for TPI Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness Seminars globally. He has personally taught over 10,000 experts in the fields of; Golf Fitness, Golf Instruction, Medicine, Junior and Biomechanical proficiencies.

He is the President of LG Performance, a private Golf Performance based company specializing in the betterment of golfers (from tour professionals to junior development) in the areas of; Fitness, Screening, Biomechanics, Instruction, Mental, Nutritional, Programming, and Life Coaching. Find out more at www.lgperformance.com.

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Lance Gill: What Golf Instructors Should Know About Fitness
Balance in Golf & How You Can Improve It http://www.pgae.com/ask/balance-in-golf-how-you-can-improve-it/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:37:26 +0000 Riikka Hakkarainen http://www.pgae.com/?p=17012 "A long-time coach of mine truly believes that the great shots are made in the follow through - something that is often the last thing we thing we think about."]]>

A long-time coach of mine truly believes that the great shots (and golfers) are made in the follow through.

Think about it for a moment and it starts to make sense! We are so worried about the take away, the top of the backswing, not to mention downswing…

…So the follow through is often the last thing to worry about and often “just happens”!

But it all makes perfect sense: if you have any balance, flexibility, posture, core stability or strength issues while swinging a golf club  – you will end up compensating and often these patterns show loud and clear at your follow through.

Losing balance, funky-looking and often massive efforts from wrist, elbows or legs to force the club back into plane are the most common telltale signs.

Your facial expressions after the shot will also be worth a thousand words on how repetitive your swing is and how comfortable your body feels doing it. Have you ever smiled while hitting a shot or even at your follow through? It’s well worth trying, if it doesn’t work for you try something else – a “cool” or “neutral face”, as long as you don’t repetitively grind your teeth and look miserable!

Also next time you watch golf (ether live or on TV), pay attention how professional golfers look after they have hit the ball or a putt and it will tell you a lot about what is going on in his/her mind.

Your feet are amazing feel transmitters to your brain – they provide your body the essential information concerning where your body is in space.

Swinging with bare feet often gives you whole new sensation of balance and in fact you are able to feel more what’s going on within your body! When I played on Ladies European Tour I had a habit to do a monthly check up with my swing basics (aiming, ball positioning, etc.) and I often started the day swinging without golf shoes, as this gave me so much information on my weight distribution before the swing as well as the weight transfer during the golf swing. It only takes few minutes so it’s well worth a try!

You can improve the body’s ability to send sensory feedback by very simple trick of massaging the feet with tennis ball. Start standing and placing a tennis ball under your foot. Apply firm pressure (but not agony!) to the ball and try covering all areas of your foot for at least 2 minutes.

Massaging your foot also relaxes your Myofaschial Superficial Back line and therefore helps your overall flexibility.

Have fun swinging barefoot!

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Balance in Golf & How You Can Improve It
Golf’s Many Benefits Brought to the Fore in Health Study – University of Edinburgh http://www.pgae.com/news/golfs-many-benefits-brought-to-the-fore-in-health-study-university-of-edinburgh/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:08:52 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17004 Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve mental health, a study suggests.]]>

Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve mental health, a study suggests.

The sport has physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows.

Researchers reviewed 5000 studies into golf and wellbeing to build a comprehensive picture of the sport’s health benefits, as well as its potential drawbacks.

Findings show that golf is likely to improve cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health.

Playing golf could also help those who suffer chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and stroke, the study found.

The physical benefits of golf increase with age, researchers from the University of Edinburgh said.

Balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing the sport, the review also found.

A regular game of golf can help players meet and exceed minimum government recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The study found that golfers typically burn a minimum of 500 calories over 18 holes.

Golfers walking 18 holes can cover four to eight miles, while those using an electric golf cart typically chalk up four miles.

Increased exposure to sunshine and fresh air were found to be additional benefits.

The physical aspects of golf could also help reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, the researchers say.

final_pdf_golf-and-health-long_web

The study is part of the Golf & Health Project, which is led by the World Golf Foundation. The initiative aims to increase the understanding of golf in health and wellbeing.

Future research will include the effects of golf on mental health, muscle strengthening and balance.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy, has mental health benefits, and can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.”

“Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth. Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.”

Padraig Harrington, a vice-captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup, three-time major champion and Golf & Health Ambassador, said: “The Golf & Health Project is clearly taking an important step forward to shine a light on the benefits of our sport. I have seen how impactful golf can be on peoples’ wellbeing – now it’s time to get this message out there.”

Fellow ambassador Annika Sorenstam, a 12-time major champion, said: “Healthy living is a subject that’s very close to my heart, especially when it comes to educating the next generation. I strongly believe playing golf helps people stay fit, active and healthy. The Golf & Health Project will help all of us better promote the sport’s physical and mental benefits.”

For further information, video footage and images please contact:

Andrew Moffat, Press and PR Office; Tel +44 131 650 9836; Email andrew.moffat@ed.ac.uk

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Golf’s Many Benefits Brought to the Fore in Health Study – University of Edinburgh
Golf Performance – Sleep, Air Travel & Jet Lag http://www.pgae.com/ask/golf-performance-sleep-air-travel-jet-lag/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:22:15 +0000 European Tour Performance Institute http://www.pgae.com/?p=14999 From week to week, a huge number of variables place demands on touring golfers, their bodies and their performance...]]>

Professional Golf – The Many Variables that Can Affect Performance

Among the best golfers in the world playing on the European Tour, the standard and depth of quality is exceptionally high. For them, the difference between winning and coming second or making their tour card versus missing out can come down to the smallest of margins.

From week to week, a huge number of variables place demands on them, their bodies and their performance. These all need to be accounted for and fully understood. For most people (and particularly athletes) the body responds well to and likes routines, structure and balance. As a professional golfer travelling the world with the modern international schedule of golf, this can sometimes be very hard to achieve.

Over the next couple of articles we will be talking about the importance of sleep, diet, hydration and travel for the professional and recreational golfer alike. In this blog article we will be discussing sleep and air travel.

Sleep patterns among professional golfers can be hugely variable due to time zone changes, jet lag, very early or very late tee times, media requirements and travel delays to name a few. We know that sleep is a crucial factor in human physical and mental health and performance.

The recommended amount of sleep varies between people depending on age, sex and activity, but generally 8 hours a night is a guideline figure. It has been shown that sports people require more sleep than the general public and performance factors are increased with an extra hour of sleep a night on top of the average.

Sleep deprivation can have several effects on people and athletes/golfers performance including:

  • Hormone changes – reduced duration of sleep has been linked with increased levels of cortisol. This is also known as a stress hormone and has been linked with reduced healing, increased risk of injuries and reduced memory. It is also linked with reduced levels of the body’s natural growth hormone, which helps the body repair.
  • Reduced energy – sleep deprivation reduces your body’s ability to store glycogen. Although often seen as an energy source needed during endurance events, it is still a key component of the energy requirements in sports such as golf.
  • Reduced decision making and reflexes – evidence shows that sports people who don’t get enough sleep are worse at making split second decisions and are less accurate in their performance (these are also similar effects of dehydration which we will discuss in another piece)

As I write this article I am 35,000 ft in the air on a plane travelling 3 hrs 45 minutes to Morocco for the Trophee Hassan II, with the entire journey today taking 9 hours from door to door. Many of the golfers playing in this tournament have travelled much further and crossed many more time zones.

This is a common necessity for players and staff on the European Tour every week, with the 2014 schedule featuring 48 tournaments in 26 countries worldwide. Air travel has many effects on the body of which ‘jet lag’ is one.

Jet lag is linked with a de-synchronisation of circadian rhythms and its impact depends on a number of factors e.g. the duration and direction of the flight, crossing multiple time zones, repeated and regular journeys with little time for acclimatisation and individual differences between people.

Some simple tips for trying to combat the effects of time zone changes and jet lag are:-

  • If over 3 hrs time difference, try and arrive 24hrs prior to your first day practice/training.
  • If you want to sleep later in the morning when you arrive, close the curtains and black out the room as much as possible.
  • If you want to wake earlier, keep the curtains open when you go to bed, which will accustom you naturally to the morning light.
  • Change your watch to the new time zone before you get on the flight, and then start eating/sleeping to the new time zone immediately (if a time change of longer than 4-6 hours try and do this the day before you leave to start your bodies acclimatisation to the new time zone.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol/caffeine the day before, during the flight and the day after.- Maintain adequate levels of fluid intake (preferably 2-3L of water/day).
  • Wear compression socks during flights

The effects of prolonged periods of inactivity and long haul travel are well documented. As well as professional golfers, it is as important for the general population to ensure that they follow guidance and have regular breaks from sitting on a plane. They should carry out simple, regular exercises to promote blood flow and prevent the effects of prolonged inactivity and static postures on a flight.

In the fiercely competitive world of modern professional golf, it is vital that every aspect of a golfer’s preparation is optimised and good health is maintained as much as possible. The above tips can help to reduce the affects of air travel and maximize the benefits of sleep.

Nigel Tilley is a Consultant Physiotherapist on the European Tour Physio Unit and ETPI.

REFERENCES

Lemmer, B., Kern, R.I., Nold, G., & Lohrer, H. (2002). Jet lag inathletes after eastward and westward time-zone transition.Chronobiology International , 19, 743_764.

Waterhouse, J., Reilly, T., & Edwards, B. (2004). The stress oftravel. Journal of Sports Sciences , 22, 946_966.

Beaumont, M., Bate´jat, D., Pie´rard, C., Van Beers, P., Denis,J. B., Coste, O., et al. (2004). Caffeine or melatonin effects onsleep and sleepiness after rapid eastward transmeridian travel.Journal of Applied Physiology, 96, 50_58.

Drust, B., Waterhouse, J., Atkinson, G., Edwards, B., & Reilly, T.(2005). Circadian rhythms in sports performance: An update.Chronobiology International , 22, 21_44.

Reilly T., Atkinson G., Edwards B., Waterhouse J., Akerstedt T., Davenne D., Lemmer B. and Wirz-Justice A. (2007) Coping with Jet-lag: A position statement for the European College of Sports Science. European Journal of Sports Science, 7, 1, -7

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Golf Performance – Sleep, Air Travel & Jet Lag
To Lift or Not to Lift? These Are the Questions… http://www.pgae.com/ask/to-lift-or-not-to-lift-these-are-the-questions/ Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:35:38 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15645 Dr Ben Langdown & Jack Wells explore some key questions about fitness for golfers, specifically when it comes to strength training...]]>

Strength Training, Athletes, and the PGA Professional

In the past few years the area of strength training has been a bone of contention in the golf world with many players attributing improved performance and increased successes to this type of training, whilst others have been critical about the impact it may have on their game.

We ask experts Dr Ben Langdown and Jack Wells from the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland some key questions about fitness for golfers, specifically when it comes to strength training.

How can strength training help a golfer improve performance?

BL – There are various ways – strength, stability, mobility, the clubhead speed is probably the obvious one and therefore distance and that’s potentially what most golfers are looking for when they come and do some strength and conditioning work.

Although others are just looking for – can they get into certain positions within the swing that their coach is trying to work on, and therefore we’re looking at the specific restrictions or limitations that they’ve got in their body and using strength and conditioning to aid that and improve their mobility and their stability.

Who should be taking part in strength training and how does a coach determine if a student should start strength training?

BL – Anybody can take part strength training – and the best way to find out as a PGA Professional if your client actually wants to, or needs to, take part is to ask him or her.

Do they want to see quicker benefits from the training that they’re doing, so not just practicing on the range but also can they reap the rewards of doing strength training in the gym? Basically anybody can do strength training as long as there’s no underlying health issues or injuries currently in place.

JW – This has to be guided by them [the athlete] really, and it might be a conversation that you bring in. If they’re looking to increase their driving distance and you feel that technically you’ve done quite a lot but actually they probably need to increase their clubhead speed through different areas, then engaging in strength & conditioning might be something that you approach with them. If that is something they want to do you can seek out an individual that will help them with that.

What strength training should people be doing?

BL – Strength training should be targeted to each individual. People can go and do a generic programme but they’re not necessarily going to get the maximum benefit from doing that. If you can target that strength training programme or strength & conditioning to that individual then you can hit the needs of that golfer and therefore they’re going to get maximum reward.

Does strength training limit a golfer’s ability to be flexible and mobile?

BL – No, is the short answer. There’s research out there that demonstrates that golfers who do strength training correctly can actually increase their flexibility and their mobility through doing their training.

There was this myth in the past that golfers should stay away from all sorts of strength training because it would of limited their movements in the swing, but actually that is a myth and there’s evidence out there now that shows flexibility can be increased.

How can coaches incorporate strength training into their teaching remit?

BL – The best way to do this is to work with a team – PGA Professionals, unless they’ve got themselves an additional qualification, they’re not insured to provide fitness or strength & conditioning advice. Therefore if they have done an additional qualification and they’ve got insurance on the back of that, then that’s fine, they can deliver the whole package themselves if they wish to.

Otherwise PGA Professionals can do some basic physiological or musculoskeletal screening that are looking for any restrictions in the movements that they want a golfer to do but in terms of providing correct exercises or strength & conditioning advice, that’s where they need to refer out to a specialist.

JW – Golf coaches who actually want to get into this field need to start to seek out professionals. But what a coach can perhaps do is start to incorporate things like warm-ups…and that will hopefully help them be suitably potentiated to hit the golf ball but also to bring in some movement patterns that will help them going forwards.

Who should a PGA Professional work with to carry out strength training with athletes and how can they incorporate them into an athlete’s performance mix?

BL – There’s always this, again, maybe a myth that the strength & conditioning coach or the physiotherapist is going to try and pinch [steal] the golfer. But PGA Professionals shouldn’t be afraid of working alongside a fitness team. So they’re the people that should be doing the full assessment.

There’s no reason why a PGA Professional can’t look at certain movements and positions. But then it should be the strength & conditioning coach or the physiotherapist who actually puts a programme together to develop that golfer as an athlete.

JW – So if they work with someone who has a good understanding of the fundamental movements that are involved with the swing then actually that is a good grounding for working with a specialist.

BL – Maybe give them some free golf lessons in exchange for some free fitness advice or physiotherapy sessions in order to up-skill the team that they’re working with.

Are there concerns with injuries in strength training? What are the warning signs and what should a PGA Professional do?

JW – I think with any sport there is always a risk and a concern of injury. If we look within golf we see that the in the amateur side there’s a lot of lower back injuries whereas at the top end of the spectrum it’s wrist and elbow injuries.

Actually engaging in strength training might help these individuals – so amateurs could be a little bit more robust to cope with the dynamic patterns of the swing. But also in terms of the elite end of the spectrum, a lot of the injuries involved with the wrists and elbows are potentially through overuse.

BL – Done in the right way, there shouldn’t be any concerns with injuries. Under supervision from a strength & conditioning coach or physiotherapist then actually we should be building athletes that are robust to injuries.

If people are going off into the gym doing there own thing and using incorrect techniques, maybe using too much load when their body isn’t ready for that load, then potentially there could be an increased risk of injury.

JW – If they [the PGA Professional] start to see a really bad ball flight and the player then says they’re struggling with this shot because they’re feeling pain in their left should or hands…then these are warning signs that perhaps hitting a number of golf shots is not going to help in the long run, and actually might potentially make that injury worse.

So it may just be discussing with them [the athlete] verbally or it might be something that occurs through performance. Sometimes it might involve a little bit of digging and learning a little more about the person in-front of you and trying to find out what’s going on.

BL – If the PGA Professionals spots any signs of over-training [or injury], first of all sit down with the golfer and just get them to outline what they’ve done in the past few weeks. If the PGA Professional doesn’t know how to deal with this then seek advice from maybe a sports scientist, strength & conditioning coach or physiotherapist.

Is it safe for juniors to engage with strength training?

JW – Absolutely – There’s so much research supporting the notion of actually getting juniors to engage in strength & conditioning. The golf swing has more force going through it than any form of lifting really so actually swinging a golf club is potentially, you could argue, more injurious than engaging in strength training.

BL – Again this is another myth that has been out there that juniors shouldn’t be doing any strength & conditioning work, lifting any weights, should stay away from the gym because it’s going to cause them injuries or cause them long-term problems.

Juniors should be in the gym if they want to be and if they need to be in terms of their goals and their development. Even things like fundamental movement skills can be done within a golf environment or they can be done within a gym. So developing those movements that are going to be able to create them as an athlete rather than just a golfer. Things like hopping, skipping, throwing, catching, running, dodging, or jumping – all of those fundamental movement skills that eventually lead to them becoming a robust athlete, and therefore cope with the demands of the sport a lot better.

JW – Other things that juniors will do naturally like climbing trees, learning how to walk, picking up their bike out of the garage, jumping over walls – these are effectively strength training. Engaging in that sort of activity naturally is the same almost applying a bespoke strength & conditioning programme.

Why are there golfers winning majors that do not engage in any form of fitness training?

BL – So this doesn’t help our cause as sports scientists or strength & conditioning coaches, but there’s always exceptions to the rule. There are going to be players out there that potentially aren’t engaging in strength & conditioning work currently, but you’ve got to ask what have they done in their youth, in their development period. They may have engaged in a lot of different sports as they were growing up and therefore they’ve developed these fundamental movement skills to become a golfer.

JW – Strength training is just one vehicle to successful performance, obviously the strongest golfer doesn’t necessarily win every tournament because there are other important parameters such as what’s going on at impact, to the mental side of the game.

BL – Occasionally you’re getting someone winning a major or a tournament that hasn’t engaged in strength & conditioning, but the ones at the top week-in, week-out are the ones that are athletes that are training. Putting in the hours in terms of not just practice but in the gym as well and working with that team around them.


Author-Circles_Ben-LangdownAuthor-Circles_Jack-Wells

Dr Ben Langdown is the Training Executive for Sports Science at the PGA National Training Academy at The Belfry. Alongside this Ben also works with many elite amateur and professional golfers providing strength and conditioning support. Ben has a PhD in the field of golf biomechanics, studying strength and conditioning for golf and movement variability in the swing.  Follow Ben at @BenLangdown.

Jack Wells is Education Officer (Golf Coaching & Sports Science) for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @Jackwells009.

 

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To Lift or Not to Lift? These Are the Questions…
How to Plan An Athlete’s Golf Season…and WIN! http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-plan-an-athletes-golf-seasonand-win/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:07:14 +0000 Riikka Hakkarainen http://www.pgae.com/?p=15005 Planing an athlete's training across the season is a hugely important element of their development and performance - Riikka Hakkarainen explains more...]]>

I got all creative when my client asked: “How you plan your season and training?”

Base Training Phase 1

After an athlete’s summer you should always start with Base Training Phase 1. The first six weeks is time dedicated taking care of the flexibility, balance, stability and core issues they may have.

Starting with the basics, even if the athlete has trained for many years, is important – compare it to building a foundation for your future house or a pyramid (see my creative drawing!). All the future work you do is based on how well you have done your foundations and that needs to be solid as a rock!

Circuit training of 15 repetitions is common format and your program should include lots of flexibility and stability exercises! During this time take care of the technical issues of their swing and do basic training on the short game and putting, so if you’re an athlete and you haven’t already, go and book session with your golf coach and go to work!

Article-Header-Images_Riikka-Hakkarainen_Plan-Your-Season_02

Base Training Phase 2

Base Training Phase 2 [that usually starts ideally before January time] involves more strength work (and core) and repetitions go down. ‘How many is ideal?’ I hear you ask – this obviously depends on various things; their training (and injury) history and what the athlete’s goals are. You should concentrate on a few areas and get them super strong! With your golf training switch your focus more towards short game and their creating different shots.

Pre-Season

Pre-season (March-April time) is all about developing further your strength and slowly getting into the power training. Training from the previous Phases should be so solid that power exercises that involve lots of medicine ball throws, should be relatively easy to perform and the athlete should feel pretty fresh after their workouts. Their golf training should be all about getting better at scoring so lot’s of playing and loads more short game!

Mid-Season

During the golf season the athlete will probably tend to play a lot, so this training phase mainly involves maintaining the strength and power that they build over the winter months, getting those low scores onto the scoreboard and winning tournaments!!!

Good luck with planning your athlete’s next season and if you need help with it we are happy to help!

Riikka

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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How to Plan An Athlete’s Golf Season…and WIN!
Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries – Part 1: The Wrist http://www.pgae.com/ask/physiotherapy-and-golf-injuries-part-1-the-wrist/ Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:33:01 +0000 European Tour Performance Institute http://www.pgae.com/?p=13262 In the first of a special series, the experts at ETPI.com look at the effect of repeated large forces on the body that can lead to different types of injury...]]>

In the first of a series of articles on injuries common in golfers of all abilities, ETPI.com’s Nigel Tilley – a Consultant Physiotherapist on The European Tour – examines potential wrist problems and recovery routes.

Golf is a sport with many health and well-being benefits. It is played across the world by people of all ages including into their 80’s and 90’s with a reported 60 million participants.  The health benefits have been widely reported in recent years with an 18-hole round representing somewhere between six to eight kilometres of walking and often requiring physical exertion across variable outdoor terrain.  This can burn more than 1,500 calories as well as requiring more than 8,000-12,000 steps.

A recent Scandinavian study of more than 300,000 golfers showed that people who play golf on a regular basis have a 40 per cent decreased mortality rate compared to their peers, which equates to a five year increase in life expectancy – regardless of gender or socio-economic status.

Another study found that walking 18 holes of golf was the equivalent of moderate-high intensity exercise for the elderly and moderate for the middle-aged.

But it isn’t just physical benefits to be gained from playing golf.  The sport suits participants of all ages, abilities, sex and age, who can all play together providing unparalleled socialisation opportunities and psychosocial benefit.

Golf is much more than just walking and can be very demanding, requiring strength, endurance, explosive power, flexibility and athletic ability to perform a movement which produces some of the fastest club head and ball speeds of any sport.

However. the effect of repeated large forces on the body can lead to a number of different types of injuries. Due to the biomechanical requirements of such an asymmetrical swing, these are often specific to certain areas and sides of the body in golfers depending on their lead side.  For instance, right handed golfers, wholead with the left side, are more likely to suffer from Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) injuries on the left wrist and Dorsal Rim Impaction Syndrome DRIS injuries on the right wrist.

A wealth of research has been conducted on the types and likelihood of injuries experienced by golfers with the back, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hips appearing the main areas of the body prone to problems.

These injuries are generally caused by acute trauma, poor technique, a lack of physical conditioning, the accumulated effect of repetitive movements over many years or a combination of these factors while, interestingly, the occurrence of certain pathologies differ between amateur and professional golfers.

Now, in the first part of our series on golf injuries and physiotherapy, we look at the wrist, potential injuries to the joint and associated soft tissue, and how physiotherapy can help in the treatment and rehabilitation of an injury in order to fast-track recovery and help return you to activity as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Wrist Injuries

There are a large range of common wrist injuries in golf but in this brief study we will concentrate on one commonly seen in a variety of golfers. – the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) injury.

What Is It?

The ECU is a skeletal muscle located on the ulnar side of the forearm which acts to extend and adduct the wrist.  It has to work very hard during the golf swing and so is highly prone to injury in golfers.  ECU pathologies include tenosynovitis of the tendon sheath, tendinopathy, tendon disruption and tendon instability.  These injuries can occur in isolation or combined and can be caused by high force trauma, such as hitting a tree root or thick grass, rapid increase in loading, continued excessive loading and technique faults. This can lead to a variety of changes at the tissues depending on the stage, severity or structure affected including cellular tissue disruption, thickening, matrix breakdown and increased vascularity.

How does physiotherapy treat this type of injury?

The key aim of physiotherapy is to attempt to clearly identify the injury and its cause.  This greatly helps direct the golfer’s treatment and management.  Often this type of injury will require ‘load modification’ with more traumatic sudden onset injuries requiring immediate removal of load and PRICE protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) or POLICE (protection, OPTIMAL LOADING, ice, compression, elevation).  The aim here is to reduce the bleeding and swelling from the injury site if severe tissue disruption such as a partial or full rupture has occurred.

In presentations that have a more gradual non-traumatic onset, a reduction rather than removal of load is often required.  This reduction in load can be achieved by encouraging the hitting of less balls or avoiding hitting from hard ground or mats – which often increase the stress on these tissues.  There are several strapping techniques which physiotherapists use that can also help to stabilise the wrist and give support to the structures.

In layman’s terms if your problem is a slow gradual onset of pain and symptoms in the outside of the wrist a reduction in the amount of balls that you hit or stopping practicing on hard winter matts may help to reduce symptoms and allow recovery  In situations where a sharp and sudden onset occurs after a specific incident (like hitting a tree root or when hitting out of heavy rough) you may need to stop playing golf immediately for a period of time and see a physiotherapist of wrist specialist for a detailed assessment of your injury.

The rehabilitation of injuries to the ECU and its associated structures depends on the exact injury and the severity of the tendinopathy.  But where no severe tissue disruption has occurred – as opposed to partial and full ruptures, which could require surgical opinions or interventions- the aim is to gradually restore the tissues ability to tolerate load through load management, isometric and eccentric exercises and graduated return to play.  As with so many injuries in golf it is key that technique and playing habits are reviewed to help identify solutions to poor technique and practice faults which can often lead to excessive stresses on certain parts of the body. For example, reduced ability to separate your pelvis from your upper body during the back swing is often associated with a higher incidence of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries, due to the poor swing techniques these limitations create.

A golf-specific physio such as those that work at the ETPI in Terre Blanche and Jumeirah Golf Estates will be able to help you with these sort of biomechanical adjustments or conduct a joint assessment with a golf coach or instructor.

For safety, optimum treatment and to reduce the risk of re-injury, players and patients should visit and complete a full assessment of all injuries and receive treatment and rehabilitation under the guidance of a chartered physiotherapist.

Part 2 of this series on ‘Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries’ will look at ‘The shoulder’ and will be out next week.

To see an in depth guide for sports physicians and physiotherapists on examining the wrist and assessing its injuries you can watch this video by European Tour Chief Medical Officer Dr Roger Hawkes and Consultant Wrist & Hand surgeon Mr Doug Campbell:

The European Tour Performance Institutes in Terre Blanche, France and at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai have highly qualified and expert physiotherapists, osteopaths, medical staff, biomechanists and support staff that are able to help you with your injury assessment, diagnosis, treatment and improve your golf performance.  To arrange a visit or book an appointment with them email:

Terre Blanche –  Email: info@biomecaswing.com

Jumeirah Golf Estates – Email: ETPI@jumeirahgolfestates.com

Glossary of Terms

Isometric – is a type of strength training (muscle action) in which the joint angle or muscle length do not change during the muscle contraction.

Eccentric – Is active contraction of a muscle occurring simultaneously with lengthening of the muscle.  The muscle elongates while undertension due to an oppossing force greater than the muscle generates.

Concentric – A concentric muscle action is a type of muscle contraction where the muscle is shortening while generating force.  This occurs when the force generate dby the muscle exceeds the load opposing its contraction.

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Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries – Part 1: The Wrist