Golf Tips from David Donatucci, Director of Fitness for the PGA of America, at the Senior PGA Championship
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the Official Hospital of The PGA of America and the exclusive supporting sponsor of the PGA’s Let’s Move on Course! initiative. In an ongoing effort to promote walking and overall health, HSS is handing out free pedometers at the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan, this week.
Yesterday we had a special guest appearance at the HSS display by PGA’s Director of Fitness, David Donatucci. Below are some great golf tips he provided to the fans at the HSS display.
1. Warming up before you play is very important. One way to do this is parking your car far from the golf course so that you warm up on your way to the course. When you get to the course, loosen up your shoulders to help improve your rotation when swinging by rotating your shoulders from side to side. Then move to clubs, starting with a putter and working your way to a driver.
For people sitting at a desk all day, I recommend performing spinal extensions (extend arms up and lean back) and lateral bending (work on your golf stance) for 5-10 minutes each hour. This will loosen up your shoulders and improve your swing.
2. It is crucial that golfers stay hydrated on the golf course. Dehydration decreases performance by 10%. I recommend drinking 5 oz. of water every tee box or 60-70 oz. during a day of play. Also, try to drink 10-12 oz. before hitting the golf course. Sports drinks are a good alternative to water and have sodium to help your body retain the liquid.
3. In order to keep your blood sugar balanced, you should carry snacks with both carbohydrates and proteins such as trail mix. Another good option is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread; eat half of the sandwich on the front 9 holes and the second half on the back 9. Snacks should have a 2 to 1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.
4. I emphasize stabilizing and strengthening the core section to further improve your golf game. Posture is crucial in golf, and abdominals, glutes and hamstring strength are important for maintaining good posture. Try doing exercises, like raising and lowering an object while in the proper golf posture. If you need something harder, try it on one leg and then switch to the other.
5. The best cardio workout for a golfer is walking the golf course. Walking on the treadmill is good for your overall health, but it will not prepare you well for golf. The golf course has changing elevation and your body must adjust, therefore walking outside will better prepare you for this.
6. The benefits of walking are endless. Overall, walking more leads to a lifestyle change, thus improving one’s overall health. Again, changing from using a cart to walking the golf course is a great way to get started. Start by walking a few holes and build up to 18. Even if your course requires you to use a golf cart, try walking every other hole, while your partner takes the others.
7. Small changes go a long way. Use a pedometer to track your steps. This will make you more aware of how far you are walking. Try parking your car far from the store or office, forcing you to walk a little more each day. If you sit at a desk, take breaks throughout the day to get up and walk around. Make an effort to change the little things, such as walking to your neighbor’s house instead of driving, taking the stairs at work, etc. Then create a personalized walking account at www.hss.edu/golf to track your steps more easily on and off the golf course. I track my steps online and you should too!
Improving your health can be fun and easy if you do it the right way!