Monday, 14 July 2014

Optimal Hydration...

 Susan Kundrat , MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, is the Sports Dietitian at the University of Illinois and President of Nutrition on the Move, Inc.

Susan wrote the following article that I thought was extremely important for my viewers to take the time and read.
The need for golfers to hydrate cannot be stressed enough as players are outside, often in hot weather, for hours at a time. Just a one-percent loss in bodyweight from dehydration increases the heart rate. And a two-percent drop in bodyweight from dehydration can begin to affect performance significantly--including impaired motor skills and cognitive thinking.

Going into play well hydrated and sticking to a hydration schedule is imperative. As a general rule, after their pre-round meal that includes fluids, golfers should plan to drink at least eight ounces of fluid every hour leading up to play, and at least eight to 16 ounces of water or sports drink every four to five holes.
"Starting the round hydrated and staying that way is important," says Melinda Valliant, PhD, RD, CSSD, Sports Dietitian at the University of Mississippi. "While it's a low intensity sport, NCAA golfers are required to walk the course and commonly play 36 holes a day. Getting in adequate fluids leading up to play can really make a difference once the golfers get on the course."

Although some golfers prefer water, sports drinks are generally a better choice because of the added carbohydrates and electrolytes. Water may work just fine on cooler days when players are not sweating excessively, as long as they are taking in enough carbohydrates through consistent snacks during the round. The key is to ingest at least 30 grams of carbohydrates per hour, or 16 ounces of sports drink over nine holes.
In hot, humid weather, fluid intake may need to be doubled. When golfers are noticeably sweating, sports drinks are a better choice than water because of their ability to replace electrolytes, especially sodium. Players should consider storing powdered sports drink packets in their bags so they can mix them into their water bottle on the course, depending on conditions.

In moderate amounts, caffeinated drinks can be an advantage for players since caffeine may enhance alertness, but golfers should experiment with caffeinated drinks in practice before utilizing them during competition. Too much caffeine can have negative effects like jitteriness, shakiness, or an inability to concentrate. 

A 2009 study from Northumbria University in England supports golfers consuming sports drinks containing carbohydrates and a small amount of caffeine. Researchers had 20 male golfers each play a round of golf, with the players consuming two different fluids before playing the sixth and 12th holes. The double-blind study found that the golfers who drank a carbohydrate-caffeine drink (6.4 grams carbohydrate and 16 milligrams caffeine per 100 milliliters) improved their putting performance and experienced lower perceived mental fatigue when compared to those who consumed a no-energy, flavor-matched placebo beverage. 

Golfers should also vary hydration plans in different climates to figure out how to maintain hydration levels. For example, in cooler weather, six to eight ounces of water or a sports drink may be adequate every four to five holes, whereas in hot weather, 12 to 16 ounces of fluid in that time is more appropriate. When the weather is both hot and humid, some golfers will need to bump up their hydration plan to 20 or more ounces every four to five holes, being sure to drink at every hole. 

It's always best for a golfer to try out their hydration plan during practice rounds and plan ahead to be sure they know what to take in and when. Players can periodically weigh themselves before and after playing in different weather conditions leading up to a tournament to adjust intake and keep weight loss to less than one to two percent of bodyweight during the round.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Dreams Come True....

As a child I was very fortunate.  My parents allowed me to participate in any and all activies that I could possible want including: dance, flute lessons, ringette, travelling hockey and more.   But I knew even when my golf bag was too big for me and I didn’t fit into golf shoes yet that golf was my sport.  I knew that I wanted to be a professional golfer.  At that age I didn’t know which career path within being a profession I just knew it had to be golf.

When I was thirteen years old I was playing on the B.A.G.S tour and the T.N.T junior tours and absolutely loving it.  I was the youngest by far so I got to play with all the older girls who never seemed to mind even though they were like Cinderella to me and I was their younger step sister.  My mom and dad both split time taking me to these events which was the best part because it was my own non sharing time away from my sister Kaitlyn.  I especially liked when Dad took me because he would always give me twice the treat money that mom would leave me for the day.  At the age of thirteen I felt like I was living the dream.  All the members at Saugeen Golf Club where I grew up knew me and always asked how my golf game was going.  For my thirteenth birthday I got my first set of Ashley golf clubs which I thought were made for me especially.  I learned when I was older they were actually a Nancy Lopez line of clubs.  

Fast forward to the following summer and my life changed drastically.  My family bought the Goderich Sunset Golf Club and we moved during the spring.  I went from golfing in two to three tour events a week to about two a month.  It was a lot of hard work those first few months and it took a lot from my family.  I became a regular fixture in the Pro Shop working lots of hours.  Golf was placed on the back burner.  I competed in a few events during the next 5 years just enough to keep my game up.

In the fall of 2006 I attended Georgian College and decided to try out for the Varsity Golf team in hopes of making some new friends.  Varsity golf was exactly what I needed.   I needed that competitive rush again.  I meant my best friend Leanne during this time, she stood up in my wedding.  I played Varisty for 2 years, winning a couple tournaments and helping our team to finish second at OCAA and third at CCAA two years in a row.  I was named M.V.P for Georgian College both seasons I played.

When I finished college I was greeted back home with open arms and moved up the ranks very quickly.  The Pro Shop I would say is the most difficult job at the course, (unless you haven’t had rain in two months then the superintendents job is hardest.)  You are the person people call to ask a million question a day.  Every problem, complaint, request, question, compliment goes through you.  I wasn’t sure I had another 30+ years doing this every day.  

So here comes the dream part of the story.  I wanted to get my pro status so I could teach golf to all levels of golfers.  At the time when I started to take this dream a lot more seriously I didn’t play enough golf and my first attempt I was so nervous it was all my fiancĂ© Kirk could do was get me out of the car.  I think he even had to tie my shoes for me that day.  The second attempt went better but not good enough.  My husband Kirk and I had just got married and I spent the better part of the spring planning a wedding and running a golf course instead of golfing and training.  So this spring I thought forget this! I will not fail again I will be successful and my dream will come true.  I completely changed my thought process while golfing I worked on my mental, physical and fundamental part of my golf game.  

 I took up yoga to work on my flexibility and endurance in order to be able to walk and play 36 holes of golf in one day.  The day had finally arrived it was here Friday July 4th at 8:33 am. I took to the first tee.  I did up my own shoes, I actually ate breakfast, I did my yoga breathing (which I still think sounds ridiculous) and I hit my first tee shot.  Not the best tee shot but I managed to get a bogie which Kirk said was awesome.   

My nerves were a bit shot when I finished the front nine with a score of 44.  I headed to the back nine and refocused threw away those negative shots and hooked my drive.  I was thinking what the hell do I do now.  I saw Kirks face and saw the pain that must have been duplicated on my face because we thought for that split second I’m done.  As much as I like the Cambridge Golf Club I thought to myself on hole #11 I am not coming back to play here I hate hole number four with a passion.  Smarten up Ashley and let this dream come true you have worked too hard to throw it away now.  On the back nine I finished with a 38.  After the lunch break we played the back nine again and I shot 36.  This allowed me to relax completely because I knew I had a few shots to work with.  It was a long 10 hour day on the golf course, but I got my pro statues and it became the second best day of my life.

Thank you to my amazing caddie who fist pumped so hard when I sank that birdie putt on hole #18 I thought he was Tiger Woods.  To my Mom and Dad who had already purchased a license plate saying “ladiepro.”   The fact that you believed in me and had this purchased before I was successful means you never doubted m.  Sure it wasn’t all glass slippers, fairies and cute songs it felt more like beasts, poison apples and villains at the time I’m so happy I never game up.  I followed my heart and my dream came true.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

16-Year-Old Brooke Henderson Steals the Spotlight at US Women's Open

Brooke Henderson 

In 2011 the Goderich Sunset Golf Club hosted the Ontario Provincial Junior Girls Championship Monday July 11th to Thursday July 14th.  This is where the elite junior girls in Ontario come together and play a three day tournament.  A recap of the results from 2011 states: Brooke Henderson and Brogan McKinnon were tied with a 72 after day one.  However Brooke and Brogan were both able to shoot under par. Brooke shot 67 and Brogan shot 69 on day two of competition.  Brooke’s 67 is a women’s record at the Goderich Sunset Golf Course from the blue tees.   Both girls pulled ahead of the group going forward into the final day with Brooke holding onto a two-shot advantage over Brogan.  The next closest to the girls was nine stroke difference.  Thursday was a beautiful day for golf and 13-year-old Brooke Henderson came to play.  She concluded the tournament with a cumulative even-par scoring total of 210 (72-67-71) allowing her to be deemed the Ontario Junior Girls Championship. 

Fast forward to 2014 and Brooke Henderson is still an amateur golfer and at the age of 16 competed in the U.S. Women’s Open making the cut and her way up the leaderboard as the week went on.  With her sister Brittney on the bag for her it was a fantastic week for the Henderson. 

Henderson from Smiths Falls, Ont has always had very ambitious goals to achieve and the US Women’s Open would be no different.  After playing four incredible rounds and a final score of 69 on Sunday she was honoured the crown of low-amateur golfer beating Minjee Lee (World’s Top Amateur) by three strokes.  Henderson was only 7 strokes behind the overall winner Michelle Wie.  

In a interview following her round when asked about finishing as low amateur with Minjee Lee still on the course Henderson was quoted saying: “Oh, it would be amazing,” she said. “There's a lot of great amateurs here. Coming in, I was trying to make the cut and then climb up the leaderboard, and I was able to do that. So I'm very happy.”

Its really quite amazing how much a year of playing, practicing and the mental aspect of a year can change where you finish.  Last year Brooke finished in 59th place.  This year she was tied for 10th.  

“It's very exciting, that's for sure. The best players in the world are here and to know that I'm right up there, it's really awesome,” Henderson said. “I still have a long way to go to where I want to be in the next couple years, but it's really exciting to know that I have the potential and it was a great finish here this week.”

The Gravett family and members of the Goderich Sunset Golf Club are beyond thrilled that Brookes hard work and dedication are paying off all over the world.  We wish her the best with the rest of the season and want her to know that we are always rooting for her!