Tips And Trends Out On The Green

By Copley News Service

January 18, 2008 6 min read

GOLF 2008

Tips and trends out on the green

Copley News Service

TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN

If your golf game really has turned into a good walk spoiled, it's time to lighten up with "A Disorderly Compendium of Golf" by Lorne Rubenstein and Jeff Neuman (Workman Publishing, $13.95).

The 390-page book is stuffed trivia, historical footnotes and one-liners. It ponders the question, "Was Shakespeare a golfer?" Quotes from plays ("Uneven is the course, I like it not." Romeo and Juliet, IV, i) support a positive, if hypothetical answer. It debunks golf myths associated with the game's greatest players. And it details the caddy-player relationship with tips for both parties. And speaking of tips, if you're the player tip your caddy well. And if you're the caddy, be observant. If your player needs some space, give him room.

Just remember, golf is a quirky game. And if you're feeling down, a quick read from this entertaining book is sure to improve your mood. No promises about improving your score, however. (CNS)

TEE TIPS

If any sport could be called tame it would be golf, right?

Statistics may prove otherwise.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 102,000 golf-related injuries treated in doctors' offices, clinics and emergency rooms in 2004. These injuries cost about $2.5 billion in medical, work-loss, pain-and-suffering and legal costs.

Golfers suffer most often from hand tenderness or numbness; shoulder, back and knee pain; golfer's elbow; and wrist injuries, such as tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

And these injuries are not age-related. No matter how old a person is, it is never a good idea to just pick up a club and start hacking away.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers the following tips to help prevent golfing injuries:

-- Newer golfers should take lessons and begin participating in the sport gradually.

-- Practice on real turf instead of rubber mats, when possible.

-- Dress for comfort and protection from the elements.

-- Make sure to wear the appropriate golf shoes: ones with short cleats are best.

-- Before going out to play, spend five to 10 minutes in the clubhouse stretching. Focus on the lower back, shoulders and forearms. It is also important to warm up and stretch any other musculoskeletal problem areas.

Help build your forearm muscles with exercises such as the following:

-- Squeeze a tennis ball for five minutes at a time.

-- Perform wrist curls using a lightweight dumbbell. Lower the weight to the end of your fingers, curl the weight back into your palm, and then curl up your wrist to lift the weight an inch or two higher. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, repeat with the other arm.

-- Do reverse wrist curls with a lightweight dumbbell. Place your hands in front of you, palm side down. Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down. Hold the arm you are exercising above your elbow with your other hand to limit the motion to your forearm. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, repeat with the other arm.

For additional injury prevention tips and information on golf and more, visit www.orthoinfo.org. (CNS)

GOLF GEAR

-- It seems like, overnight, everybody in the airport had a suitcase or briefcase with a pull handle. Now there's a golf bag, the Datrek Roller ($150), for those who just can't shoulder the load from the parking lot to the golf cart. For the serious walker, there is the Bag Boy C550 ($160) that is very heavy duty, has fat tires, and still folds to an amazing 27 inches.

-- Most women golfers would probably agree: Few players on the LPGA have more fashion sense than Paula Creamer, including her sunglasses. And now she has her own Paula Creamer Collection of shades ($70, golf stores). And no, not all of them are pink! Paula has her own line of pink Precept golf balls, and if you catch any flak from your friends, ladies, tell them the Pink Panther won on the tour this year with them.

-- The Birdie Ball is a practice ball that first appeared a few years ago. It really isn't a ball, but a plastic thing that looks like a napkin ring. It can mimic the flight of a golf ball, but doesn't fly far. A nice practice tool in a small yard, Birdie Balls are $25 per dozen, and separate accessories include a plastic strike pad with balls ($35) and a short-game target with balls ($40).

-- For those who never get the time to wash their clubs at the course, there's the Club Tub ($50). It's a compact, portable tub with internal brushes to quickly clean your clubs.

-- The Bullseye Cup ($20, golf stores) is a yellow plastic ring that fits into any cup on the putting green and reduces the opening to the cup by one-third. A good way to sharpen your putting aim, and it can also be turned to take a better line on breaking putts. (CNS)

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