Connect with us

News

What golfers should do instead of icing injuries

Published

on

As a follow-up to “Are golfers wasting their time icing injuries?” I had a chance to speak with Gary Reinl, author of Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option about what golfers ought to do instead of, well wasting their time icing injuries.

Reinl has spent more than 40 years in sports medicine and has done everything from train professional athletes, to develop strength-training programs for pregnant women, to orchestrate rehabilitation programs for injured workers.

With the publication of Iced!, Reinl pointed out the erroneous nature of some popular assumptions about injury and treatment and suggested a different way forward, so he seemed like a natural point of contact.

My questions, below.

Strains and pulled muscles are common for golfers. Is there any place for icing in the treatment of these routine golf injuries?

No. Unless of course you want to delay healing, increase swelling, cause additional damage, shut of the signals that alert you to harmful movement and provide false hope (make yourself believe that you are doing something good when in fact you are doing the opposite).

Hitting out of a gnarly lie in the deep rough, you badly hurt your wrist. You know you can’t continue playing, so you head back to the clubhouse. Someone fetches you a bag of ice. What do you do next?

Politely thank them and tell them that you are going to get a professional medical evaluation before you initiate treatment (until you confirm the extent of the problem, “friendly” advice is often counterproductive and almost always ill-advised).

That said, once your doctor has given you the green light to begin facilitating the healing process via muscle activation, follow this basic rule: “Use your brain, never cause pain.” If anything beyond lightly wiggling your fingers causes pain, limit activation to finger wiggling. This is not a contest or game. Think: “No pain, all gain.”

If your doctor has written an order for you to use an FDA-cleared muscle activation device, use it as directed (several hours per day for the first couple of days is pretty standard).  Regardless of how you activate your muscles, never forget that healing is contingent upon muscle activation not absolute stillness.

You’ve just walked 36 holes. You drive home and your legs are screaming. What’s the best way to deal with the situation, instead of reaching for the ice pack?

Since the “ice pack” actually makes things worse, doing nothing is better than icing.

What’s best? Lightly activate the muscles that are tired and or sore. Muscle activation or “active recovery” is not only the best way to facilitate the healing process, it is, in essence, the key to tissue regeneration. Absolute stillness is the proverbial enemy.

What are the adverse effects of icing on golf-related injuries, generally speaking?

Icing damaged tissue delays healing, increases swelling, causes additional damage, shuts of the signals that alert you to harmful movement and makes you believe that you are doing something good, when in fact you are doing the opposite. Additionally, when you fail to optimally heal, you risk dampening your golf skills and setting yourself up for further injury.

How did we get to the point where reducing swelling and inflammation via icing are seen as good things?

First of all, icing damaged tissue does not reduce swelling or inflammation. Delay it? Yes. Increase it? Yes. Reduce it? No.

How did the medical community get it so wrong?

It all started back in 1962 when a doctor named Ronald Malt reattached the severed limb of a 12-year-old boy named Everett Knowles. Since this was the first operation of its kind, it made big news around the world. When asked by reporters, “What’s the best way to protect the severed body part while transporting it to the hospital?” The doctor responded something like this: “Keep it out of the sun, keep it cool, and put it on ice if possible.”

Over the years, the public converted the doctor’s very specific recommendation that applied only to severed body parts to “put ice on any damaged tissue,” and the myth took hold: The “ice age” was born.

Interestingly, the godfather of the ice age, Gabe Mirkin, MD, recently recanted his decades-old recommendation and now says that icing damaged tissues delays healing.

Are there any times a golfer should consider using ice?

Yes! No one likes a warm margarita. Cheers!

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. bobby

    Dec 26, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    1) Icing damaged tissue delays healing
    – I ice my injury and I’m much more comfortable. reduced my pain without taking dangerous oral drugs like nsaid’s. An injury that i may have caused me to take to take 2-3 off is no 2-4 days. But I’m comfortable and in considerably less pain.

    2) Icing damaged tissue increases swelling
    – Icing damaged tissue controls the rate at which fluids reach the injured site. As well as causing tissue to constrict and disperse some of the painful inflammation. Tissues warm up and loosen up and of course due to signals still be sent throughout the body, there is a backup of fluids that rush the area. Hence why icing shouldn’t be a one time application.

    3) Icing damaged tissue causes additional damage
    – the damage proper icing may induce and far less than the potential damage from inflammation
    4) Icing damaged tissue shuts off the signals that alert you to harmful movement
    – Your basically telling the people icing may numb and reduce pain at the site of injury. Don’t forget to mention all the over the counter drugs they probably take that do the same thing. But leave out the part that if their mission is to reduce pain, as safely as possible those drugs and patches are out of the equation. Pain is the signal your body uses because it afraid of injury. That does not mean every time you are in pain you are damaging tissue.

    5) Icing damaged tissue provides false hope; you think you’re doing something good but in fact you are doing the opposite.
    – ice like drugs are never going to fix the underlying problem, why your hurt. The problem is that if you were stronger, if you have perfect mechanics and posture you will properly treating yourself and decreasing your chances of that injury “flaring up” again.

  2. bobby

    Dec 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    How about you guys use your brain. Do you all believe everything people tell you. At what point did you put ice on an injury and believe that you have completely stopped all the swelling.

    You ice injuries you ice torn soft tissues regardless of cause. Whether it be purposely from from training or accidentally you must “CONTROL” inflammation. Elimination is impossible. Inflammation is the bodies attempt to remove undesirable, damaged tissue before repair.

    But if you believe this crap, that icing to reduce pain and inflammation is a mistake, make sure you don’t take advil and other NSAID’s (Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) for you pain. Besides 300,000 hospitalized each year form NSAID’s and 10-15% of those people die. But hey ice must be the dumbest thing you can do right !?!??

    Another idea for you fools. Why is it very important for someone to undergo SURGERY IMMEDIATELY after tearing their Achilles . Its because the inflammatory process is there for debridment. To remove damaged tissue. If someone waits more than 24 hrs to have surgery the inflammation has already removed so much of the tissue that the two ends cannot reach. This means tissue beyond the initial site of injury was deemed damaged because the inflammatory process was not managed properly. Thus not allowing the body to initiate the remodeling phase.

    You sprained your ankle. You are in pain. You having swelling impairing movement and or strength. Here are your options.
    1. Take a drug that is going to be spread to your ankle, but also your brain, your liver, your heart. This sounds harmless. But is it really?

    2. You can ice your injury, REDUCE pain and inflammation. KEYWORD: reduce, we can never COMPLETELY stop our body processes. Way to complicated to accomplish.

  3. Dan M

    May 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks to GolfWRX for bringing this information to the golf community. The theory that ice doesn’t help healing is entirely plausible to me. I’ve worked in medical research for 20 years, and theories that have been accepted as gospel for years are constantly overturned. I used to ice my sore back religiously after playing golf, but with age and laziness stopped doing it. Now my back feels better sooner — I recover faster. I stopped taking Advil for aches and pains years ago.

    Icing injuries has been so universal. It’s hard for people to accept that there is evidence now that it doesn’t help.

    • Gary Reinl

      May 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Hi Dan M, Thanks for your informed comments. I agree, the theory that ice “helps” the healing process was disproved years ago. That said “old habits die hard!”
      PS: If you want a free autographed copy of my book, please go to garyreinl.com and leave me a message (and your mailing address).
      The MELTDOWN continues!
      Gary Reinl
      @TheAntiIceMan

  4. Iceman

    May 15, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Everybody, just ice it.

    Besides talking some mumbo-jumbo about activating muscles to heal or some bull stink like that, these yahoos don’t take into account that in humans, we feel PAIN with the inflammation and damage. If you don’t, then you’re numb already and or are not human at all to begin with. Tend to the pain and reduce it as well as inflammation at the same time. That’s why they’re called anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because they do both – effectively and cheaply. Why do you think there is such a HUGE market for PEDs and other banned drugs for recovery and pain management? Because the things work and work great.

    For the rest of us, for minor bumps and bruises, ice it. You’ll feel better for it.

    • Gary Reinl

      May 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

      “Mumbo-jumbo” … fortunately, ignorance is not contagious.
      Loading, which is also known as active recovery (which activates muscle), is essential to achieving optimal healing of damaged tissue regardless as to whether you are merely tired and/or sore from a scheduled training session or significantly injured from an unplanned collision with an opponent’s outstretched leg that has left you upside down and twisted in the middle of a basketball court.
      Here’s a relevant excerpt from my book “ICED! … The Illusionary Treatment Option”.
      “Loading of Healing Bone, Fibrous Tissue, and Muscle: Implications for Orthopedic Practice:
      Joseph A. Buckwalter, M.S., M.D., & Alan J. Grodzinsky, Ph.D.
      Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons,
      September/October 1999
      One of the most important concepts in orthopedics in this
      century is the understanding that loading accelerates
      healing of bone, fibrous tissue, and skeletal muscle.”

      Join the MELTDOWN!

      Gary Reinl
      @The AntiIceMan

      • Ice Ice Baby

        May 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm

        OK. Allow me to continuously PUNCH you in the face, right above the eye over and over for about 30 minutes straight, and see if you can “activate” those muscles to aid in recovery thereafter. Or would you prefer that I use ice on it to dull the pain and to reduce inflammation and swelling?

        I will administer ice and cooling to that area of anybody who gets punched as such, as it has been shown, for a couple millennia, that icing will reduce swelling and bruising immediately.

        We’re not talking about torn muscles or tendons here – we’re talking about inflamed tissues and muscles.

        Therefore, use ICE.

        • Gary Reinl

          May 18, 2014 at 4:53 pm

          Hi Dan M, Thanks for your informed comments. I agree, the theory that ice “helps” the healing process was disproved years ago. That said “old habits die hard!”
          PS: If you want a free autographed copy of my book, please go to garyreinl.com and leave me a message (and your mailing address).
          The MELTDOWN continues!
          Gary Reinl
          @TheAntiIceMan

        • Gary Reinl

          May 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm

          Hi Ice Ice Baby,
          First off, contrary to your claim, icing damaged tissue has not been used for millennia — not even close.
          Second, as I am sure that you are aware, inflammation is the first phase of the life-saving healing process (e.g. without it, you will not heal — not even you). So, fortunately for even the least-informed, ice can only delay this process.
          Further, swelling — a product of the inflammatory process — can only be evacuated through the inherently passive lymphatic system and thus can only be accelerated through movement (e.g. muscle activation). Thus, again, you can delay swelling (and, through icing, worsen the backup of it), but not reduce it. Keep in mind, that when the tissue rewarms, the inflammatory (healing) process resumes (that is why you see boxers who get hit in the face “30 times” during a fight all swollen the next day — gasp! — even if they iced).
          Regarding your claim that ice will “dull the pain,” you are correct. Icing damaged will provide temporary pain relief. But, with that said, it will also delay healing, cause additional damage, increase swelling, shut of the signals that alert you to harmful movement, and provide false hope (you believe that you are doing something good when in fact you are doing the opposite). So, no, I wouldn’t put ice on such an injury because, obviously, the negatives far outweigh the positives.

          Gary Reinl
          @TheAntiIceMan

  5. Phil

    May 15, 2014 at 9:27 am

    What about arthritic knees?

  6. Nick

    May 15, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Love it how “buy my book” manages to appear in just about every response from the author. Classy.

  7. Charlie

    May 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Any advice for a nasty case of dequervain’s tendonitis in my left hand from golf? Please help!

  8. mark d

    May 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Had my shoulder rebuilt in February at the Cleveland Clinic. They sent me home with little cooler/pump/jacket thing to chill my shoulder at regular intervals.

    Needless to say, all the sports med specialists at the Clinic with their many, many years of clinical training, research and success must be wrong.

    That said, “no pain, all gain.” is very good advice if you have an injury. Heal first. Work out later.

    • Gary Reinl

      May 15, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Hi mark d,
      Ironically, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic are the ones that discovered a key reason why icing damaged tissue is a bad idea (see their below article entitled “Hold the Ice” – their title, not mine).
      “Hold the Ice?
      New study shows that ice and anti-inflammatory medications may compromise healing.
      Researchers headed by Lan Zhou, MD, PhD, Neuroinflammation Research Center, Depart. of Neurosciences at the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues, found that in response to acute muscle injury, inflammatory cells (called macrophages) within the damaged muscle itself were found to produce a protein called IGF-1, which is required for muscle regeneration.
      Source: The Cleveland Clinic, October, 2010
      So why did “all the sports med specialists at the Clinic with their many, many years of clinical training, research and success” send you home with little cooler/pump/jacket thing to chill your shoulder at regular intervals? Simple — because that is what they were trained to do. Change is often avoided regardless of the facts (or who discovered them).
      Please read the excerpt from my book “ICED!” below for an additional example:
      “Do you recognize the name, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis? He is the one who figured out that doctors should wash their hands before surgery, especially if they just finished dissecting a rotting and/or diseased corpse.
      It’s creepy to even think that such a suggestion was ever even necessary – let alone controversial – but, at that point, it was actually spectacularly groundbreaking.
      Semmelweis also introduced the idea of sterilizing surgery tools. Again, this sounds like a no-brainer, right?
      Well, his suggestions were BITTERLY rejected by his fellow physicians.
      Why? Well, his observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical “beliefs” of the time. As odd as it sounds by today’s standards, the doctors simply did not believe that their filthy, contaminated hands and surgical tools could possibly be the cause someone to get sick.
      Believe it or not, some doctors were actually offended by his suggestion – OFFENDED – that they should wash their hands.
      This is a classic example of blind faith where people simply didn’t know what they didn’t know”.

  9. benseattle

    May 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Here’s where this superficial article falls down completely: You say “no ice” but DO NOT PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE. Heat? Rest? (No, the “expert” says that’s out too.) Vague allusions to an “FDA-approved muscle activation device” but no details about what this is, what it does, why it’s “better” or how to get one.

    Muscle activation? What’s that mean… I should walk on my sprained ankle or hit golf balls with a sore wrist?

    GOLFWRX does no-one any favors with amateur medical advice written without useful, credible details and information.

    • Gary Reinl

      May 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Hi benseattle,
      Your comments are all reasonable. I apologize for my brevity. First, the alternative to ice is muscle activation (also known as active recovery). There are several very good FDA cleared muscle activation devises on the market. Here’s a link to one the best known trainers in the world of golf explaining which brand he recommends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LL35EXTTtc . If you want to get one go to Marcpro.com and enter the promo code “TEAM “ to receive the maximum discount available.
      Regarding walking on a sprained ankle or hitting golf balls with a sore wrist, please re-read Ben’s interview with me (e.g. “that said, once your doctor has given you the green light to begin facilitating the healing process via muscle activation, follow this basic rule: ‘Use your brain, never cause pain.’ If anything beyond lightly wiggling your fingers causes pain, limit activation to finger wiggling. This is not a contest or game. Think: ‘No pain, all gain.’ If your doctor has written an order for you to use an FDA- pretty standard). Regardless of how you activate your muscles, never forget that healing is contingent upon muscle activation not absolute stillness”).
      Regarding your comment about “amateur medical advice written without useful, credible details and information,” this article contained no medical advice. Instead, it contained facts regarding the consequences of icing damaged tissue; not opinions, but scientifically proven facts published in multiple peer-reviewed journals (which are well documented in my book). By the way, in the third paragraph of Ben’s article he stated “With the publication of Iced!, Reinl pointed out the erroneous nature of some popular assumptions about injury and treatment and suggested a different way forward, so he seemed like a natural point of contact.”
      Since it is impractical to include the entire contents of a book in a short article, Ben mentioned my book before he introduced my responses to his questions. That said, if you want to read my book and learn all of these details, go garyreinl.com and send me a message that includes your mailing address and I will gladly send you a free copy.

      • leftright

        May 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

        You speak of muscle activation. Ice reduces swelling allowing you to use the muscle sooner rather than later. Swelling reduces blood flow and decreases the bodies ability to recover by retaining fluid within the lymph tissues around the affected body part. I am sorry to sound so cynical but I have observed the effectiveness of ice over 4 decades and find your article borderline negligent when pertaining to sport medicine injuries. You and the doctor are in a very small minority of healthcare professionals.

        • Gary Reinl

          May 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

          Hi leftright,
          This is an excerpt from my book quoting the Textbook of Medical Physiology, “The lymphatic system is a ‘scavenger’ system that removes excess fluid, protein molecules, debris, and other matter from the tissue spaces. When fluid enters the terminal lymphatic capillaries, any motion in the tissues that intermittently compresses the lymphatic capillaries propels the lymph forward through the lymphatic system, eventually emptying the lymph back into the circulation.”
          Now, since swelling is essentially the accumulation of waste at the end of the inflammatory cycle, the only way to move that waste is via the lymphatic system, and the lymphatic system is basically a passive system nearly fully reliant on muscle activation around the lymphatic vessels; how could shutting off the signals between the muscles and the nerves — which is precisely what happens when you ice damaged tissue — accomplish that task?”
          Answer: it doesn’t (icing damaged tissue does not reduce swelling). You sir/madam are simply wrong.
          That said, you are correct when you state that “You (me) and the doctor are in a very small minority of healthcare professionals,” however I am not sure that I understand your point. Are you suggesting that those of us that have taken the time to evaluate, organize, and understand the facts should empty our brains and follow you?
          PS: I don’t know what you do each day, but I spend my time working with my clients (trainers, doctors and therapist from over 80 professional athletic teams and scores of other elites).

  10. Bruce Jones

    May 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    You may find this article helpful, written by the doctor who first coined the term “RICE”.

    drmirkin.com/fitness/why-ice-delays-recovery.html

    Also the American Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2013 has an article that supports the idea that the use of ice does not improve healing.

    • Bruce Jones

      May 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Oops, make that June 2013 for the Journal article.

    • Gary Reinl

      May 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks Bruce. By the way, there have been at least three other comprehensive reviews regarding the topic of icing damaged tissue published by reputable peer-reviewed journals since 2004 and they all came to the same conclusion. All, by the way, referenced and clearly documented in my book: ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option: Learn the Fascinating Story, Scientific Breakdown, Alternative, & How To Lead Others Out Of The Ice Age”. No doubt some “experts” are finding the facts difficult to accept.

  11. Dave

    May 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

    When I saw the title to this article I immediately became interested. After reading through it I feel I just wasted time. This article contains nothing in it other than opinions. Useless article.

  12. Willy

    May 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I have multiple injuries. Including having a shoulder replacement Dec 13. Ice has been and always will be my friend!

  13. Alex the Athletic Trainer

    May 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    How does ice increase swelling? “Shutting off signals alerting harmful movements” don’t you mean temporarily numbing (analgesic) the area. To which, this effect only lasts for a short period of time. I agree with a lot of my colleagues that icing after the first 24-48 hours is strictly for the analgesic effect.
    If icing truly caused so many problems, how am I still able to return an athlete to play within 4-10 days post ankle sprain while using a GameReady machine for the first 2 days of treatment?

    • Gary Reinl

      May 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Alex, Regarding your question about swelling … please read this:
      Enter the lymphatic vessels
      Meeusen’s careful research has uncovered another important fact: when ice is applied to a body part for a prolonged period, nearby lymphatic vessels begin to dramatically increase their permeability (lymphatic vessels are ‘dead-end’ tubes which ordinarily help carry excess tissue fluids back into the cardiovascular system). As the lymphatic permeability is enhanced, large amounts of fluid begin to pour from the lymphatics ‘in the wrong direction’ (into the injured area), increasing the amount of local swelling and pressure and potentially contributing to greater pain (‘The Use of Cryotherapy in Sports Injuries,’ Sports Medicine, Vol. 3, pp. 398-414, 1986). If the icing goes on for too long, the lymphatic vessels can actually be nearly obliterated, losing all of their fluid to the surrounding tissues and thus failing to carry excess water away from the injured area (6th European Congress of Sports Medicine, Budapest, Hungary, p. 179, 17-20 June, 1991). If you want more, read the related sections of my book and/or read Guyton and Hall’s Textbook of Medical Physiology.

      Regarding your next comment …
      Making the area numb does shut off the signals that alert you to harmful movement. I feel that we agree on this point. I also agree that you and a lot of your colleagues believe that icing after the first 24-48 hours is strictly for the analgesic effect. The problem is that reputable clinicians don’t recommend ice after 24-48 hours. Dr. Mirkin, the godfather of the ice age, says there is no reason to use it after 6 hours.
      That said, knowing the downside, why would you do it at all? Here’s how I see it: A clinician using ice to “make the area numb” is like the sympatric bartender that gives an alcoholic a drink so he can temporally “feel” better. Does it help? Not really. Does it hurt? Yes.
      Regarding your “4 to 10 day” question; I am very confident that if you considered all of the facts you would abandon your ice-based protocol.

      Join the MELTDOWN!

      Gary Reinl
      @TheAntiIceMan

      • Iceman

        May 15, 2014 at 11:47 pm

        What about BURNS? You’re not going to tell the world that they can’t ice something they burned on their persons, are you? No, you wouldn’t, because you would be insane.
        Inflammation MUST and NEED to be have its HEAT (inflamed! duh!) removed and reduced, otherwise it would not heal as quickly nor will the pain be tolerable!

        You’re bogus and you know it.

  14. Gary McCormick

    May 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Poor article — contains no explanation of WHY icing is contra-indicated.

    For soft tissue injuries I have always used light application of ice, removed after a few minutes. The body reacts to the cooled-down area by dilating capillaries to increase blood flow, which aids healing. If that’s wrong, I’d like to hear an explanation why, rather than just “Don’t do it — because we said so!”

    • leftright

      May 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Gary Reinhl is an idiot. We have mentally ill ideologues running the country with PhD’s and government experience but that does not mean they know what they are doing. Ice helps and that is through pure observation. To not ice a lateral or medial epicondylitis after playing golf or tennis is paramount to negligence on the athletes part. NSAIDS will help also if taken appropriately. Ultimately rest will heal the offending part but who can rest these days, who wants to rest but sometimes that is what we have to do. If you want to heal faster and have less pain don’t listen to this guy, he is a quack and in a very very small minority of sports trainers and specialists. I know a Internal Medicine doctor who put all his Insulin dependent diabetes patients on Chromium supplements. Most ending up back in the ER in Diabetic Ketoacidosis in several days. Trace Chromium is an essential mineral but the body processes what it wants and adding did not help these patients. He might as well said “go lick you car bumper.”

    • Gary Reinl

      May 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Gary, No explanation of WHY icing is contra-indicated? OK. Please allow me to try again.
      1) Icing damaged tissue delays healing
      2) Icing damaged tissue increases swelling
      3) Icing damaged tissue causes additional damage
      4) Icing damaged tissue shuts off the signals that alert you to harmful movement
      5) Icing damaged tissue provides false hope; you think you’re doing something good but in fact you are doing the opposite.

      If it’s proof you want, I suggest you read my book. I literally spent years traveling the country interviewing hundreds of elite trainers, doctors, therapists and athletes and read hundreds of related articles and a dozen or so books. I organized and presented the facts in such a way that even the ice gurus avoid debating me. Sure, every once in while some “expert” will claim that I got something wrong or referenced it out of context … but, thus far, not a single claim has turned into a legitimate issue.
      Regarding your “dilating capillaries to increase blood flow” comment … are you aware the your innate intelligence does precisely that in response to damage? Meaning, the damaged vessels constrict and the surrounding healthy vessels dilate and increase perfusion. Seems odd to me that you believe you can better regulate this process than your innate intelligence … and that you do it with an ordinary ice cube!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

Geoff Ogilvy disses “second-rate” Australian Open; Adam Scott’s grudge against Golf Australia?

Published

on

You may or may not know it, but there is more going on in the golfing world this week than just the DP World Tour Championship, Dunlop Phoenix, and RSM Classic. Australia’s oldest and most prestigious golf event is also underway, after failing to attract the star names of previous years. Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, and Jason Day have all played in the championship in recent times, but none are in action in Sydney this week.

Former Australian Open champion and native Aussie Geoff Ogilvy is another man who won’t be competing at the event this year, and on Wednesday, the former U.S. Open winner ripped into the championship, describing it as “a second-rate tournament.” Ogilvy, writing for Golf Australia Magazine, stated that the tournaments current predicament was due to the lack of progression that the event has made compared to other competitions around the world.

“I hate to say this, but the Australian Open feels like a second-rate tournament now. I’m sure it is run in the same way it was 30 years ago, but tournaments elsewhere have progressed so much, and the differences show.”

Does Adam Scott feel slighted by Golf Australia?

While losing Ogilvy, who has just lost his PGA Tour card and now sits at 780th in the world rankings, may not overly concern the tournament organizers, the loss of Adam Scott for the second successive year at the event will come as a significant blow.

Scott had competed in the Australian Open 17 years on the trot before the former Masters champion opted out of playing the 2017 edition of the event. The decision for Scott to skip last year’s tournament is believed to be down to an unsatisfactory offer from Golf Australia, who had prioritized their investment in Day and Spieth, and his non-appearance this week indicates that he is unlikely to forget that insult.

However, according to Golf Australia CEO, Stephen Pitt, the former world number one’s absence once again at the Australian Open is not due to a strained relationship, although Pitt did express regret over last year’s dealings with Scott when speaking about the golfers no-show this week.

“Things could have been done differently last year but, from our perspective, we’re confident that there’s no strained relationship that we need to worry about.”

Despite the public show of confidence from Pitt, the fact that Scott is currently in Sydney for a charity event instead of teeing it up at the Australian Open this week, suggests that something may well be awry between the two.

Your Reaction?
  • 18
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

News

Behind Matt Kuchar’s switch to the Bridgestone Tour B X ahead of last week’s win

Published

on

If you’re reading this article, you almost certainly know Matt Kuchar ended a four-year victory drought with a win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic last week. You may not know, however, about an interesting equipment change Kuchar made prior to hoisting the trophy.

Following a sub-par 2018 season that saw him record just four top-10 finishes in 24 starts, the Georgia Tech alum felt he needed to make some changes.

One of those changes: his golf ball. Now, given Kuch’s club head speed last year — 107.97 mph (183rd on Tour) — your wouldn’t have thought the happy warrior would  switch to a lower-spinning golf ball. However, that’s just what he did, making the move from Bridgestone’s Tour B XS to its Tour B X. And according to the company, he did so after a recent fitting session in which he was driving the X seven yards farther than the XS.

I had a chance to ask Elliot Mellow, Bridgestone’s Golf Ball Marketing Manager, and Adam Rehberg, the company’s Golf Ball Fitting Manager, about the switch.

So, what was the thinking/data that had Matt Kuchar playing the XS originally?

Mellow: “Matt had historically been in our higher spin spec — he appreciated the spin control into and around the green. For years, the B330-S and then the Tour B XS, allowed Matt to hit his windows and optimize trajectory. As he started to reevaluate his fit, there were really two things in play here that allowed the door to be opened for Matt to explore a more distance spec ball: Over the years, we have continued to soften the covers of all Tour balls. So in our distance spec, the Tour B X, you really don’t sacrifice spin for distance, it still is a great spin control ball with irons and wedges. The other thing to consider is some of the club set-ups for Matt have changed, which allowed us to reevaluate his fit.”

Why test at this point in time, and what was the testing like? What were the results?

Mellow: “During the off season, Matt was really taking a look at every aspect of his bag. If you look at his equipment setup during the FedEx Cup compared to what he has in play these last couple of tournaments, basically everything changed: club heads, shafts, mix of clubs, etc. With those changes it’s natural for Matt, and any golfer really, to want to reevaluate their ball to ensure it still fits their needs.”

“Ball testing for Matt involves looking at the performance of the ball with every club in the bag. It’s no secret that Matt isn’t the longest driver of the golf ball so driver distance and ball speed are important to him. We take a look at what’s going on with the driver and work backwards from there. In short, start from the tee and work our way down to the green, much like you would play a hole.”

Rehberg: “Matt began initial testing of the Tour B X golf ball in Vegas with our Tour team. After seeing some great results on the range with increased ball speed, reduced spin and 7 yards longer distance, he decided to test the ball during the Pro-AM. Ultimately he made the decision to switch models for tournament play.”

“Coming out of Vegas Matt was starting to get comfortable with the Tour B X and carried that positive momentum over to Mexico as the ball gave him confidence to attack fairways (T3 in Driver Accuracy) and pins (79% GIR). In the small sample size since switching over to the X ball, Matt has seen an increase of 7 yards in Driver Distance, tighter dispersion and lower more piercing trajectory compared to his set up from last season.”

What this would seem to speak to, then, for the average golfer, is the detriments of picking a ball and playing if for years on end and the need to be re-ball fitted, if you will…

Rehberg: “There is a lot that goes into choosing a ball. And in Matt’s case, he went through a pretty significant equipment overhaul, especially with his shafts. We encourage golfers to include looking at their ball performance when they go through the process of rebuilding their bag. That’s exactly what Matt did. He noticed some increased spin numbers on his irons and driver during these shaft and driver changes and took advantage of switching to a ball that fits his game better.”

Mellow: “Your swing, club head, and shaft selection all factor into the science, the physics of the ball fitting process. You change one of these variables and the conditions at impact change, the launch data changes. As the data changes it creates a situation where your ball fit will need to be reevaluated.”

RELATED: Matt Kuchar’s Winning WITB: Mayakoba Golf Classic

Your Reaction?
  • 41
  • LEGIT9
  • WOW5
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

News

GolfWRX Morning 9: A gray-haired resurgance | McGinley calls out McIlroy

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

November 15, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. A gray-haired resurgence
Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood winning again had Shane Ryan looking back at recent 30-and-40 something winners this fall – the long(er) in the tooth have triumphed late in the year.
  • “Fall officially begins in the northern hemisphere on Sept. 22, and on that Saturday, 42-year-old Tiger Woods shot a 65 in the Tour Championship to propel himself to the top of the leader board. The very next day, he finally broke his five-year winning drought and raised a trophy on the PGA Tour. Simultaneously, 38-year-old Justin Rose secured the FedEx Cup title and the $10 million bonus.”
  • “If we were paying attention, we would have seen the signs: After a spring and summer of Koepka and Reed and DeChambeau, the gray-hairs were making a resurgence.
  • “Next came the Ryder Cup, where an extremely experienced European team taught the brash youngsters a lesson. Along with Bjorn’s vintage picks, 35-year-old Francesco Molinari was the undisputed star, becoming just the second man in the modern era to earn five points for his team.”
  • “A few weeks later, at Valderrama, the 38-year-old Garcia shook off the bad memories from a miserable year on the PGA Tour to win his first tournament of 2018, and just his second since his Masters triumph 18 months earlier.”
2. Communication problems
New U.S. Ryder Cup goal: communication.
Rex Hoggard at Golf Channel…”Following the U.S. Ryder Cup team’s victory at the 2016 matches, then-captain Davis Love III credited a new system of organization that mirrored that used by USA Basketball. Love and this year’s captain Jim Furyk used those lessons as they prepared for September’s matches, and on Wednesday at the RSM Classic, Love said that learning curve will continue after the U.S. team’s seven-point loss in Paris.”
‘”I just think we need to communicate a little bit better as a team,” said Love, one of Furyk’s vice captains in Paris. “That doesn’t mean just the captains or just the players. I think we need to get to know each other even better and communicate a little bit better so little frustrations don’t turn into problems.””
3. OWGR
Rex Hoggard on OWGR problems and why they’ll persist.
  • “Brooks Koepka moved back into the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking from his couch on Monday, and depending on a variety of scenarios this week at the Dunlop Phoenix event in Japan where the three-time major champion is playing, he could be overtaken by Justin Rose … who is spending this week on his couch.”
  • “The world rankings are golf’s version of the College Football Playoffs – confusing at times, arbitrary at others and even polarizing. But it’s not Koepka and Rose’s game of musical chairs atop the list that’s most compelling.”
  • “The frontmen for the world’s two most high-profile tours also appear to be taking a long look at the math and madness of the rankings, at least if current comments are any indication.
  • “Two weeks ago at the Turkish Airlines Open, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley was asked about his circuit’s relationship with Rolex, which is the title sponsor of the tour’s eight Rolex Series events. That Pelley’s response drifted into an examination of the OWGR was telling.”

Full piece.

4. LPGA pros step up
Beth Ann Nichols writes…”Tiffany Joh saw a need and rallied her fellow tour players to respond. Joh read on Facebook that the parents of JaNae Rhodes, one of the LPGA’s physical therapists, lost everything they own in the Camp Fire that has devastated California….Joh shareda GoFundMe page on Twitter that Rhodes’ husband had created.”
  • “Apparently her parents are in the Northern California area that was affected by the Camp Fire and literally just escaped with the shirts on their backs,” said Joh, whose own San Diego home is under extreme watch.”
  • “I don’t have a huge social media following, but I feel like I’m friends with people that do.”
  • “Jane Park retweeted Joh’s note, pledging to donate $20 for every birdie she makes at this week’s CME Group Tour Championship and asked if any other players wanted to join. Azahara Munoz jumped on board, and Paige Spiranac said she’d match Park’s donation.”
5. McGinley disappointed in McIlroy
One of emerging elder statesmen of European golf is predictably unhappy with Rory McIlroy’s announcement that he won’t be playing muchon the European Tour next year.
  • Said MgGinley...”It’s very disappointing…”I’ve been racking my brains wondering how that can be.
  • “Obviously Rory sees it in other ways and has got his own rationale for that, although I’m finding it hard to understand,” added McGinley, who will succeed the 29-year-old as the Irish Open’s tournament host at next year’s event in Lahinch.”
  • “Of the 12 players that represented Europe in the Ryder Cup this year, Rory is the only one who is going to do that and the others have all signed up to play the minimum of four events outside of the majors and WGCs.”
  • “We’ve already reduced the number of events players have to play on the European Tour from five down to four, just to make it easy for the guys, like Rory, who are playing a worldwide schedule.”
  • “It is right at the very minimum at the moment and the European Tour don’t feel that four is huge task to meet.”
6. More folk tales of Cameron Champ
Steve DiMeglio at USA Today…
A morsel…”This guy was Cameron Champ – there’s a name straight out of Madison Avenue – and Wagner watched intently on the tee of the 447-yard par-4 that was playing into the wind on a chilly day.”
  • “My jaw just dropped,” Wagner said. “That hole is not as short and easy as he made it look. He probably had a sand wedge in and I had a 6-iron into the green. Such impressive ball flight, such impressive length. I’ve never seen anybody flight and control a driver as he did that day.
  • “He’s fit, he’s young, he’s flexible and he’s strong as a bull.”
  • “The legend of Champ is ever growing, an eye-popping yarn of a 6-0, 175-pound, 23-year-old who sports a 32-inch waist, 129 mph swing speed and 190 mph ball speed. In a game that features Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and many other bombers, Champ might be the longest of them all.”
7. Line ’em up no more
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell...”If you’re an LPGA fan and never liked seeing caddies line up players before a shot or putt, you can rejoice.”
  • “This week’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship marks the last time you will have to endure it.
  • “When the LPGA resumes play in its season opener at the Diamond Resort Tournament of Championship next January, the new Rules of Golf forbidding caddies from aligning players will be in effect.”
Praise the golf gods.
8. Match beginnings
Dave Shedloski fleshed out the origin story of The Match in an excellent piece.
  • “The concept for The Match began with a hypothetical question between two Hollywood friends, CAA’s Jack Whigham, the agency’s co-head of motion picture talent, and one of his clients, Bryan Zuriff, a producer whose credits include the film, “Jobs,” and the Showtime series “Ray Donovan.””
  • “Zuriff, a golf enthusiast who was a huge fan of “The Skins Game” that used to occupy Thanksgiving weekend, is that creative type who has a million ideas running through his mind at all hours. Apparently, some are quite good, including a new Showtime limited series, “Escape At Dannemora,” starring Benicio del Toro and directed by Ben Stiller (the latter who might make an appearance on the pre-game show). His rough conceptualization for The Match got this ball rolling.”
  • “He called and asked me, How crazy is this? Whigham recalled. “I said, Probably too crazy.
  • “Basically, we started thinking, Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a golf match that was played the way a lot of us play with our buddies on the weekends? You know, where you bet on everything and talk smack and basically have this continually running dialogue of, pardon the expression, giving each other shit.”
9. Still work to be done to Save Muny
Geoff Shackelford notes that the imperiled Lions Municipal is still very much imperiled.
  • “The University of Texas Board of Regents and legislators who hold the future of Lions Municipal apparently need to be reminded again that a lot of people care about Austin’s gem of a public golf facility.”
  • “This Thursday they vote on whether to extend the Brackenridge Tract Agreement deadline for canceling the Muny Golf Course lease. An extension is needed to allow the state of Texas and City of Austin to continue negotiations on Saving Muny and the Brackenridge Tract.”
Shackelford directs readers to a form letter on Save Muny Instagram, which you can find here.
Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending