When's the Best Time to Tee It Up?

October 2008

Many of us have experienced the groggy feeling that accompanies an early a.m. tee time. Before that first sip of coffee touches our lips, we might be awake, but our bodies aren't ready to pull off a 220-yard 3-wood over water with a slight draw.

Experts say there are two times a day when the body typically functions at peak performance. If you want to shoot your best scores, consider booking a tee time between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. or in the late afternoon, says Darrel Drobnich, chief program officer for the National Sleep Foundation.

"There are two periods of the day when the body has less alert-ness," he says. "One is midnight to 6 a.m., the other is 1 p.m. to 4 p.m." Drobnich cautions that these cycles are thrown off if you aren't getting enough sleep (about seven to nine hours for adults).

Think of the hour or two just after these drowsy cycles as the body's warm-up period. That's why a 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. tee time makes more sense than 7 a.m. or 4 p.m.

Furthermore, the afternoon dip in alertness isn't directly related to eating a big lunch, as many people think. "It's a genetically driven period where your body has a strong sleep drive," he says. "It's why Spanish cultures have siestas."

Strengthen Your Forearms

That rough isn't getting any shorter. You need strong forearms to get the ball out. Here are a few easy exercises that can help, according to Randy Myers, Golf Digest Professional Advisor and director of fitness at the Sea Island (Ga.) Resort.

1. Pronated Wrist Curl

Two sets, 20 reps: Brace the forearms, and grab a bar or dumbbell (palms up). Lift the weight with the wrists only.

2. Supinated Wrist Curl

One set, 20 reps: Grab a bar or dumbbell (palms down), and move the wrists up and down. The forearms don't move.

3. Wrist Extension

One set, 20 reps each arm: Grab a club or dumb-bell (palm inward, forearm braced). Hinge and unhinge the wrist.
Good Tip

A Golfer's Guide To Massage

You're on day three of a golf trip, and your muscles feel like you just went through training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers. So you think, What I need is a massage. But what kind is the best for golfers? When should you get one? And how many can you get in a short period?

According to physical therapist Jeff Banaszak and Golf Digest professional advisors Ralph Simpson and Randy Myers, the best time for a massage is within four to six hours of completing your last round. Avoid a massage on back-to-back days or right before you tee off.

"The mechanical manipulation of tissues can have a negative effect on timing and neuromuscular coordination in the short-term," says Banaszak, who serves on the Titleist Performance Institute's advisory board for health and medicine.

The best massage for golfers is deep tissue, says Myers, but ask the massage therapist to focus on the hips, glutes, lower back and shoulders. A Swedish massage, which is lighter and friendlier, is OK for golfers but doesn't yield the same benefits as deep tissue. "No pain, no gain," Myers jokes.

If you have more than one massage during a trip, Simpson suggests that one be intense and the other much lighter to allow the tissue to recover.

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