2014 US Masters preview

The US Masters, golf’s quirky showpiece event begins on April 10th at the Augusta National Golf Club, its home since 1934.

It is the 80th year the course has been the home of The Masters, but this is the 78th edition as World War II caused a halt on play from 1943-45.

But this year something will be different, as Tiger Woods will miss the first Masters tournament in his career, dealing another blow in his quest to catch Jack Nicklaus for the most majors in a career.

But even without Tiger Woods, this 78th edition could be a vintage affair with the field that still includes a who’s who of past champions, current top players and impressive amateurs.

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Get your golf groove back

golf driver ball

Spring is definitely in the air, as March Madness has just produced another Duke championship, and the Red Sox and Yankees kicked off the baseball season on Opening Day. It’s even warm now in C-Town after the nasty snowstorm from last week.

Now we have The Masters this week, with Tiger Woods trying to get back his mojo on the most famous golf course in the world. We now know that he previously had an incredible advantage, as he was able to use his babe posse to ensure he never let any sexual frustration or pent up sexual energy impede his game. Can he still perform at peak levels without this constant release? It has to be more difficult now that he isn’t getting any. Not only that, the whole world knows about it and will be reminding him of it for years to come. This week we’ll see just how good he really is.

While watching Tiger and the other golf pros this weekend, you’re bound to get the itch to get back out there yourself. Most of you avid golfers are way ahead of us on this. With that in mind, think about ways you can take your game to the next level this year.

Naturally, much of your focus will be on your swing and whether you can improve your game by upgrading your gear, but spend some time thinking about your own fitness and how that might impact your game. Sure, this isn’t basketball, and you can still do well in this game with your usual beer intake and your growing pot belly, but improving your general fitness, your strength and your flexibility can give you an edge.

Our Fitness Editor, Mike Furci, has two articles in the archives that you should check out as you approach the new golf season. His first article covers the importance of strength training for golfers, particularly exercises that strengthen your lower back. Here’s what Mike said in 2000, well before Tiger sculpted his body and took his game to the next level.

Many golfers I talk with think that injuries like low back pain and shoulder problems are just a part of the game. What if I told you that a strength and conditioning program can cure most of these ailments, and can dramatically improve the risk of experiencing future problems? In addition, a proper program can dramatically improve your game. Many pros, including Nancy Lopez will tell you that their strength and conditioning programs helped their game, and it also saved their careers.

Many top professionals are seeing the benefits of getting into, and staying in top physical condition. Professional golfers are finally looking at themselves for what they are…athletes. That’s right, golfers are athletes. To be successful in what many consider to be a game of frustration and skill, one need’s strength, endurance, balance, coordination, finesse, and timing. These aspects of the game cannot be found in a pro shop. Most people focus on the latest ball or most expensive club to be competitive. They do not look toward their bodies for the answer. These same people with the finest equipment money can buy, can’t walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for air.

Mike followed up that article with another that took a closer look at ways you can prevent golf injuries.

So, if you’re happy with your scores, keep guzzling that beer and inhaling those hot dogs. But, if you want to improve your game, and also look a little better in your new golf clothes, forget about the expensive golf clubs and get your ass in shape!

  

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