Getting Ready for the 2018 Golf Season!

It’s been a long Winter here in New England,  but the snow’s finally melted and the golf courses are opening!  Matt and I have been busy putting together our list of  2018 Preferred Golf Courses  and we can’t wait to start filming for our YouTube Channel!

We’ve been doing a lot of work over the off-season to upgrade our videos.  One of the exciting NEW things we’ll be featuring this year on the blog and YouTube Channel is arial  footage of local New Hampshire Golf Courses.

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Beaver Meadow Golf Course,  Concord,  NH   –  First photograph with the drone

Matt and I are having a blast learning how to fly our new drone  –  making our golf adventures even more entertaining.

We’re kicking the season off at Hoodkroft Country Club in Derry,  NH on Wednesday,  May 16th.  The first video of the year will be out shortly after that!

We hope you all have a fantastic start to the 2018 golf season.  Don’t forget to check back in with the blog and YouTube Channel for great golf in New Hampshire.

See you on the course!

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Teresa practicing her pitch shots at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH

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Don’t Let A Bad Shot Ruin Your Whole Game

How do you deal with the disappointment of a bad golf shot?

This is a question every golfer needs to ask themselves.

Both on the course and at the range,  golf can be a frustrating sport.  How a golfer deals with disappointment can have a huge impact on their golf game.

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Teresa in the woods after a bad tee shot

Are you someone who swears and throws your clubs  –  or can you take a bad shot in stride?

I’ve heard from just about every golfer I’ve met that golf is a mental game.

It’s true.

It’s also a game of patience,  stillness,  and awareness.

Every golf shot,  whether you’re at the range or on the course,  begins with awareness  –  of your body,  your set up,  where you plan to hit the ball,  and what your next strategy will be no matter where that ball ends up.

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Christina,  Teresa,  and Liz at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH

The more stressed out and frustrated you get with yourself,  the harder it becomes to pull off a good shot.

Why?

Because frustration makes your muscles tense up  –  which is exactly the opposite of what you want your body to do when you’re golfing.

A good golf shot requires a calm mind and a relaxed body.

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Eric setting up his putt at The Oaks Golf Links in Somersworth,  NH

So,  how do you remain calm and relaxed when you’re hitting like crap?

There’s no one size fits all to this question.  However,  here are a few key points that may help.

Let the bad day happen…

It’s going to whether you like it or not,  so why not embrace the suckatude?  Make the mental decision to allow yourself to play through everything that’s going wrong.  Use this time to learn how to develop a more refined course management strategy.  Course management,  after all,  isn’t just about knowing what hazards are between your ball and the green.  It’s also about being aware enough of yourself to stay calm and make smart decisions  –  no matter what’s going on with your swing.

Change your mental focus…  

It’s easy to chase tail and dwell on what’s going wrong with your game.  Why not focus on what’s going right?  Learn your strengths and use them to improve your overall game.  Attitude is everything.  The more positive you are,  the better your round and/or practice session will feel.  Learn to focus on the positives so that no matter what,  you’re always enjoying the time you’re investing in your game.

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Matt teeing off at Crotched Mountain Golf Course in Francistown,  NH

Learn how to be quiet…

Golf is a game played mostly in silence,  yet,  silence makes most people uncomfortable.  When no one else is talking,  our own thoughts end up getting very loud.  Honestly,  how often do the thoughts in your head take over just before you hit the ball… causing you to slice,  shank,  or duff what you hoped would be a good shot?   It’s important to learn how to quiet your mind and relax your body.   There are many ways to do this,  and it’s different for each person.  Take some time to figure out what helps you shake things off and get out of your head so you’re hitting with confidence and ease.

Develop a routine…

The best way to get out of your head and relax into your shot is to develop a routine.  How you approach the ball determines how you hit it.  If you’re spending all your time trying to  ‘fix’ the last shot,  you’re not spending any time deciding how to hit the next one.  Golf is a game of muscle memory and forward thinking.  Creating a routine in your set up keeps you focused on good habits and correct form  –  and prevents you from sliding down into the ‘fix it’ zone.

Whatever’s going on with your game,  learning how to stay calm and relaxed while you deal with the disappointment of a bad shot makes all the difference.  Take some time to develop a routine that allows you to get out of your head,  focus on the positives,  play off your strengths,  and enjoy the time you spend on the course.  And never let a bad shot ruin your game again.

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Teresa practicing at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH

 

 

Tee Time Yoga – Thread the Needle and Wrist Stretch

Written by Teresa Thompson and Peggy Nolan

I never really thought about my wrists before I started playing golf.  However,  once I took up the sport,  I realized just how important they are for a good golf swing.

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Teresa working on her swing at Twin Pines Driving Range in Epping,  NH.

When I first started playing,  I was amazed at how sore my wrists could get after a day on the course or a practice session at the range.  I’ve tried a variety of things to help loosen up my joints and forearms,  but the stretch that helps the most is the one Peggy showed me for our Yoga for Golf series.

When Peggy took her lesson from Matt,  we worked specifically on how to properly grip the golf club.  Peggy noticed right away that she needed proper wrist alignment and flexibility in her grip in order to swing the club correctly.

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Matt and Peggy working on proper wrist alignment while gripping the golf club

My wrists tend to be super tight and I have a difficult time getting them to roll over in time to square my club face with the ball at impact,  especially with my longer clubs.  So I absolutely LOVE this wrist stretch!  Peggy paired it with a posture called Thread the Needle.

Thread the Needle is a nice,  gentle stretch for the shoulders and back.  I’ve found that doing these two stretches together after my range sessions relaxes my muscles and soothes my joints.

Let’s look at how Peggy breaks down each stretch…

For this weeks blog post,  both Thread the needle and the wrist stretch begin with Table Pose.

While the focus is on stretching wrists and shoulders,  table pose is a stabilizing and grounding pose that creates a base for the body to engage in our targeted stretches.

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Table Pose

Teacher’s Corner

1. Begin in table pose
2. Knees directly under hips, wrists directly under shoulders
3. Press fingers firmly into earth
4. Press tops of feet firmly into earth
5. Lengthen from tailbone to crown of head
6. Press belly button towards spine, engage abdomen

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Peggy’s Wrist Stretch

For Wrist Stretch in this posture

1.  Rotate both hands, one at a time, so that fingers tips face knees.
2.  Remain here for 3 breaths OR if you would like more of a wrist stretch, slowly press hips to heels.

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Teresa’s Wrist Stretch

Only go as far as your wrists will allow.  Back off or come out of the stretch if you feel any pain.

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Thread the Needle  –  Right Side

For Thread The Needle

1.  Inhale and raise right arm towards sky, exhale and lower right arm behind left arm, threading right arm through. Gently bring right corner of head to mat. Press hips to heels. Stretch left arm to top of mat. Remain here for 3-5 breaths.
2.  To come out of pose, bring left hand near your face, pressing into left hand, raise right arm towards sky, exhale and return right hand to center, coming into table pose.

Repeat on the left side.

Benefits of Table Pose
1.  Strengthens low back and abdomen
2.  Creates stability in wrists,  elbows,  shoulders,  hips,  knees

Benefits of wrist stretch
1.  Flexibility,  wrist extension,  for some  –  pain relief.

Benefits of Thread the Needle
1. Warm up or cool down the shoulders
2. Create space in shoulder
3. Improve flexibility
4. Reduce tension, stress, and soreness

Watch the video below  –  and join Peggy and Teresa for Thread the Needle and Wrist Stretch

Food for thought this week:

What is yoga without practice?
What is golf without practice?

Tee Time Yoga – Mountain Pose with Spinal Twist

written by Teresa Thompson and Peggy Nolan

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One of the things I love about yoga is how much it applies to everything else in my life  –  like my golf swing!  I’ve been a fan of the mat since 2010,  and over the years,  I’ve had the privilege of working with yoga instructor Peggy Nolan on several occasions.

The first thing she taught me when I met her was Mountain Pose.

Mountain Pose,  or Tadasana,  is all about finding balance and stability.  Falling out of my stance is something I struggle with in my golf swing.  Trying to get power and speed,  especially with my longer clubs,  makes it difficult to stay in control of my body on the follow through.

Mountain Pose helps me maintain good body position throughout my golf swing.  

In our first mini-video,  Peggy combines Mountain Pose with a standing Spinal Twist.  I loved the sequence from the moment she showed it to me.  The spinal twist feels great in my shoulders and upper back.  I love the extra range of motion I get on my back swing from this stretch!

Taking a few minutes each day to do Mountain Pose with standing Spinal Twist has improved my balance and  flexibility  –  as well as my golf swing!

Take a look at how Peggy breaks down each posture…

Tadasana = Mountain Pose

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Peggy and Teresa in Mountain Pose

As golfers,  finding mountain pose in your stance,  whether you’re driving,  chipping,  or putting,  will help with stability,  strength,  posture,  and balance.

Teacher’s Corner:

1. Stand with feet parallel and hip width apart
2. Press pad of big toe, baby toe, inside and outside heel to earth
3. Press feet into earth
4. Gently lift knee caps, engaging the legs
5. Root to rise, lengthening from side bodies
6. Press belly towards spine; tailbone towards earth
7. Lift shoulders towards ears and allow shoulders melt down your back
8. Lift collar bones, press shoulder blades together
9. Activate biceps and triceps, point fingers firmly together towards earth
10. Lengthen from crown of head, chin is neutral
11. Take 3 deep belly breaths, feeling strength and stability in lower body and lightness and ease in upper body

Benefits of Mountain Pose:

1. Teaches basic alignment
2. Improves overall posture
3. Supports healthy joints
4. Creates space in abdominal area for better digestion
5. Creates space in both sides as well as spine
6. Creates stability and strength in legs

Spinal Twists

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Peggy and Teresa in Standing Spinal Twist

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There are a variety of spinal twisting yoga poses. Spinal twists before golf will help warm up your back and reduce tension and stress. Spinal twists after golf will help relax the spine and nervous system.

Teacher’s Corner:

1. Spinal twists can be done standing, seated, or lying down
2. Twisting your spine should never be forced
3. Only twist as far as it is comfortable in your back body to twist
4. When using twists to warm up, only go to 30-40% of the twist
5. If the full standing twist in the video is unavailable to you,  have no fear. We’ll be showing more options and variations in upcoming videos

Benefits of Spinal Twists:

1. Opens the rib cage and allows for ease of breath
2. Massages digestive organs
3. Stimulates lymph flow
4. Reduces tension
5. Aids in relaxation
6. Opens the spine and helps with spinal flexibility

Watch the video below to Join Peggy and Teresa in Mountain Pose with Spinal Twist

Peggy Nolan is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 500), former martial artist (TaeKwonDo, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and expert crocheter. She guides yoga nidra classes at Hot Asana Yoga Studio in Hampstead, NH.  Find her on Facebook!   at  Twisted Crochet

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Crockpot Veggie Soup

I love to cook  –  almost as much as I love to play golf.  I also love to eat healthy,  even on days I’m at the range or on the course.  One of the ways I’m able to golf the day away and have a healthy,  home cooked meal is by utilizing my crockpot.

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Teresa’s Crockpot Veggie Soup

Crockpot meals are quick and easy.  One of my favorites is a simple vegetable soup.  It takes 20 minutes of prep before I walk out the door  –  and by the time I come home  –  I have a savory,  ready to eat meal.

Check out my recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium to large potatoes

1 bunch celery

5 large carrots

1 large onion

3 cups chopped kale

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

salt,  pepper,  adobo,  and  turmeric

Dice potatoes,  celery,  carrots,  and onions into bite sized pieces.  Add to crock pot and cover with water.  Season to taste with salt,  pepper,  adobo,  and turmeric.  Set crockpot to low and cover with lid.  Chop kale,  cover,  and store in refrigerator.

Go Golfing!

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When you return,  add kale and coconut milk  (separate condensed coconut milk from coconut oil before adding to soup).  Allow to cook for 20 more minutes.

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Add coconut milk for a creamy,  dairy-free soup base

Garnish with sprouts,  nuts,  and seeds.

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Teresa’s garnish –  alfalfa sprouts,  broccoli sprouts,  sunflower seeds,  pumpkin seeds,  almonds,  cashews,  and walnuts

Enjoy!

Check back next week for updates on our Tee Time Yoga series with yoga instructor and martial artist,  Peggy Nolan!

 

Finding Health, Happiness, and Inspiration Through Golf

This is me in 2015 when I first started hanging out at the driving range with Matt.

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Teresa  –  July,  2015

At the time,  I was simply looking for a way to unplug,  get outside,  and spend some quality time with my husband.  I spent most of the summer helping Matt work on his golf swing.  Once in a while I’d hit a few balls myself.  I had a shoulder injury due to work and I was in the middle of an autoimmune health flare up,  so my ability to swing the club was limited.

After a winter of PT and some time concentrating on getting my autoimmunity under control,  I came back in 2016 ready to undertake my journey from beginner golfer to serious golf addict!

Being outside sharing my husband’s love of golf became a huge source of inspiration.  Once I started, I couldn’t stop!  And I wanted to see just how good of a golfer I could become.  With that in mind,  Matt and I decided to film our rounds and practice sessions right off the bat.

 

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One of Teresa’s first rounds of golf with the camera

It was intimidating at first.  But I kept at it.  We started our YouTube Channel and golf blog as a way to keep track of my progress.  We also concentrated on putting together a golf program to help me and other beginner golfers be able to learn the sport in a fun,  relaxed,  supportive environment.  We organized a golf league,  held clinics,  and arranged excursions at local area golf courses.

Our goal was to create a community to support new golfers who wanted to get out on the course with us.  As we began to build up our golf program,  I started looking into lifestyle changes that would support my game.

Proper diet and exercise became an important part of my practice routine and golf lifestyle.  The inspiration I felt from being out on the course,  meeting other new golfers,  and getting to know local golf courses,  helped me make huge gains in my golf swing as well as my overall health.

To date,  I’ve lost over 25 pounds,  regained full range of motion in my shoulder,  restored my health,  reconnected with my husband,  and met some really amazing people.

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The 2017 regular golf season is coming to an end…. but my motivation is still in full swing!  This winter I’m creating a Wednesday Wellness Series here on the blog.  I’ll be talking about my diet and exercise routine as well as how I find ways to keep golfing while living in snowy New England.

I’ll feature Tee Time Recipies,  Tee Time Yoga,  our Winter Golf Program (lessons,  clinics,  and leagues)  and Florida golf vacation ideas.  In the mean time,  check out my golf swing compilation video.  Let me know what you think of my progress!  And then check back every Wednesday for ways you can stay healthy while improving your golf game.

 

 

Improve Your Golf Swing With Yoga

One of the first things I heard when I started playing golf was…

Swinging a club is one of the worst things you can do to your back. 

I love this sport and want to be able to play it well into my retirement  –  so keeping my body healthy and injury free is a top priority.

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Teresa working on her backswing positioning at Twin Pines Driving Range in Epping,  NH

I decided right away to look for ways to keep my back healthy and strong.  That’s why I’m teaming up with yoga instructor and martial artist Peggy Nolan!

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Certified Yoga Instructor and 3rd Degree Black Belt – Peggy Nolan

Together we’re working on creating a Yoga series specifically tailored for golf!  The goal of our program is to help golfers gain strength and flexibility while maintaining proper spine alignment.

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Peggy doing yoga at Summit Lake,  Mount Evans,  Colorado

Ask any golf professional and they’ll tell you maintaining proper angles in the golf swing is key to consistency.  Getting the angles you want requires correct alignment in your body.

Body alignment is what yoga’s all about!  

That’s why yoga is such a powerful tool for golfers when it comes to improving their swing.

I wanted to work with Peggy because of her experience in combining yoga with other sports  –  specifically martial arts.   Peggy is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level and a 3rd level black prajioud (3rd degree black belt) in Muay Thai.  Peggy taught Yoga for Martial Arts at Tim Barchard’s Professional Martial Arts Academy in Derry from 2012 to 2017.   Currently she teaches Yoga Nidra at Hot Asana Yoga in Hampstead.

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Peggy training at Tim Barchard’s Professional Martial Arts Academy in Derry

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Peggy’s Yoga Nidra Class at Hot Asana Yoga in Hampstead,  NH

We started creating our yoga series by having Peggy take a golf lesson with Matt.  During her lesson,  we focused on posture,  balance,  alignment,  and flexibility.  As we worked through the various moving parts,  Peggy was able to begin the process of putting together a yoga series specifically for golfers.

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Matt and Peggy working on spine angles and positioning

 

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Focusing on correct shoulder alignment through the finish

In the next few weeks,  we’ll be picking apart the anatomy of the golf swing  –  pairing each piece with yoga postures that support the full range of motion,  strength,  balance,  and flexibility every golfer needs to take care of their back while swinging a club.

We’re scheduled to begin filming Tee Time’s Yoga for Golf in December with a release date of January 2018!  In the mean time,  check out our Wellness Wednesday Winter Blog Series right here at the Tee Time Golf Blog.  We’ll be talking about healthy ways to stay in the swing of things during the off season.

Namaste and Keep Golfing!

Check out our monthly membership golf program here.

We offer winter lessons, clinics, and leagues!