Taking off for golf now has a whole new meaning

January 6, 2012

With gale-force winds now hitting the Cape Region in earnest, many local golfers have put up their clubs for a while. Most of those folks have also put up their feet, as the urge to stay warm and maybe have another hot toddy feels like a nice way to endure the next few months without golf.

According to Maryland food and weight loss coach Larry Jacobs, however, that approach to winter is no help to golfers interested in improving their health or their game.

Jacobs, a four-handicapper, Special Olympics golf coach and nutritional guru, also has a keen sense of timing.

In a press release sent to golf writers this week, Jacobs announced his upcoming Weight Loss for Golfers Tele-Seminar Series, to be held Feb. 15. According to the release, the four-part program is “guaranteed to make participants thin for life, and this time at half off the usual price."

Jacobs promotes what he calls a clean eating regimen that burns fat while leaving its followers satisfied with their portions.

One part of his sales pitch should resonate with everyone, no matter the level of interest in golf. “It’s almost impossible to restrict calories and eat less forever, which is why diets don’t work and people usually regain all or more of what they lost,” he says. “It’s not how much you eat. It’s what you eat that matters most.”

The Thin For Life program relies on a different set of incentives for its participants than the usual weigh-ins, or an emphasis on what the lights on the scales are showing. Instead, Jacobs emphasizes the goals of “fitting into smaller clothes, feeling more energetic, healthy, and happy about how you look and feel.”

The press release claims that seven out of 10 golfers are overweight, which can’t be all that different from what one might observe in the aisles of a Cape Region big box store. As an avid golfer himself, however, Jacobs feels his program is tailor-made, as it were, for the duffers among us. (Please excuse the pun).

During the four sessions, golfers learn to eliminate certain foods from their daily routine, such as potato chips and processed meats. From there, participants learn to choose from a list of 50 to 60 foods to enjoy when hungry, while building an “individualized long-term plan to build healthy eating into a lifestyle.”

I’m fine with Jacobs’ suggestions, as long as we all understand that bacon is not actually a processed meat product.

It is the perfect food, as I think we all know.

All kidding aside, Jacobs has been successful in running this program for many years. It’s worth considering, especially during the hardest part of the year to be inspired to diet and exercise.

For more information about the Weight Loss for Golfers program, go to

Maybe that wasn’t such a genius move after all
A recent USGA Ruling of the Day brings up a situation that a midwinter thaw could easily produce.

Sometimes a player thinks his golf ball is embedded in the wet ground. Under the rules, he’s entitled to pick the ball up to confirm his suspicion, and to place it on level ground if it was embedded. However, the ball can’t be cleaned at this time.

Suppose there’s a piece of mud on the ball in this scenario. What can the golfer do about the mud and how it might affect the flight of the ball?

According to this decision, the ball can be put back on the spot, keeping the muddy bits from any likely place where the club will hit mud first, ball second. Nonetheless, the golfer can’t put the ball back mud side down. That would make the mud act like a golf tee, which violates a separate rule.

This is not a hard rule to follow, but you never know when some golfer with more enterprise than ethics will be facing you in competition. It therefore helps if both golfers witness the pick-up, inspection and replacing of the ball in a muddy situation.

As one favorite president said in an equally important context, “Trust, but verify.”