Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sophomore Bradley Knox is "Stealing Your Fitness." Here's How...

The Art of Stealing Fitness

A zero sum game is a scenario in which one person gains something and as a result another person loses an equivalent value. Popular zero sum games include poker, and other forms of gambling, but since we as NCAA athletes are prohibited from most forms of gambling, we have to fulfill our desire for ruthless competition in different ways. Often, we choose fitness.

Fitness is not widely considered to be a zero sum game, because if I am working out, how can that negatively impact anyone else? Here’s how: Take an arbitrary value for the average level of fitness in the world, say 30. The more fit you are, the higher your fitness value is. Say senior David Boote has a fitness value of 43, and I have a fitness value of 30. If Boote works out, he will gain 1 fitness point, therefore raising the average value of fitness in the world to 30.1, and his personal fitness value to 44. If you do some simple arithmetic, you will find that Boote’s fitness level relative to the rest of the world (call this value y) changed from +13 to +13.9 giving him a delta (D) of .9. However, everyone else in this theoretical world will have a D equal to -0.1, due simply to the fact that Boote took the initiative to do a little bit of cardio on a Sunday morning. In other words, Boote stole our fitness.

Now that we have explored the mathematics and theory of a zero sum game in a theoretical world, we must look at how we, as a Stanford Golf program, have implemented this knowledge in order to enable us to make the marginal gains that separate those who win from those who don’t. As a Stanford golfer, I field many questions about my daily routine, including where we travel and how I am playing, but when we come to our fitness schedule other students seem perplexed: “Why do you guys work out?…it’s golf”, “What do you need cardio for?”, “But you guys only do flexibility, right?”. Every yard off the tee and degree of flexibility, as well as the absence of exhaustion on the back nine of a 36 hole, 12 hour day can make the difference between a good score or simply a good effort. This all begins in the weight room, where we take pride…in stealing your fitness.


by Bradley Knox

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Frank the Tank Wants More Versa

The VersaClimber. The workout machine from hell. I have decided that if Dante had worked out with the VersaClimber, instead of being frozen in the icy depths of Lake Cocytus, traitors in his 9th Circle of Hell would be strapped onto the Versa for an eternal cardio workout.
For those of you not familiar with the VersaClimber, it is a vertical climbing apparatus. The machine itself is a very simple contraption. It is a long pole rising from the depths of hell but angled slightly and surrounded by railing on both sides to maintain balance.
 At the top of the machine is a screen that monitors speed at which you climb, number of feet you have climbed, and time passed since you started climbing. Below the screen are two handlebars and two small platforms for your feet. You strap your feet in and grab the handlebars. To begin the workout, you step up with one leg as if you are climbing a step and pull down with the handlebar on the corresponding side. The resulting motion is similar to that of a rock climber. Sophomore Jeff Swegle describes the motion as “futile attempts to lunge your way out of hell while remaining stationary”. 

At the beginning of the year, the dreaded 10 minute Versa is reserved for Cardio Fridays. But towards the end of Winter Quarter and into Spring Quarter, Jason (our trainer) uses the 10 minute ordeal as a “warm-up”.

The following is a sample of my internal stream as I make this godforsaken climb.

0-60 sec:
Ok. Don’t come out of the gates too hot. Keep it nice and steady. Don’t want to kill yourself in the first minute.
60-240 sec:
I’m just gonna keep a steady pace. Save some energy for later. Ok this isn’t too bad. Definitely breathing heavily, but the quads and glutes are still feeling good
240-300 sec:
Almost halfway there. Keep it going.
5 minute mark:
Good god, I’m only halfway there. I’ve just done 5 minutes and you expect me to do 5 more minutes, Jason?
300-360 sec:
Keep the head down. Don’t look at the time. Just keep it going. Oh man the quads are burning up.
360-450 sec:
No human should have to do this. This is horrible. *I look over to check how my teammates are doing* There’s Dom. Tearing the Versa apart. They probably need to get a new machine after he’s done (Shoutout to Senior Dominick Francks for breaking the 2000 foot mark twice!!!). Mav (Junior Maverick McNealy) crushing it as per usual. Face is also redder than a tomato. V-man (Junior Viraat Badhwar) looking nimble on the Versa. Like a gazelle prancing in the plains.
7 minute 30 second mark:
3 quarters of the way done. Just one more quarter. Home stretch. Arms feel like lead. Glutes are definitely activated. Quads are on fire.
450-540 sec:
Forget this.
540-590 sec:
Last minute. Give it all you got.
590-600 sec:
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Although the Versa Climber is the Spawn of Satan and the bane of my existence, its benefits have been noticeable. Not only do I have more stamina in the weight room, I also have more energy on the golf course (especially those 36 hole days).
The Stanford Men’s golf team takes pride in the difficulty of our Versa workouts and we relish the fact that we are a golf team that does this much cardio. We use it as motivation. The Versa is a tool that is essential to our program.

As Sophomore Bradley Knox so eloquently declares post-workout, “More Versa."

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Written by Sophomore Franklin Huang (aka, Frank the Tank)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mighty Myers Talks Freshman Fall

Freshman fall quarter has been one of the best experiences of my life. It’s everything that you hear plus a lot more. As a student-athlete at one of the top schools in the country, the days can become very busy. A typical in-season day includes workouts, class, practice, and homework. Our trainer, Jason, keeps us motivated and working hard in the gym with a good plan for each one of us to get stronger. Fitness is a big part of our team and it can have an impact on our golf games. I was enrolled in three classes this quarter that totaled to 14 units. These classes were Math51, Econ1, and Weather and Storms. Classes at Stanford are definitely a step up from those I had in high school. 

The resources and support that we receive as Stanford golfers are incredible. One of the many attractions to come to Stanford was the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex. This practice facility, along with great teammates to practice and compete with, has made practicing more fun and more productive than ever before. The Siebel facility has been undergoing an amazing transformation during the fall season that will be open by the time we get back from winter break. This renovation includes a clubhouse, hitting bays with all of the latest and greatest technology, four new greens, and tons of new shots to master. This practice facility allows our team, Coach Ray, and Coach Brockington to get creative and get the most out of our practice time. 

On top of our practice at the Siebel Training Complex, our team has been fortunate enough to play some of the top courses around Stanford. These include Stanford Golf Course, Los Altos Golf Club, San Francisco Golf Club, California Golf Club, Pasatiempo Golf Club and more. 

I learned a lot during fall quarter and had a lot of fun as well. I’m very excited about the rest of freshman year both on and off the golf course. As always, Go Card!

By Chris Meyers

Monday, January 4, 2016

Isaiah Salinda (aka "The IS") Shares Stanford Beginnings

            Although I have barely scratched the surface of my four year Stanford experience, there is already so much I can write about. Just like everyone else, Ive had my share of ups and downs the last 12 weeks or so, but its the positive memories that stick out and are definitely worth sharing.

            One of my fondest memories dates back to the first day of the preseason in September. Opening my locker and seeing a Stanford bag with my name on it and all this new Nike gear was a pretty special moment. I waited a long three months over the summer to join the team and it was at that moment that I knew I could call myself a Stanford golfer.

            One of the greatest perks of being a Stanford golfer is playing at pretty much all the nicest courses in the bay area. Some of my favorite courses we have played so far are Pasatiempo, Cal Club, Half Moon Bay, Sharon Heights, and San Francisco Golf Club. SF Club is probably my favorite one of them all, since it is also host to the annual Big Game Cup. Every year during the week of the Stanford-Cal football game, the golf teams from each school pair up with Stanford and Cal alumni/members of the club and compete in a best-ball Ryder Cup like competition. This year, the weather was nice, the course was in good condition, and more importantly Stanford won! A key highlight from the Big Game Cup came from sophomore Frank the TankHuang, who had an ace on the par 3 13th hole. Tank was rather nonchalant about it (very typical of Tank) as the rest of us were more excited about the hole-in-one than he was. Nonetheless, the combination of beating Cal and Tanks hole in one led to a very memorable van ride home

            Speaking of vans I have had the privilege of becoming very familiar with them this quarter. Being on the team means having certain responsibilities. All 10 of us have specific team jobs and Chris (one of my freshman teammates) and I were assigned cleaning our two team vans 2-3 times a quarter. While at first I thought this would be a very mundane and boring task, it has proven to be rather enjoyable. Since the size of our vans prevents us from going to a normal car wash, we have to take the vans to a self car wash in Menlo Park. Spraying the van with water/soap out of the high pressure nozzle is actually kind of fun and for some weird reason, I really enjoy it.  Cleaning the vans inside and out is a job I take pride in. Also, since I dont have my car on campus, cruising around in the vans fills the void of not being able to drive. I think Chris and I got pretty lucky with our team job.

            Finally, on a more serious note, my most memorable experience thus far was playing in the Gifford Collegiate at La Costa. It was my first college tournament, and after struggling early in the season I was able to turn my game around and make the lineup for our last event of the fall. The whole trip was just a great time, and we as Stanford golfers have a pretty luxurious lifestyle while traveling. We got to visit the Taylormade Kingdom, stay 4 nights at the beautiful resort (which included buffets for most meals), and play the Legends Course which has hosted multiple PGA Tour events. The Gifford Collegiate was a fun week and also a great learning experience for me.

            While I only mentioned a few memories that stuck out, it is important to note that all my time spent with my teammates, (whether it be during morning workouts in the weight room, afternoon practice at Siebel, football games, or team dinner) is a memory in itself. Ive learned that the season is a day to day grind, but it is reassuring knowing that I can enjoy it with 9 other guys who all share the goal of winning a national championship. That being said, the fall season as a whole was a memorable one and I cant wait to see what awaits us in the spring.            

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Brandon Wu Shares Experiences from his First Quarter at Stanford

Freshman year, “the best year of your life,” as some would say. Everyone has encouraged me to take full advantage of it. Although transitioning to living at school can be tough, I have attended boarding school since seventh grade, and that has helped me ease into college life. Through my experience thus far, I have learned that having a great group of people including my friends, family, coaches, and teammates, have helped me adapt to life on the Farm. In fact, one the biggest changes for me has been getting used to the beautiful sunshine of California, which bodes much better for my golf game then snowy New England! Stanford has been great so far, and I wanted to share my favorite moments from this fall.

Playing Great Courses

As members of the golf team we have the opportunity to travel around the Bay Area and play some amazing golf courses. We are fortunate enough to be able to play the Stanford Golf Course as often as we want. On top of this, we’ve played storied clubs this fall such as San Francisco Golf Club and California Golf Club, as well as ones with great views such as Half Moon Bay.

Meeting All Sorts of People

The Stanford Golf Team has a great supporting cast of people that have contributed to our success through their continuous support. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of these people at the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex and at the Cardinal Classic. While they all had diverse interests outside of golf, they all exhibit a strong passion for the game. One particular person I met helped build the pool at the middle school I attended out in Massachusetts. I was a big swimmer throughout grade school, and I was very grateful of this beautiful pool during my time there. It was quite a coincidence to meet the people whom it had been named after, and it proved to me how contributions like this are vital to a team’s success.

Taking Down the Big Dogs

Despite being a very close-knit team, a key value of our team is the competitiveness. This is exemplified in practice where the sole purpose of our practice is to beat a teammate is set drills.
Isaiah and I, two of the three freshmen on the team, challenged and then proceeded to successfully take down the big, bad, juniors Mav and V, in a best ball battle at our practice facility. Isaiah showcased his clutch putting rolling in a 15 footer on the last hole, accompanied by a strong fist pump. Big win for the good guys.

Pumpkin Ridge

Playing Pumpkin Ridge was a blast. This historic venue, where Tiger won his third consecutive US Amateur Championship in 1996, served host to my first collegiate tournament.
The third and final day, I had two double bogeys in five holes and was sitting at 4 over, however, I went 7 under from then on out including closing with 5 birdies in a row, something I had never done before.  It was a great way to finish off my first tournament!


The fall season was a blast and I can’t wait for what the spring has in store! Go Card!

by Brandon Wu