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PRO GOLFER, RYAN WINTHER, IS BREAKING RECORDS
By: Jennifer Cho Salaff
Team Max Muscle pro golfer is setting world records and taking the golf world by storm. Find out what makes him great and how you can improve your golf game!
Ryan Winther’s rise in professional golf can be described in one way: meteoric. When the 28-year-old Sacramento, California resident went pro in 2009, it wasn’t long before he was winning tours and setting world records. In fact, within two months of going pro, Winther won his first event and later recorded the unofficial world record for swing speed at 167.1 mph.
Today, Winther holds the Official World Record for Ball Speed (220.4 mph) and the Official ReMax World Long Drive Record for hitting a golf ball 469 yards (the length of almost four football fields!).
For Winther, who played baseball throughout high school and then for a handful of minor league teams, the foray into golf proved to be a likely next step in his sports career. After retiring from baseball in 2006, he joined the work force and picked up golf. “I had a bunch of friends from baseball who golfed,” he says. “I got the bug and as someone who has played baseball all his life, it was a natural transition.”
Winther displayed unmistakable talent from the first moment he stepped out on the course, say his peers. Encouraged by a colleague to enter a local tournament, he gave the long drive a try, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Don’t get me wrong, I practice,” Winther says, when asked if golf comes naturally to him. “You need a certain amount of hours to hone any skill. I always hit the ball far, but it took some time to hit it straight.”
But it’s not just Winther’s tremendous athletic skill and professional sports background that make him an exceptional golfer, says his coach, Dan Schwabe. He’s got heart and plenty of perseverance. “He’s one of the hardest workers I know,” says Schwabe. “It’s unbelievable that he’s only been in the game for three years. He’s compressed 10 years worth of learning in just a few short years.”
Perhaps what explains Winther’s meteoric rise in professional golf is his unquenchable thirst for self-improvement. His intention to get better is unparalleled, says Schwabe. For instance, while the average golfer may find one or two things at a time he wants to work on, Winther will focus on a multiple set of skills at once.
“You have to be careful as a teacher, not to overwhelm a student – not to overload them,” Schwabe says. “But with Ryan, he says, ‘You tell me what to do and I will do it.’ He’ll stop in the middle of a lesson and ask me the specifics. I’ll give him one, two, three or more things to work on and he’ll do it. He just overlaps, overlaps, overlaps. He’s not afraid to take on as much as you’ll give him.”
One could say Winther was destined to be the fastest golfer in history. As a young boy, he had your typical “boy hobbies” like playing with sticks and rocks (“I would see how far I could hit those rocks with any stick I would find,” Winther remembers), and started playing Little League Baseball at age 5. He showed exceptional talent as he progressed through junior and high school baseball, then college summer ball. Baseball was always something he was good at. It’s no wonder Winther was heavily scouted by Major League Baseball teams. Then came golf.
“I’ve learned so much from this sport – on and off the course,” Winther says. “You have to have discipline, you have to be loyal to it. It’s all about confidence in your swing, confidence in your talents. And it’s about far more than just the game. It’s about being a gentleman and treating others with respect.”
Winther’s day-to-day training includes 10-hour days, six days a week. “No rest for the weary!” he says. His top training tips? Swing fast. You can’t hit the ball far if you don’t swing hard, he says.
“Treat your range time like the gym,” Winther says. “Work on something specific, work hard at it, then move on to something else. You wouldn’t go to the gym and lift chest for five hours!”
Also, unlike conventional wisdom, practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. “You must work on the correct things that will directly improve your score,” he cautions. “Bashing the driver for two hours will not make you a better golfer.”
Lastly, don’t take no for answer and never give up. It’s easy to take the low road, but be confident and take the high road – in life and on the course, Winther says.
“Ryan is one to watch,” coach Schwabe says. “I see him reaching incredible heights. I see him being a world champion in the Long Drive. There’s no reason for him not to achieve his goals and dreams, which includes getting on the PGA tour.” MS&F
Workout schedule: Cardio in the morning, golf during the day, then hit the gym at night. 10-hour days, six days a week.
Diet regimen: Consume plenty of protein (200 grams per day and rely on complex carbs to get through a 10-hour day on the course, in the gym and on the treadmill.
Favorite cheat meal: French fries
Supplements: Triple Whey Protein, Max Vit-Acell, ThermXX
Favorite Max Muscle stack: ThermXX in the morning, followed by a workout. Then a 2-scoop shake of Triple Whey Protein.
What does being a part of Team Max mean to you? “It means everything to me! It gives me the confidence to go out and do my job. When you know someone has your back through thick or thin, it makes life much easier, and easier to focus on the task at hand.”
POWER IT UP: HOW TO INCREASE CLUB HEAD SPEED FOR LONGER DRIVES
Step 1: Make sure to have a wide stance. Ultimately this will increase club head speed, accuracy, and distance. Having a wider base allows for more stabilization.
Step 2: Create plenty of width on the take away. If you are to get short and narrow, you will immediately get steep and over the top. Taking the club away wide will allow you to drop it from the inside and get even more speed thru impact position
Step 3: At the top, balance is key here. Keep bent knees, head down, weight on back leg.
Step 4: The downswing needs to start with the lower body. You must uncoil from the top to create the most efficient and fast swing. The hands and the club are the last thing that moves towards the ball. By doing this, you will create great "lag," which gives you the ability to hit the ball further.
Step 5: For impact, make sure your eyes are on the ball, your head is still and stable and weight is now moving towards lead leg.
Step 6: With your eyes and head still on the ball, begin your follow through. Keeping your posture and balance throughout the swing are very important. Your body follows your head, so if you move your head off the ball before contact, you lose posture. Once this is lost, the ball is going short and sideways.
THREE LIFTING MOVES TO INCREASE STRENGTH ON & OFF THE COURSE
Start: Start with arms extended and shoulders back.
Finish: Come down within 2 inches from chest, stay still, push weight up by extending arms.
Start: Body still, in balance, weight on butt and hips, barbell across the shoulders.
Finish: Squat the weight by moving hips and butt, back and down. Knees lower to 90 degree angles. Thrust hips and butt forward and extend legs to lift to start.
Start: Shoulders set back, keep chest and head tall.
Finish: Lift weight by thrusting hips and glutes forward. Keep back flat, and make sure head and chest stay tall throughout the lift.
*Photo by James Patrick, JamesPatrick.com