| VailDaily.com

Pro golfer says you can’t spell PGA without CBD these days

Scott McCarron has discovered a fountain of youth that has him rocketing up the record book of the PGA Tour Champions (formerly the Senior PGA Tour) — tying the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer with 10 career wins on the tour for golfers older than 50.

The secret to success for the only Gen X golfer on the senior circuit with double-digit wins, including a senior major in 2017? Cannabidiol, or CBD, and specifically the products of Colorado-based Functional Remedies.

“There’s no question,” McCarron said when asked if hemp oil has sparked his senior surge. “There’s kind of a of correlation for me starting the CBD a year and a half ago and just the way I feel now. I don’t feel as run down and as sore when I’m playing.”

A former regular PGA Tour pro, McCarron, 53, won three times on that circuit and recorded top-10 finishes in three of the four majors, including the Masters. He once ranked as high as 20th in the world. But injuries cost him playing time, and McCarron tried a wide variety of anti-inflammatories to recover and various sleep aids to combat sore, restless nights.

Nothing really seemed to work. Now he credits hemp-oil products — in the form of an eyedropper on his tongue or a 20-milligram capsule before bed and a topical roll-on for a sore wrist or elbow — with transforming his game late in life.

“I feel like I can play longer, I can practice longer, play week in and week out and not have that soreness that you might have to take a week off because your body needs recovery,” McCarron said. “Because (the CBD is) helping my sleep, it’s helping my body recover faster and better every night so that I feel good and then I can go ahead and play and perform at a high level.”

CBD catching on

Seemingly everyone is getting in on McCarron’s secret on the PGA Tour Champions.

“I think we’ve got nearly 50 guys on the Champions Tour using CBD oil and using Functional Remedies,” McCarron said. “And you’re starting to see a lot of guys on the regular tour. I just heard that Phil Mickelson is chewing a CBD gum all the time while he’s playing for his aches and pains. He’s got that rheumatoid arthritis and obviously (CBD is) helping him.”

Bubba Watson recently announced he uses CBD products, which have been removed from the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency. CBD oil has very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

“Interesting thing about PGA, is that PGA Tour Champions doesn’t drug test, so most players don’t need to worry about it,” said Leland Radovanovic of Powerplant Global Strategies, a national consulting firm focused on the legal cannabis industry. “The PGA Tour does, but recently raised their nanogram limit for THC to 150 nanogram. I believe it was around 15 nanograms before. They follow (World Anti-Doping Agency’s) rules.”

Relief worth the gamble

McCarron says he’s heard more players on the regular tour are willing to roll the dice — not just on CBD but also on THC.

“THC is banned, but the levels are so high you would literally have to smoke pot going into drug testing to have a positive test,” McCarron said. “(The PGA) obviously has drug testing as stringent as the Olympics, so guys were hesitant at first (on CBD oil), but they’ve got 10 or 12 guys that are taking it. The tour just wants to make sure that whatever is in it will not give any positive drug tests. So as of right now, everything seems to be going fantastic with that.”

Leland points out that Superior, Colorado-based Functional Remedies for the first time sponsored the Rapiscan Systems Classic, a PGA Tour Champions event in southern Mississippi in late March.

Functional Remedies Chief Science Office Tim Gordon, who grew up in rural Ohio and moved to Colorado in 1996, has been studying and cultivating hemp for more than 30 years. He says he became more than just passionate about cannabis — making it his entire career focus — when he witnessed its transformative healing powers with a friend suffering the effects of chemotherapy.

Since then, Gordon has seen how regular consumption of CBD oil can help everyone from weekend warriors to professional golfers to ultramarathoners.

“I want to [change] mindsets here to understand cannabis just needs to be used almost like a vitamin — kind of preventative medicine in a way,” Gordon said. “Not just at the point of injury or treatment, but leading up to your everyday activity … supplying your body the cannabinoids that you need to be able to recover faster.”

Beyond golf, Gordon says CDB products are gaining acceptance across the spectrum of sports.

“Scott’s one of nearly 50 folks on the [senior] pro tour who are enjoying the benefits of Functional Remedies products,” Gordon said. “Besides all of those, we’re reaching folks in various pro sports -— anything from cycling to pro weightlifting. Everyone’s seeing the benefits, and it’s driving the demand for education and the demand for change.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis late last month signed a suite of new Colorado cannabis laws, including two bills (SB220 and SB240) aimed at aligning the state with the 2018 Federal Farm Bill and allowing for better state regulation of Colorado’s booming hemp industry.

Father’s Day weekend tradition: Local sports chiropractor helps out at US Open in Pebble Beach

Dr. Joel Dekanich, a sports chiropractor with Vail Integrative Medical Group, sat in his Vail Valley home watching the final two days of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, California, as Gary Woodland won his first major. The first two days of the four-day tournament, the third of four major golf championships, Dekanich was working with The Wellness Team at Pebble Beach, providing services to players, caddies and volunteers.

“You know who takes one for the team a lot of times is the caddie,” he said, “walking that course all day long and carrying a set of golf clubs.”

This was the fifth year that Dr. Joel Dekanich worked with The Wellness Team at the U.S. Open Championship. This year, the tournament was held in Pebble Beach, California.
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In his fifth year providing medical relief at the U.S. Open, Dekanich brought his daughter with him.

“She just hung out and while I was working she would be around the course,” he said. “That’s a fun thing to be able to bring your kid to an event like that.”

Established in 1895, the U.S. Open took place earlier in June. For those keeping track at home, Tiger Woods finished tied for 21st.

“It’s a lot of fun. It has kind of become a tradition for me, and it’s the weekend of Father’s Day,” Dekanich said.

Dr. Joel Dekanich is a sports chiropractor with Vail Integrative Medical Group. During Father’s Day weekend, he was in California with his daughter at the 119th U.S. Open.
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Dekanich also works with the Team USA Paralympic track and field team. In 2016, he went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to help Team USA.

Contact Dekanich at Vail Integrative Medical Group at 970-926-4600 and www.vailhealth.com. While he helps world-class golfers, he also helps locals.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Sonnenalp Club in Edwards stays ahead of the curve, doubles membership in 5 years

For five generations, the Faessler family has strived for and maintained the highest standards at their Sonnenalp resorts in Germany and Colorado. Now, the family is staying on the cutting edge with its improvements to the Sonnenalp Club in Edwards.

Thanks to a $6 million investment from the Faesslers into a fitness center and restaurant renovation at the club that also boasts a beautiful 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and more, the Sonnenalp Club is moving forward focused on family and sustainability.

Five years ago, the club had 220 golf members. Now, there’s 330 new fitness members and 240 golf members — more than doubling where the club was five years ago.

“It’s all Mr. Faessler and him having the vision to see the current model wasn’t working and looking around the country to see what is working,” said Jim Miller, general manager of the Sonnenalp Club. “That family-focused model is one that a lot of successful clubs are going toward.”

Sonnenalp Club’s preview membership allows people to try the club for 12 months without payment of an initial initiation fee.
Noah Wetzel | Special to the Daily

Recently, Sonnenalp Club hosted a dog days of summer event on the golf course, allowing members to hit the course with their dogs. The course also has golf boards and golf bikes as alternatives to carts. The club hosts holiday parties throughout the year, fun tournaments as well as a unique 5-hole short course — playing holes 10, 11 and 12 before playing from a hidden tee box back to 17 and then 18.

“I think the club dynamic is changing and it’s really fun,” said Miller, who’s seen the transformation in his three years with the club. “It’s going in the right direction.”

Sonnenalp is also on a roto for the Colorado State Amateur Tournament, returning to Edwards every five years.

Harvest restaurant at the Sonnenalp Club is also gaining momentum under chef Rosa Provoste, Miller said.

“Coming in two years ago, she’s really helped in getting us in the right direction.”

Through August, the club is offering a Discover Sonnenalp Club membership program, allowing people to preview the club for 12 months without the payment of an initial initiation fee. However, incentives are in place if you decide within 60 days to purchase a membership.

For more information about Sonnenalp Club or membership opportunities, visit www.sonnenalpclub.com.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

EagleVail Golf Club debuts new fleet of carts featuring USB ports

Golfers hitting the course at EagleVail Golf Club this summer will notice a change in the fleet of carts, namely the addition of a USB port.

In addition to the helpful screen detailing distance and course information, as well as a way to pre-order food at the shop on hole 11, golfers can use a USB port in the cart to charge their phones, speakers or other electronics while on the course.

EagleVail Golf Club opened Friday for the season, starting with 10 holes. Grounds crews have done an impressive job preparing the course, with snow falling about a week ago.

Also new this year, coming to the Willow Creek Par 3 course — “fling golf.”

For more information or to book a tee time at EagleVail Golf Club, visit www.eaglevailgolfclub.com.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow his adventures on the golf course on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.