EJ McDonnell Named Southwest Florida PGA Merchandiser of the Year

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the PGA has named Bonita Bay Club Director of Golf, E.J. McDonnell, Merchandiser of the Year in the Private Club category.

Each year this prestigious award recognizes the top golf professional having demonstrated superior skills in merchandising and the promotion of golf with a focus on inventory strength, skillful shop display, staff quality, and merchandising technique.

“This award is a great reflection on our membership and staff, in particular our Retail Manager Lynne Startzel.  Lynne is one of the best retailers in the industry and I am proud to work with her and our staff to meet and exceed member expectations,” EJ said.

Lynne was previously the Retail Manager at Gulf Harbour Golf and Country Club and the Tiburon Golf Resort before joining Bonita Bay Club in 2010, she is a member of the Association of Golf Merchandisers.

E.J. McDonnell has received a number of PGA Awards including the 2008 Assistant of the Year, 2014 Bill Strausbaugh Award for promotion of the game and the PGA, and he was named the 2015 Professional of the Year.

Pickleball’s elite at BBC

Pickleball’s elite practiced at Bonita Bay Club to prepare for the All Star Challenge. Club member Nikki Buckmaster and pickleball and tennis professional Dominque Levin practiced with the country’s best, including Tyson McGuffin, Christine McGrath and Morgan Evans.

Portion Distortion

By Cassandra Golden, Registered Dietitian

Portion distortion. It’s running rampant in the food industry! Portions of food have been getting bigger and bigger over the past 30 years. Restaurants and food manufacturers have increased their portion sizes for various reasons, including the popularity of all-you-can-eat buffets, super-size meals, larger plates/cups, and public demand for, “more bang for your buck”. It appears that society has made us value our dollar more than our health!

For example, the full sized Fuji Apple with Chicken Salad from Panera Bread has about 700 calories, 46g of fat and 47g of carbohydrates! In comparison, the half portion of the strawberry poppyseed chicken salad has less than 200 calories, 6g fat and 20g carbohydrates. Unfortunately, salads can really have a ‘halo effect’, meaning that you automatically think that it’s healthy just because it’s a salad!

If weight loss is a goal for you, consuming smaller portions of food is one of the easiest ways to cut back on calories. Here are some calorie-saving tips that will lead you in the right direction:

  1. Order a smaller size from the menu


  1. Use a smaller plate at home. A study from The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that simply using a smaller plate can help people automatically eat fewer calories.


  1. Customize your restaurant order with dressings, sauces and toppings on the side


  1. Pay once and eat twice by portioning half of your food into a to-go container or Tupperware at home or in a restaurant at the start of the meal


  1. Pay attention to the serving size on packaged foods. For example, if a smaller bag of pretzels contain 2.5 servings per bag…and you eat the whole bag in one sitting, the calories, fat, salt (…and so on) must be multiplied by 2.5!

5 Under-Recognized Weight Loss Tips Backed By Research

By Cassandra Golden MS, RD, LDN

Almost 70% of all American adults are either overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and 13 different types of cancer. Creating small, consistent lifestyle changes overtime will lead to big risk reductions. Here are five strategies that have been proven to be effective for weight loss:

  1. Lift weights
    Following a restrictive diet can result in muscle loss and negatively affect metabolism. Resistance training, (also known as weight lifting) can preserve lean body mass and burn calories more efficiently, which is an important factor for weight loss. This is due to something called excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), where the body can take up to 48 hours to return to a resting state after exercise. Calories can continue being burned long after a weight lifting workout is completed. Research from the University of New Mexico found that heavy resistance training burned the most calories after the completion of a workout compared to circuit training and aerobic cycling.
  1. Use a smaller plate
    A study from The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that simply using a smaller plate can help people automatically eat fewer calories.
  1. Use a food log to track calories
    Studies show that tracking what you eat can help create an accurate picture of your calorie and nutrient consumption. Food logs also promote self-accountability and awareness of nutrient intake, which is valuable for weight loss. Free online food logs are available from www.myfitnesspal.com and https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/.
  1. Get a good night’s rest
    Those who sleep less have an increased risk for obesity, as evidenced by cross-sectional studies from around the world. Poor sleep can increase your appetite, increase the chance of insulin resistance, and increase your calorie intake by being less likely to resist temptations and adhere to portion control.
  1. Become an intuitive eater
    Contrary to popular belief, following restrictive diet programs can actually lead to weight gain over time. A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that a weight loss approach focusing on intuitive eating was more successful long-term than traditional weight-loss programs. Intuitive eating considers internal hunger and fullness cues, as opposed to outward cues- such as calorie counting and weight scales.

 As you find ways to incorporate new weight loss approaches into your life, keep in mind the timeless strategies that have also shown to be beneficial- such as cutting out added sugar, processed foods, and refined carbs from your diet. This healthy combination will guide you toward living a healthy life!








Learning at the PGA Show

 Below is a video I did at the PGA show with 8 time PGA Tour winner Brad Faxon along with Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, the Founders of the number one golf school in America, Vision54. We had a great time learning from some of the greatest minds in the golf business and would love to share these experiences with you.



-Megan Padua

Yoga is Not Just for Women: Start a new ‘Regi-Men”

Contributed by Melanie Pefinis, Certified Yoga and Pilates instructor

The Practice of yoga can be many things; for some it is a relaxation technique. For others it is a stretching discipline. But where men are concerned it is especially vital as it provides a technique for dealing with the effects of years of overuse, sports injury, repetitive motions and the bumps and bruises of a life well-lived.

While women often flock to Yoga classes, the benefits for men are extensive. Yoga promotes flexibility which increases restorative blood flow to tight regions and it provides a way to work around chronic tightness, immobility and pain. For Golfers and Tennis Players who constantly move in repetitive motion, Yoga offers stretches that will correct these imbalances.

Check out these poses that will help Golfers and Tennis Players improve their strength, balance and flexibility:

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Yoga is offered weekly as part of our group fitness programming.

Mondays at 3:00 p.m.- Yoga for Beginners
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.- Core Yoga
Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.- Gentle Yoga
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.- Restorative Yoga

And, On Saturday, January 27, your Fitness and Golf Professionals will be joined by world-renown golf and baseball yoga instructor Katherine Roberts. We will be incorporating the expertise of Katherine along with our knowledge of fitness, golf, and TPI training to help you improve all aspects of your game and physical fitness.

Yoga for Golf with Katherine Roberts
Saturday, January 27
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Lecture in classroom with interactive group yoga session.
Cost: $50/ limited to 40 participants

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Yoga for Power (To be held in outdoor golf setting)
Cost: $30/ limited to 16 participants

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Yoga for Putting (To be held in outdoor golf setting)
Cost: $30/ limited to 16 participants

Cost for all three sessions is $100.

To register for this event, please call the Fitness Center at 495-1937.

Be Specific When Setting Your Fitness Goals

If you don’t test, it’s just a guess

The first step in making any kind of change is identifying exactly what you want to change.  For example, saying that you want to lose weight is really too vague.  Generally, losing weight is good but not if the weight loss comes from muscle loss (which can happen when your calories are severely restricted) or when the weight loss is primarily water loss (from dehydration and excessive sweating).  I would suggest setting specific goals like I want to decrease body fat to get into a healthy range.  Then, you can set even more specific goals like:  1) I want to eat 5-6 servings of vegetables daily 2) I want to drink 8-10 glasses of water each day  or 3) I want to limit (or eliminate) fried foods or fast foods from my diet.  It may be helpful to meet with a Nutrition or Fitness professional to help you set your goals and to create a road map for achieving your goals.

Then, it’s important to get a baseline for monitoring progress and staying motivated.  Have you ever heard of the phrase, “a skinny fat person?”  This is the person who looks thin but has low muscle tone and high body fat.  I would argue that most of us would rather look a “little bigger” if it meant that we were a little healthier.  The problem is that most of us really don’t know what “healthy” is… normal ranges for body fat and muscle mass and where exactly we are with respect to those variables.  Using the scale to determine how we are doing is ok, but it doesn’t give us a complete picture of where we are and how we are doing in meeting our goals.

The InBody is a test that is available in the Fitness Center that will give you and your Fitness and/or Nutrition professional a picture of you from the inside out.  Results show how your body weight breaks down… lean mass, fat mass, and intracellular & extracellular water and where the weight is distributed throughout your body.   You will also find out where your percentages fall for these variables vs. where they should be (normal ranges).  Additionally, you will get accurate information on your basal metabolic rate and how much weight you should actually lose to fall into your healthy range. 

To find out more about the Inbody and how to schedule the test, call the Fitness Center at 495-1937 or stop by our front desk.

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Here is one of my favorite recipes, created by me, Cassandra Golden! 

-your Licensed and Registered Dietician

Overnight Carrot Cake Oatmeal 


2  and 1/4 cups water 

10 ounce crushed pineapples (in a can) 

3/4 cup oats 

1 cup shredded carrots 

1/2 cup cherry craisins 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Directions: Coat crock pot with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and cook on low, 6-8 hours. Add water as needed for desired consistency. Top with granola for a satisfying crunch!  

Which is Better, Machines or Free Weights?

This is a bit of a loaded question… functional fitness (which typically includes training with free weights, med balls, and physioballs, the TRX and other tools that ask you to balance and stabilize during the exercise) is all the buzz in our industry, and yes, I believe that doing things that are “functional” is the best way to train, but exactly what does that mean and does that there is no place for machines in your workouts? 

First, let’s define functional fitness.  To me, functional fitness is anything that helps you function or do the things you do on a daily basis better.  So from that standpoint, both machines and free weights are functional; both increase strength, and improving strength gets more important the older you get. 

With that said though, there are benefits and drawbacks to both types of training.

Free weight
Inexpensive, portable, versatile, functional (incorporates balance and stability work into the exercise), movements can mimic how your body moves in real life (multi-planar)
May take practice, must use proper technique to avoid injury

Effective for building strength, allows you to focus your effort on the exercise (strength move) vs. the stabilization and mechanics of the movement, allows you to lift heavier weights and target specific muscle groups, easy to use, safe
Expensive, requires dedicated space, must fit your body, exercises don’t require you to stabilize during the movement 

From a personal standpoint, I prefer to train my clients using body weight, balls, bands, and other tools that allow you to move like you do in real life.  I think balance and stability are just as important as strength as you get older, and free weights and functional training incorporate these essential fitness components; however, there are times when using machines is beneficial… especially for someone who is coming off of an injury or for someone who has a muscle imbalance that I am trying to correct.  Using machines may also be a good starting point for someone who is just getting into fitness and is a little intimidated by the gym.   But, the bottom line for me is this… doing anything is better than doing nothing at all so if you prefer machines to free weights, then use machines, but I would also encourage you to include some balance training, some flexibility work and some stability work as well. 

Examples of free weight exercise for strengthening the lower body: 

Examples of machine exercise for strengthening lower body:

By Tammy Mugavero MS., ATC/L, CSCS, TPI Level 2 Medical Certified