How golfers prepare for top tournaments

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick August 19, 2020 11:58

Want to play golf like a pro? Staying in peak physical condition is crucial to the success of pro golfers, and this includes following a tip top diet and nutritional plan to ensure the food we eat helps our performance and recovery.

Head of sport and exercise nutrition at the Carnegie School of Sports, Louise Sutton, says: “It’s not just about what you eat day-to-day, it’s vitally important to ensure you follow healthy nutritional advice to be at the top of your game.”

She provides her top five nutrition tips for golfers below:

1. Pre-round nutrition is key

Before a round of golf, you need to be hydrated, and have optimal energy stores to aid your physical performance and concentration. Aim to have your final meal two to three hours before starting your round. This should include 50 percent low glycaemic complex carbohydrates like fruits, beans and vegetables, alongside wholegrain starches like quinoa or cereals. Add a lean source of protein. After this, around 30 minutes before starting, top up your energy stores with fruit or a nut-based snack.

2. Promote recovery

Aim to have your post-round meal as soon as you finish, and this should be similar to your pre-round meal. Increase your portion of starchy carbohydrates to top up glycogen levels. Always drink plenty of fluids in the hours after to help your body recover.

3. Always practice your nutrition in training

Every athlete has personal preferences based on what works for them, which usually involves a trial and error approach. However, before and during golf, try and refrain from consuming high fat foods, particularly animal fats and junk food, as this will have a minimal impact on performance.

4. Stay hydrated

Golf is often played in the summer over prolonged periods of time, which is why you need to maintain adequate hydration levels. As little as a two to three percent reduction in body weight due to sweat loss can cause dehydration, which raises the heart rate and body temperature, impairs concentration and makes exercise feel more intense.

Therefore, you should try to consistently sip fluids throughout the day

5. Keep your energy levels up

During the first half of your round of golf, top up on lower carbohydrate fuels to prevent spikes in energy and the subsequent ‘slump’ that follows. Graze on fruits like blueberries, apples and bananas. In longer rounds, having a wholegrain bread sandwich with a protein filling will also provide sustainable carbohydrates, and a protein hit. In the last six holes, the focus should be on snacks with higher levels of carbohydrate to increase energy levels, with flapjacks, sports drinks and dried fruits all good options. During the last couple of hours, caffeine can help to aid mental performance.

It’s also important to ensure you have the correct equipment, which can range from men’s golf shoes to clubs.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick August 19, 2020 11:58
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