What advice do you have for serious golfers when it comes to nutrition during a competitive round of golf?
18 Professionals Contributed
FOOD is FUEL for your body
As a PGA Professional, I know nutrition plays a huge role in your performance. Superior nutrition is important if you want superior results.
Athletes are always breaking records, pushing boundaries and taking their performance to the limit. They work hard, play hard, and train hard. They eat, sleep, and drink to win. With all of the stressors they put on their bodies, they also understand the need for optimal nutrition and supplementation to maintain (and increase) their athletic performances and healthy lifestyles (they go together!). Whether you are an everyday athlete, elite athlete, collegiate athlete, professional athlete or an Olympic athlete – we all need to support our bodies with high performance nutrition so we can perform optimally!
Remember, FOOD is FUEL for your body. To perform optimally, you need to eat and supplement optimally. It is important to develop a lifestyle habit of consuming exceptional nutrition for our athletic performance but also for our overall health.
Pre and post workout shakes/smoothies are perfect for giving your body the fuel it needs before, during and after the round. Smoothies are convenient and satisfying while giving you the energy needed for your round. Drink one on the way to the course and put a shaker bottle and protein pouch in your bag so you always have it when needed during the round. Fast food spikes your blood sugar and gives you that crash and burn, tired feeling. Who wants that when you are trying to have a good round -right? I also recommend nuts, a protein bar or a banana in your bag so you can keep that healthy fuel going!
Now let’s talk about your cellular health. A high quality, potency, purity guaranteed, cell-signaling nutritional supplement produced by a science-based laboratory is the only way to go with your supplementation. Athletes need to know their products are clean from banned substances and are the best of the best in the industry. They want optimal nutrition and a product that gives them that edge on their competitors, don’t you? I sure do! If you want to know what products I trust, reach out and I will hook you up.
Remember to fuel your body right for optimal performance and optimal health. We need to feel well in order to play well. BAM!
Bobby Jones said that there is casual golf and tournament golf and they are nothing alike.
Even though at a first glance golf appears to be a “leisurely sport”, competitive golf is a whole other undertaking. Bobby Jones said that there is casual golf and tournament golf and they are nothing alike.
During his interviews this past weekend at the tournament in Connecticut, Brooks Koepka said his brain was fried due to the intense focus he had to display at the recent majors, the PGA Championship and the US Open.
Golfers who excel during competitive rounds clearly have the technical skills required to be successful but they have mastered the blend of being physically and mentally strong. There are many foods one could eat during a round that could help a golfer stay alert and avoid fatigue but I prefer two simple snacks. A simple peanut butter sandwich and a banana can provide all the nutrients to help you stay on top of your game.
Peanut butter is rich in many nutrients including calcium, zinc, iron, potassium and others. Many of these nutrients help with circulation and the movement of muscles, nutrients like iron helps your body get oxygen which is important because when you lose oxygen the body becomes fatiqued. Bananas are rich in potassium which helps regulate muscle contraction, heartbeat and reflexes. If you include a peanut butter sandwich and a banana in your routine during a round of golf you won’t have to worry about mental and physical fatigue having a adverse role. Lastly make sure you drink plenty of water and or something like Gatorade. Stay away from energy drinks like Red Bull as the intake of sugar and caffiene can create a jittery feeling which we all know is not great for your putting stroke.
Avoiding sugar and fried foods
I played a round of golf at the Maroon Creek Club in Aspen with British Open and TPC Champion Justin Leonard. I observed Justin order a Ahi Tuna cup without the Ahi, which I thought was strange. When I asked why, Justin said he prefers healthy snacks and avoids protein and fats during a round of golf. As I recall, Justin shot 64 that day!
Just observing what Justin and his wife Amanda eat inspired me to change my diet. I do not eat as pure as they do but I lost 30 pounds three years ago by eating primarily healthy foods and avoiding sugar and fried foods.
Here are some good ones that have worked
You may get a lot of the same answers on this but here are some good ones that have worked;
1) Fruit-Apples or Bananas
2) Nuts- pick your favorite
3) Beef Jerky
4) Granola Bars
5) Peanut Butter Sandwich
6) Hydration-Drink plenty of water. There are also supplemental powders that you can add to a water bottle that give you electrolytes.
A couple of key points to take into consideration. First, you don’t want anything that is going to be messy. Secondly, the amount you will need will depend on if you are walking or riding. Obviously if you are walking you are going to burn off more than riding.
HOW TO EAT FOR GOLF:
Your Game Plan
Several hours before your round, have a carb-rich meal. (If you’re playing in the morning, that’s dinner the night before.) Then about an hour before your round, have a small bite to eat – maybe half a whole grain bagel and light cream cheese, or some oatmeal, fruit and nuts. If you usually have a cup of coffee, have a cup and a little more; recent research is indicating that caffeine can help with alertness and decision making. Then, on the fifth hole, at the turn and on the 14th hole, have one of these following healthy snacks; Walnuts, Almonds, preferably the organic raw nuts. Bananas, Celery Carrots, cheese, or yogurt. The energy bar is all fruit and nuts, a healthy combination.
At every even-numbered tee, have a few sips of water. Small amounts, but a steady flow of fuel to keep the swing sweet, the legs limber and the joints well oiled. After the round, treat yourself to more carbs and even some salt. If you ever crave a French fry, now is the time you can get away with a few. For best health, keep drinking water; for fun, now is the time for the adult beverage you didn’t order at the turn:).
Eat a little bit every few holes
Staying energized with clean nutrition throughout a competitive round is extremely important. You want to eat a little bit every few holes because if you wait to eat until you’re hungry, there will be a couple of low-energy holes before your food kicks in. My favorite competitive round food? A triple stacked peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into fourths. I eat a fourth every 4 holes (4, 8, 12, and 16). It’s delicious, the peanut butter has lots of protein, and a fourth of the sandwich is only a couple of bites–it’s perfect.
Assistant Golf Professional
El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, CA
Proper hydration and nutrition is key to performing at a high level
Playing golf is mentally and physically taxing on the body, therefore proper hydration and nutrition is key to performing at a high level. I recommend my players to drink something on every hole, just a sip or two. Water is adequate, but I like a supplement for hydration. I think a protein and a carb on the course goes a long way, but I think every player needs to experiment what works for them. I even go so far to have some players get bloodwork done.
Stay away from sugars if possible, they can spike energy and then the player crashes.
Staying hydrated and fueled with food is an easy way to eliminate silly mistakes
As we have all experience, high level competitions are never as well paced as they should be. 4 1/2 hours would be a great pace. Typically you will see a round coming closer to 5. Rarely do I ever go 5 hours without having some sort of snack when I’m off the course, why should on the course be any different.
Keeping our energy levels up during a competitive round of golf is very important. It keeps our energy levels up and helps us stayed focused for all 18 holes. Staying hydrated and fueled with food is an easy way to eliminate silly mistakes. All golfers are different on what their preferences are snack/drink wise, I myself prefer a Gatorade with a banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of peanuts. If I don’t have Gatorade then water is the next best option. Stay away from highly carbonated drinks (they make you gassy and bloated) and greasy foods (they can upset your stomach and if you grab your club with greasy hands your grips will forever be greasy too).
If you are competing at a high level you probably have a good idea of what foods you enjoy on the course and which ones you save for after the round. Always be sure to start eating your snacks early in your round. You may only be on the 4th hole and don’t feel hungry, but if you wait until you are hungry then you will not be able to get back to the high energy level you need to perform at you highest level!
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It worked well for the original “Mr. 59” Al Geiberger!
Stay away from soda, beer and candy bars…it will get you on the home stretch!
Apple slices, peanut butter & banana sandwiches
Apple slices, peanut butter & banana sandwiches, and the 14-15 hole a piece of hard candy to give you energy to finish the round.
Keeping your body fueled is the key to any sport
I have been there, in high school I didn’t eat hardly ever. Maybe I would eat lunch but maybe I wouldn’t… In college I was told to eat every 3 holes and that was hard for me. But I tried. The more I did it, the more I noticed a difference in not only my energy but my scores as well. Keeping your body fueled is the key to any sport. But golf especially, because it is usually 4-6 hours long which means that we need to keep out energy and endurance up.
My recommendation is eating every three holes at least walking and at the very least at least twice per round if you’re riding in a cart.
Proper nutrition preparation starts the night before
Proper nutrition preparation starts the night before the round with drinking plenty of water, eating well balanced meals, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep. The day of the competitive round, the player needs to eat a meal with protein to provide energy and avoid feeling sluggish. Throughout the round, consume an apple, banana, granola bar, and bottles of water to maintain energy level and proper hydration.
High in protein and lower in sugar is best
Stress causes your body to burn more calories so anytime you are playing a competitive round you need to consume more food. High in protein and lower in sugar is best. Plan on a snack every 4-5 holes and drink plenty of water. Do this and you can finish as strong as you start!
Stay away from sodas, sports drinks, hotdogs and candy bars
My advice is stay away from sodas, sports drinks, hotdogs and candy bars. Lots of water and any snack low in sugar.
Hydration Hydration Hydration!
Hydration Hydration Hydration! Water helps keep the muscles in our bodies loose, which allows the player to make more of a free move at the ball.
Drinking water and electrolytes added to the drink can keep your energy level more consistent
I’m not an expert but I am into fitness and have plenty of experience. Drinking water and electrolytes added to the drink can keep your energy level more consistent along with some sort of food. Preferably a higher quality mix of protein and fruit. Drink a little bit of something every hole and not alcoholic drinks as you will dehydrate not hydrate if you do consume any alcohol.
Be smart and use common sense!
Everyone is different when it comes to how they nourish and hydrate before and during rounds
Everyone is different when it comes to how they nourish and hydrate before and during rounds. Be prepared by having the things you need ready before you get to the course. Eat and drink the proper things beginning up to 24 hours in advance. And don’t wait on course to get hungry or thirsty before you take necessary foods and liquids because that is too late. I prefer proteins, fruits, electrolytes over candy bars and sodas.
Avoid all sugar drinks and foods
Avoid all sugar drinks and foods. Protein and light carbs. Liquids of pure water. Nuts, banana, and PBJ Sandwich is good source of food while playing.
Pre round, hydrate, and eat a healthy breakfast 2-hours before round.