Modern professional golfers have a team of nutritionists, sports therapists, their caddy and mentors to make the most of their playing ability during competition. Their training regime focuses on increasing energy levels, strength and flexibility. It is clear that most amateurs will not have the free time to put in the same level of off-course training, but they could still learn and apply the following essential on-course performance techniques that the professionals use.
If you watch any professionals golfing you will always note them sipping water throughout around. At most tee boxes in a professional championship, there will usually be a cooler full of bottled water for the players. One of the caddie’s tasks is to offer their player regularly a bottle of water. The key to staying hydrated is to take sips of water throughout around at regular intervals. The moment you start feeling thirsty is too late, in scientific terms, as your body is already performing in a sub-optimum manner.
The professionals will not use sugar or caffeine-rich beverages as they cause blood sugar level fluctuations that affect you how you play (for example, over hitting greens on one hole, short putting on the next).
Putting good quality fuel in your car makes it run better. Likewise, the nutritional content of the food you consume before/during golfing effects energy levels and performance while golfing. Professionals usually take several small meals a day to maintain consistent energy levels. A favorite choice for the pro golfers would be a small pasta or chicken fillet meal before golfing.
While on the course, the caddy will ensure the energy levels will stay topped up with bananas or other fruit (bananas are favored for their slow energy release).
All professional athletes and golfers use stretching techniques and exercises such as Pilates and Yoga to improve their flexibility and reduce the chances of muscle strain. Staying flexible in the core area (stomach and back) is essential to keeping the golf backswing consistent and lessen the risk of muscle strain.
All amateurs should take a few minutes before a match to perform stretches of the lower back and legs to loosen up the muscles. The stretches should also be conducted during a round as it will also help stop the back or legs stiffening up as the body becomes more tired.
These on-course performance techniques are not groundbreaking. However, by becoming actively aware of what your body is telling you while golfing you give yourself the chance to remedy it the next time you head out for a round.
Being thirsty or becoming tired during around are signs that you are not getting the water and food your body requires. Suffering body aches, or pulling muscles are signs that your muscles are being over exerted and would benefit from some stretching exercises.
Practicing your golf swing at the range is one way of perfecting your game, but you should also aim to improve your golfing performance through nutrition, hydration, and stretches.