Mastering Golf Nutrition
So The Masters starts today, and all eyes turn to Augusta. We’re delighted to have two of our customers playing in the tournament – Thorbjorn Olesen and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Thorbjorn and Gonzalo were actually 2 of our first ever customers! I met them in Abu Dhabi over a year ago when I was getting some feedback on some early prototypes. They were really enthusiastic and they’ve been incredibly supportive ever since.
— Thorbjørn Olesen (@Thorbjornolesen) April 7, 2014
Hunger can actually be a serious issue for elite golfers. It’s slow going in a competition like The Masters, so a round will typically take five hours. But every player will typically spend at least an hour on the driving range and putting green beforehand. So its often 6 hours since they’ve a proper meal.
So eating on the go is absolutely critical for golfers to help keep their energy levels up. You’ll rarely see it on television, but pretty much all the players snack while they play. Typically they’ll take a drive and then as they walk up the fairway they’ll have a nibble of something. But walking doesn’t make good television, so the director will usually cut to someone making a putt elsewhere. According to Matt Kuchar:
“With rounds taking between four and five hours, it’s important to have something to snack on…. sometimes a banana, sometimes a trail mix type of thing”.
So most amateur golfers don’t appreciate how regularly the pros eat and drink during a round. What they eat depends very much on the player. Sandwiches are popular, as are granola bars, fruit and trail mixes. Some players are very particular about what they eat, and so some caddies are given the job of putting together special trail mixes for their players. Here’s one that US Open Champion Justin Rose’s caddy showed me:
One of the reasons that our ProMix has been doing so well with European Tour golfers is because its a natural product with a much lower glycemic index than a lot of the sugary granola bars that typically find their way into golf bags. The problem with sugary snacks is that after the sugar high comes a crash, which isn’t great in a sport where mood and concentration are so critical. Another benefit is that since they can pour it into their mouth, which means that they don’t have to touch the food with their potentially dirty fingers.
The margins are absolutely tiny in golf, so a good nutritional strategy can really make all the difference to a players’ performance. But very little research has been carried out on this area – so we wanted to take the lead. So we’ve actually just kicked off a study on golf nutrition with Dr. Mark Campbell and Professor Phil Jakeman at the University of Limerick. According to Mark:
“A huge amount of research has been undertaken in recent years to improve golf clubs and balls. However, there has been little work done in the area of nutrition and its effect on golf performance”.
The study will take place at Lahinch Golf Club and the University of Limerick’s biomechanics laboratory. We’ll keep you updated as progress continues.
PS: Want to find out what the big deal is about our products? Come see for yourself at our webstore.
— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) March 10, 2014