NUTRITION FOR GOLF

Bob Forman, MS - Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Author, Speaker

You’ve got all the bases covered.  You’ve been taking lessons with the local pro, replaced the grips on your clubs and have been working diligently on your golf fitness program.  This is going to be your year on the course.  Or is it?

The ‘ol adage, you are what you eat definitely holds some truths and if you’re not paying attention to what you’re putting in your mouth, you may be depriving yourself the ability to play up to your potential.  Proper nutrition is key to everything we do and if you’re not fueling your body correctly, it’s going to show-up in your workouts and on the scorecard.

Now your three basic food groups are carbohydrates (more affectionately known as carbs), protein and fat.  According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (the next version comes out in 2015), you want to include all 3 in each meal at various percentages.  The general rule of thumb, despite what you may read or hear, is approximately 45% to 65% carbs, 10% to 35% protein, and 20% to 35% fat.     

Carbs should come mainly from complex carbohydrates (starches and fibers), which include whole grains, potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.  They contain only 4 calories per gram, as does protein, vs. 9 calories/gram in fat and 7 cals./gram in alcohol.

Carbs have gotten a bad rap over the years and it’s mainly because of the simple carbs.  Simple carbohydrates, which should be limited, are basically your enriched flour products and sugary delights like baked goods such as cookies and cake, most cereals, fruit/soft drinks, candy, and anything else that pretty much tastes good.  That’s the rub.  Because they satisfy the sweet tooth, simple carbs are generally consumed in excess and that pretty much accounts for the global obesity problem we’re facing.

Simple carbs, alone, will also give you a quick jolt of energy due to a rapid influx of glucose (sugar) into the blood.  That is usually followed by an as rapid drop in energy, due to insulin kicking glucose out of the blood, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired, not to mention hungry.  Not what you want while out on the golf course or for the matter anytime.

Carbs, however, are the body’s primary fuel source and a good choice both before and during your round of golf.  Choosing complex carbs is a better idea as these tend to get ingested a little slower and therefore do not produce the rapid rise and fall in blood sugar.  Adding a little protein and/or fat slows the ingestion even further.  This slower absorption prolongs the amount of energy available, sustaining you longer during the round.  It will also stave off hunger.

Adding protein to your meals also helps build and preserve muscle.  As a matter of fact, a recent study posted in the Journal of Nutrition found that protein added to each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is more optimal for muscle growth than when skewed toward only the evening meal, as is the case for most people.  Protein after a workout is also beneficial.    

Good sources of protein include meats, poultry and fish, egg whites, beans, nuts and seeds, milk, yogurt, and protein powder (whey).

Fat is needed by the body and can be also used for energy.  You want to focus on the “good fats” though, which includes most oils (olive, canola, sunflower), walnuts, almonds and peanuts.  Limit your intake of commercially-baked goods such as pastries, cookies and donuts, fried food, candy and chips as these contain the “bad fats.”  Ice cream, whole milk, cheese, butter and high fat cuts of meat are also questionable.    

Let’s not forget about water.  Proper hydration is essential in order to perform at your best.  Drink plain water throughout the day and especially during a round of golf.  Don’t wait until you’re thirsty as this usually indicates that you’re already in a semi-state of dehydration. 

Dehydration removes water out of the blood, decreasing blood volume and reducing the body’s ability to move oxygen and nutrients around the body.  As a result, fatigue generally sets in and your ability to generate an efficient, powerful golf swing could be diminished. 

Finally, portion size and the time of day you eat are important considerations.  The saying, “Eat your breakfast like a king, your lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” is spot on.  Unfortunately, too many people either skip or eat a light breakfast only to consume more food later in the day due to the fact that they’re hungry.  This unhealthy habit doesn’t give you a good start to the day and tends to increase the risk of gaining weight.

Light, healthy snacks in-between each meal and, as I mentioned above, during a round of golf is not a bad idea as this will help you maintain a steadier blood sugar level and hold off hunger.  It will also help to keep your metabolism revved up.  Fruit, a PB & J sandwich, raisins, yogurt and an energy bar are good choices (one at a time, though!).      

Fueling the body properly goes a long way in feeling better and playing better out on the golf course.  It also helps with those 3 day-a-week golf fitness workouts.  Keep an eye on what and when you eat.  You might even want to keep a food diary for a week or so.  For many, it’s an eye opener as to how poorly they’ve been eating and where they need to make changes.  Those subtle changes will pay off in big dividends out on the golf course.             

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills

- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures 


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury