He is one of the coaches behind Brooks Koepka’s amazing rise to the top of the game. He also coaches Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas the new world number one, amongst many others.
Joey D said a couple of years ago that the game has moved on so far, that taking a day off, eating a fatty steak and drinking a glass of wine before you play the next day will leave you behind the competition. In fact, his actual words were, “if you consume that rubbish the day before you play, you’re going to have your *ss handed to you by somebody fitter and stronger.” Strong words from somebody who is training the world’s strongest golfers.
It does make you think though, do you actually give any thought to what you are eating the day before to make sure that your engine is fully stoked for the round and day ahead? All the athletes do it, every single one of them has a ritualised eating plan which has been honed over years of experience so that they can play without worrying about energy crashes on the course (or field, pitch, whatever).
This article is for one of my regular players/students who asked the question, “I’m a little bored with bananas on the course is there anything else I could eat?” Here is a list of what the tour players tend to consume, little and often on the course. Just enough to keep you from being hungry but not too much that it fills you up. Here you go!
Peanut butter and jam sandwiches (Tiger), almonds, nuts, dried fruit, bananas, jerky, hard boiled eggs, chicken, popcorn (but not too salty or sweet), tuna or chicken sandwich on brown bread.
Please bear in mind that you can burn up to 2,000 calories a round, which is about the same number of calories you would take in over a whole day. If you think that you can go out on the golf course without any sustenance you are playing a dangerous game with your body and with your golf performance.
Of course, this article would be weaker for not mentioning the wonderful Miguel Angel Jimenez, who has just played in his 707th European Tour event, which makes him the longest serving and most played member of the European Tour, ever. The story comes from Lee Westwood who had just completed his morning’s round on a Thursday, to find Miguel in the clubhouse with a juicy steak, chips and a bottle of red to help it go down. Lee asked, “How did you play this morning?” to which Miguel responded, “I go out in an hour and a half.”
You can definitely do things your own way but be careful with taking too many liberties! If you were to ask me what my favourite on course consumable was, it would have to be dark chocolate hobnobs or my wife’s fabulous homemade ginger flapjacks. So delicious that caddies of mine would ask in the car park prior to playing, “Did Fiona make the flapjacks last night!?”
If you get used to frequently taking on water and regularly grazing on small amounts of food over the course of a round of golf, you will find you maintain your energy levels, which leads to maintaining your concentration levels which ultimately should give you the best opportunity for high performance while you’re playing.
One of the reasons why the pros stick to their routine is because this is one area of the game which is easy to regulate, bearing in mind that they want as few variables, and as few distractions as can possibly be achieved. This allows them to concentrate on the task at hand, something which the amateur player can learn from.
I hope you have taken something from this and that your game has made a small step to being more consistent just from you eating and drinking regularly like the pros, not necessarily Miguel.