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golf nutrition

Hey, golf clubs, why do we keep getting this so wrong?

Golf’s governing bodies are keen to play up the health aspects of our wonderful game – so why does that rhetoric end when we cross the threshold into our clubs?
 

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, I’m now middle aged. “No longer young, but not yet old.”

I didn’t need to turn 45 to understand this had been coming. The emergence of something that can not at all be described as taut around my midriff has suggested my body is changing in ways that might not be altogether for the better.

I’m going to approach such a challenge in typically calm fashion – by ditching any food groups that could in any sense be classed as ‘enjoyable’ to win the battle of the bulge.

But this is easier said than done, and it’s a harder task when I spend time tucking away carbohydrates in such quantities when I play golf.

I’m vegetarian – for health reasons, red meat in particular just doesn’t agree with me – and it’s already a bone of contention that, at many places on my travels, the token non-meat option basically defaults straight to cheese.

If I’m particularly fortunate, there might be something involving an egg.


best food for golf

More on golf nutrition

What should you eat before a round of golf?

The best food to eat while playing golf

How to stay properly hydrated during a round


This isn’t a dig at golf club catering. The issue with healthy options extends right into the heart of our facilities and is more fundamental than the obligatory bacon sandwich.

We know playing the sport is good for us. A recent Swedish study showed that golfers could live around five years longer than those that didn’t tee it up.

Given that’s the case, why are some of us so determined to ruin it with what we stick into our gobs before and after a round?

A EuroPro Tour pro once showed me what he consumed during a day on the course. There wasn’t an E number in sight. There were lots of superfoods, and green things packed with vitamins.

This is all well and good if you’ve got the time to prepare. But, and I think I fairly fit into the category of the average golfer, I am almost always in a rush on a weekend and running out of the door.

That’s a combination of several jobs that need doing, and taking care of a small person, before I get to the first tee.

Then I walk into the average pro shop and the only ‘C’ I’ll encounter is the first letter in Cadbury.

We love it, don’t we? Otherwise it wouldn’t disappear off the shelves. But it’s not the best food for golf, so would it kill some of you to sell me an apple?

Because at the rate I’m going, the stuff I pile into my bag before a round will do that job for me on its own.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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