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When I was preparing to compete as a young golfer, a good friend and mentor of mine, Roger Dannock, would constantly tell me how important it was to "control the controllable". He knew that often the most important things we do on the golf course have nothing to do with swinging a golf club. What we eat and drink before and during the round falls squarely into that category.

Roger loved telling me, and anyone else who would listen, about the day he beat Lucas Parsons 5/4 to win the 36-hole final of the 1989 NSW Amateur Championships.

"The morning 18 holes were tightly fought and the match was all square at lunch, as I sat in the clubhouse eating my lunch, I noticed that Lucas was hoeing into a meat pie and coke. At this moment I knew I was going to win".

It's not often that we will get the opportunity to play a 36-hole final, never the less, how we fuel our mind and body during a four hour round can significantly affect our level of performance. Poor execution, bad decision making, weak self-control and lapses in concentration can often be attributed to what we eat and drink before and during our round. If you are interested in playing your best golf, I strongly recommend you take note of how you fuel your engine.


Avoid juices, milk drinks, alcohol and make sure you finish your coffee at least one hour before teeing off.

Your body weight and the day's temperature influence the amount of fluid you will require to stay adequately hydrated during a round of golf. As a rough guide, on a mild day a golfer weighing 70kg should drink approximately 1litre. It is important to distribute your fluid intake evenly throughout your round, especially if your consuming Gatorade. Also, don't wait until you are on the course to start your hydration strategy, make it a habit to start your day with 500ml of water.

Consumed incorrectly, Gatorade could be reducing your performance. Gatorade is specifically designed to help athletes replenish the various fluids that they lose during physical exercise. It contains high levels of sodium, which helps your body retain water and keep you hydrated, along with even higher levels of sugar, which can give you a quick boost of short-term energy when you need it quickly. Both these ingredients, when used as intended, can benefit your game. However, downing the entire bottle within a hole or two may not! You’re effectively hardwiring into your system 36 grams of sugar - almost 50% of your recommended daily intake - and 310 mg of sodium at once. Over the next hour your blood sugar is going to go through the roof, but as quickly as it went up, it’ll plummet. By the time you enter the final stretch of your round, your energy levels are likely to drop along with your performance level.


Avoid large meals prior to teeing off and snack regularly throughout your round.

Fill your golf bag with convenient brain foods such as almonds, blueberries, bananas or some GH Nutrition energy balls. The GH Nutrition energy balls are hand made in Canberra and are an ideal golf snack; gluten free, high fibre, vegan and a good source of protein. (Forgive me for the little plug, I love supporting local initiatives!)

Try to snack every two holes or so, stay away from high sugar items and limit wheat products. Complex carbohydrates aren’t all bad, they can provide quick, intense jolts of energy that can be extremely helpful for golfers. The key is to try and maintain a good protein-to-carbs ratio, the Carman's Protein bars provide a good combination of carbs and protein, allowing you to maintain energy and feel satisfied throughout your round.


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