5 Ways to have More Energy on the Golf Course
Do you ever feel like you are running on fumes for the last 3 holes of a round? Maybe you are on track for a good score, but a lapse in concentration causes a double bogey and wipes your chances of taking your friends’ money. If so, then keep reading, because here I am going to give you five ways to boost your energy levels throughout the round and finish as strong as you start.
Something I see very often in golfers is not eating enough during a round of golf. Although golfers are notoriously good at eating before a round (and drinking after) as a group we are not very good at eating during a round. I’m not saying that we need to be carrying a picnic out on the course, but ensuring we have small snacks available to us can be of great benefit.
The type of snacks are important, but in my opinion not as important as actually having something, so if you are unsure, just take whatever you like eating. If you want to get the most out of it, early on in the round snacks including all of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) are your best option. This is again the case mid way through the round. Examples include a small sandwich, protein bar, granola, nuts, fruits etc. Just make sure they are easy on the stomach. As the round goes on, you can start to reach for your higher sugar snacks. This is your green light to grab a Mars bar or a sugary drink to give you that final burst of energy to complete the round to your best ability.
Give Your Brain a Rest
A lot of the fatigue we experience during a round of golf is mental fatigue. Eating more as mentioned above will help with this, but saving our mental energy is a skill that is worth learning. It is impossible to concentrate for 4 hours. Anyone who says they are able to remain fully focussed throughout the round is lying. So every time you say ‘I just didn't concentrate there’ don’t beat yourself up. The key is to be able to concentrate and then switch off, and most importantly have full control over that (this is actually the basis of meditation which is why you see pro golfers talk about meditation so often).
Here is how it works. Before a shot you probably need to concentrate for around 1 minute. This allows you to check your lie, work out your distance, decide what shot you want to play, pick your club, go through your pre shot routine and then execute the shot. For all of the time in your round that you are not going through this process - just let your brain switch off. Chat to your friends, have a joke, enjoy the nature around you, watch your partners play their shots. Completely detached and reserve your energy.
Once your time comes, re-engage your focus and give it your full attention. Ignore everything around you apart from the task in hand. Once the shot has been executed, give yourself 15 seconds to reflect and then switch off again.
The best way to prepare for the physical demand of a round of golf is to play more golf. If you play with golfers who get out for 18 holes 2-3 times per week you will notice that they dont tire. They look like they could go and play another 18. They are simply conditioned to the task. If you are unable to play golf this often, find other ways to keep up your course fitness. Go for long walks with the family, get to the gym, get to the driving range, anything that closely resembles the round of golf will reward you in the later holes. Ultimately golf is a physical task, and to perform it we need a certain level of tolerance. Get moving, your scorecard will thank you.
Get Mobile, Stable and Strong
Further to the physical demand of walking 18 holes. There is also the demand of swinging the golf club at high velocities time and time again over 4 hours. This will cause stress and strain to the body and for most of us will become very noticeable in the later half of the round. Our swing will shorten, it will get slower and lethargic. The bad shots will start coming out and your performance will be on a downward spiral. Improving your mobility will mean less strain with each swing, allowing you to swing free and easy deep into the round. Extra stability will decrease the load being offset into areas that aren’t designed to handle it and will keep that niggling back pain at bay. Higher strength levels will improve your resilience, maintain your speed and keep your distance. It's no surprise that a stronger, more stable, mobile frame is able to perform at a higher level as the physical demand increases.
Phil Mickelson has been advocating it, and I will confirm it too. Caffeine has a place in the game of golf. A lot of players will grab a coffee before heading out but few will get another half way round. The coffee you had before the round will start to wear off towards the last 5-6 holes. So grabbing another boost at the half-way house could be a good option. Just be aware of how you respond to caffeine as we all react differently. It’s not for everyone but could be the boost you need to finish strong.
Remember you can join Team Macro Golf for free and get access to golf fitness and performance coaching and be a part of a growing community of like-minded golfers.