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GolfStash Blog. Written by Golf Professional Alex Ward.

Playing Golf in Summer

How hot and humid has it been over the past few weeks?Many golfers are ensuring they play during the early hours of the day or later in the afternoon, but all should be aware of something, regardless of the time of day you are playing. And that is; your food and fluid intake, during and before playing. I was taking a lesson last week when the gentleman mentioned he was struggling to put 2 nine holes together and that maybe this was down to concentration. Concentration plays a massive part in “keeping” a round together, but how do you “improve” concentration, well in a way you can’t. Do not worry though as although you can not “improve” your concentration you can improve the way you maintain your ability to concentrate on the golf course.

    Only a handful of golfers in this area, take on enough fluid before and during their rounds of golf. And in this heat, it is even more important that you maintain your fluid level. 

It is vital that you drink enough fluids during the round and before you become thirsty because when you are feeling thirsty you are already significantly dehydrated which will have had a detrimental effect on your performance both physically and mentally. Believe it or not, most of you are probably in need of a drink of water before you even step foot on the golf course.

    Every individual is different and therefore requires different amounts of fluid during the round; however, I would suspect that the vast majority do not take on enough liquid.

To give you an example, during the lesson with this gentleman I had drunk more than a litre of water before the gentleman in question opened his drink. Now bearing in mind that he had been practicing before the lesson, he was almost certainly dehydrated during the lesson.

    For an average round of golf in cool conditions, I would be looking to take on board around 2 liters of fluid.

If I was playing in the hot and humid conditions that we have been faced with I would be carrying at least double that amount of fluid. In a tournament situation, I would have at my disposal at least 6 litres of fluid to try and maintain the highest level of concentration possible throughout the round. As mentioned earlier, each person is individual so you need to try and work out how much fluid you need to be taking on during your round of golf. 

    Even a 1% loss in fluids is enough to reduce your ability to concentrate, so imagine how much worse your concentration would be if you lost 10%. 

Try to avoid coffee or coca-cola, as these are high in caffeine and can worsen the situation, as can alcohol, which in my opinion should not be consumed until after the round has finished. Your nutrition on the course can also play a big factor in helping you maintain a higher level of performance. It is important to eat high energy food on the golf course and as with the fluid intake, this should be taken regularly.

Taken regularly the concoction of fluid and food will improve your round and the energy that you have left at the end of the game. The majority of golfer will blame lack of practice or the ability for rounds going wrong,  

    But please remember that there is far far more to golf than simply hitting the little white ball into a hole that is slightly bigger.