Scott Stallings describes his thought at the time as being “everyone’s idea.”
“If I play well, I can kind of do whatever I want and kind of deal with it as it comes,” he says.
Look at pictures of Stallings before 2015, and look at ones in the years since, and if you’re curious of his process of going from as high 252 pounds in weight to as low as 177, this, he says, is its starting point. In 2015, he was playing well. Three wins in his first four seasons on the PGA Tour, all before the age of 30.
As for what came next? He remembers it well.
“I just started feeling worse and worse, and you get done, it’s like, man, I’m 30 years old, I should not feel like this,” Stallings said on GOLF’s Subpar podcast this week. “And, you know, started putting the pieces together, and, man, I always kind of worked out a little bit, but there wasn’t ever really any kind of structure as far as diet or nutrition or understanding what caused what.”
And then there was. Today, Stallings is 36, soon to be 37, and at 200 pounds, he is one of the more fit players on Tour. Still, and he knows the irony in it, he admits it wasn’t until “a time in my life that I don’t necessarily say I enjoyed” to get him invested.
If you’re familiar at all with the Stallings story, you’ll also know that in 2015, he turned himself in to the Tour after he believed he took a banned performance-enhancing drug, and on Subpar, Stallings talked freely of both the incident and his three-month suspension. It was those months off, he said, that allowed him to focus on his health.
“I had some good people come around me and kind of lay out some groundwork as far as how to go and, you know, incrementally get better,” he said. “And it all pieced together, but I had the time off to kind of be able to do those kinds of things.
“Ninety days exactly to be able to kind of figure it out, but to be honest, I don’t know if I would have taken that time. I probably would have just been riding on empty and just smoke and mirrors and trying to figure it out. I got time to step away, and you know, figure it out. I had a lot of really good people help and kind of point me in the right direction to get me to where I am today.”
Subpar co-host Colt Knost asked if Stallings was ever worried whether losing weight would affect his golf.
“There’s probably always in the back of your mind, like, man, I’m making some huge changes,” he said. “The heaviest I was was 252 pounds. The lowest I got to was 177. But I mean, that was like, years, like when it all figured out. But the initial drop was like 50 pounds, when I got to about 200. …
“But I think when you start looking at it, you know, now I kind of feel like I got a second chance. You know, I love my job; I think I have the best job in the world and something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. It probably made the bad days a little bit easier to deal with and the good days more enjoyed. And I think that that’s kind of the perspective that I have. I mean, I don’t like going out there and shooting 75, but the 65s are enjoyed a lot more because you look at it and truly you’re like, how much you do love and appreciate it. For an instant, it felt like it kind of got taken away for a little bit. But however much longer I play on Tour — I mean, I hope it’s a long time — I’m going to enjoy every bit of it.”
Subpar co-host Drew Stoltz then asked Stallings about his lowest weight.
“I think a couple guys were like, are you feeling OK? Kind of the other way,” Stallings said. “Trying to feed me when I’m out there. But you learn a system that works and kind of a way to eat and kind of a way to train and that’s all you and then you adapt and continue to get better. But that was the first conversation — why do people keep asking me that? And then I hadn’t seen any pictures lately. I was like, oh, man. All right, let’s change this up a bit.”