5 ways to optimize your health benefits on the golf course in 2024

golfers walking down the fairway

Make sure your body remains right from your opening tee shot to your finishing putt. Here are five ways to make your round a healthy one.

Getty Images

This is it. This is your time. This is the year when you go low. When you win the big one. And clean up against your buddies. The swing is right. The gear is right. So let’s make sure your body remains right from your opening tee shot to your finishing putt. Here, then, are five ways to make your round a healthy one.

Walk if you can

According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure, strengthen your bones, muscles and immune system and reduce stress and tension. Of course, if that isn’t enough, walking can also save you a buck or two on cart fees.

Eat and hydrate

Pre-round? Amy Stephens, a sports dietitian at New York University, suggests something with a combo of carbs and protein, such as a bagel with peanut butter or toast with avocado and maybe an egg. During the round? Maybe two snacks, like a Clif Bar or a PB&J sandwich. After the round? Replenish yourself. Stephens said a turkey or grilled chicken sandwich would work. And throughout the round, keep up your fluids. Depending on the conditions, you should aim for 12 to 30 ounces of water or electrolyte-based drinks per hour.

Protect against the sun

The warm sun feels nice, but proper protection is a must. Wear sunscreen — the good folks at John Hopkins University suggest one with an SPF of 60 or greater. Put a lid on your noggin — ball caps or bucket hats help keep the harmful rays off your face. And a decent set of sunglasses help protect your eyes.

a bottle of Ensure Max Protein
Ensure Max Protein

Pack a nutrition drink

Nutrition drinks or shakes, such as Ensure, are advantageous to healthy play. How so? According to Stephens, an Ensure Original provides sustained energy, while an Ensure Max Protein is high in protein (the name doesn’t lie!), which can help prevent muscle breakdown.

Stretch and warm up

Look, we’ve all done it: park the car, toss your money down at the register, hustle to the tee and fire away. But warming up and stretching are essential… and that’s no stretch. (Sorry.) Warming up gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. Stretching loosens you up and increases your range of motion, guarding against possible injury.

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.