A question I get a lot is about the workouts Pros do after finishing a competitive round of golf.
People are starting to get an idea of what I do when I'm working with players at the Joey D Golf Sports Training Center in Jupiter. There have been pictures and videos and a bunch of articles and blogs I've done. A lot of people have asked me, though, how the work I do on the road differs from what I do when I'm back at HQ. To give you a sense of what a typical day on the Tour is like -- and to give you an idea of how you may want to structure your playing day -- here's what 24 hours on Joey D Street is like.
If you're not a morning person, you'd better become one.
Quick. Because of the size of the field at most events, you're going to play one of your first two rounds in the morning. And a lot of the time, this means early morning. If you have a 7:00 tee time, you're not rolling out of bed at 6:45. To be able to get up, shower, eat, get to the course, and prepare yourself mentally and physically for your round, you're getting up at 4:30. (And that means that I'm getting up at 3:30 to get ready to work with you!)
In many ways, this separates the PGA Tour from just about every other sports league or organization.
If you're a pro baseball or basketball player, most of your games are at night. You finish the game, shower, deal with the press, and then you've got your night to yourself. You might not need to be at the park or arena the next day until 2:00 in the afternoon or later. Golfers don't have that luxury. Pat Perez -- who regularly hangs with athletes from other sports -- likes to joke that his 4:30 wake-up time is when his buddies are just getting into bed.
Of course, that's one of the reasons that you rarely see Tour players on TMZ. It's tough to get into late-night trouble when you're in bed by 10:00.
Waking up at 3:30 in the morning goes hand-in-hand with the need for caffeine.
Anyone that's spent more than an hour with me knows that I usually have a Starbucks cup in my hand. Unfortunately, I've found very few Starbucks that open before 5:30. (Most open at 6:00.) Instant Starbucks VIA packets are the 15th club in my bag.
At 5:00 in the morning, the most important thing for players with early tee times is the warm-up.
If you've been asleep for hours, we have to reactivate the body. We might start with ten minutes on a bike or treadmill to get the blood circulating and then we'll get into hip openers and chest openers and make sure that the shoulders can rotate comfortably. Next we'll get into golf-specific movements with resistance bands and medicine balls -- things that let the body know that its job for the day is to play golf. At this point, we go hit balls.
Again, here's the difference between golf and other professional sports.
Players in the MLB don't have to take batting practice in the dark -- an hour before the sun comes up.
Once their round starts, the main thing that I'm concerned with is that the player stays hydrated and fueled properly. Fortunately, most of the guys on the Tour have been around a while. They've played in college and they've played on the other tours. They have a pretty good sense of what their bodies need to perform optimally. (And if they're not on top of staying hydrated and fueled, their caddies will keep them on track.)
If you're still figuring out what works best for you, here are a couple rules of thumb that I think will let you get the best out of your body.
To stay hydrated, drink a bottle of water every three or four holes. (Of course, in the summer -- or if you're playing in warmer temperatures -- you might need to drink a little more.) As far as nutrition goes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a mainstay on the Tour. Eating half of a sandwich every four holes will let you maintain an optimal energy level for your entire round.
A question I get a lot is about the workouts that guys do after finishing their round. The workouts on the road aren't the same as what we'll do back in Jupiter. You don't go play a full 60-minute football game before you go play a full football game. What we do on the road are essentially maintenance workouts. We might use medium resistance bands -- not a lot of heavy stuff. We're reinforcing the idea that the body has to have the ability to transfer weight and rotate and be flexible and be in balance.
The goal of the post-round workout is to do the things that are going to make someone play better the next day.
There are some very cool aspects to being on the road. I've made lifelong friendships and have been to some of the most exotic places on Earth as part of my job. But one of the biggest misconceptions that the average golfer or golf fan has when they're watching some January event from Hawaii and see players walking beautifully manicured courses in perfect weather is that life on the PGA Tour must be the cushiest job in the world. It's not that simple.
The guys you're seeing on TV get up before the sun, play a round of golf, hit balls for another two hours, work out, shower, and then grab dinner.
By the time they've eaten, it's time to get to bed. And then they do it all over again -- for five or six days in a row…for three or four weeks in a row. It's an incredibly structured, demanding, and draining lifestyle. You don't really get to appreciate that until you see it firsthand. And anyone who doesn't think these guys are athletes just isn't paying attention.
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