People who only watch golf on TV have no idea how physically demanding the game is. The cameras pick up the swings and the players walking around the course. Only the ones who play know how difficult a session can become, especially on the final rounds.
A standard golf course has 18 holes. This means a round of golf is played on 18 different holes. The holes are divided into two sections. The front 9 and the back 9. Based on what course you’re playing, either the front or the back 9 will take the test of your determination and strength.
For young players, the 18 holes are nothing. They swing like each of them are the first ones. However, as you grow older, golf starts to take its toll on the players. Interestingly, it can happen to young amateurs or pros as well!
If you’re struggling with fatigue issues during the late rounds of your session, this is the article you need to read. We’ve gathered the most common reasons for fatigue and how you can manage it better.
Golf Fatigue 101: Is it Mental or Physical?
If you want to improve your stamina in golf, the first thing you need to figure out is whether you’re facing mental fatigue or physical fatigue. To be completely transparent, golf is one of the most mentally demanding sports of our time. Every shot comes with certain probabilities and our minds just get tired trying to keep anxiety in control.
Similarly, a 5 to 6 hour-long session is demanding on our bodies. All that walking around and swinging the long clubs as hard as you can will drain your energy level. It’s basic human biology and there’s no going past it.
Whether you’re mentally fatigued or physically fatigued, the only thing that matters is how you manage it. If it’s mental fatigue slowing you down, you need to figure out the triggers. Overcoming physical fatigue is relatively easier than mental fatigue.
Let’s see the stepping stones to overcome both.
Overcoming Mental Fatigue in Golf
Most people who suffer from mental fatigue during their golf rounds don’t even realize the problem. They just think it’s physical and try to push harder. As a result, they get even more fatigued.
Anger, frustration, and self-loathing are some of the early signs of mental fatigue. If you’re getting irritated with every other shot you’re hitting, chances are you’re angry at yourself. Anger or frustration are not good things to have in life in general. Let alone for golf.
So, if you’re not physically tired but you get angry or frustrated very easily, maybe it’s time for some self-reflection. You can even take a few days off from golf if you want.
As we’re not mental health experts, we cannot offer remedies for your problems. However, we can share tips on how to stay calm on the course.
For starters, don’t take things too seriously. We understand you love playing golf and it’s irritating if you’re having a bad day. However, golf is a part of life only. Every aspect of human life has ups and downs.
So, learn to accept things. If you’ve hit a bad shot, it’s completely fine. As long as you’re healthy and happy with your life, external elements such as this shouldn’t bother you.
Also, you can incorporate mindfulness meditation into your daily routine. It’s a great way to connect with your inner self and address any underlying issues.
If you’re still having anger issues and late-round fatigue at the course, maybe you should seek help from a therapist. Bearing a mental burden will only make things worse for yourself and your loved ones.
Last but not the least, keeping your expectations in check is very important. You don’t want to expect a double eagle only to return home with a double bogey. You need to have realistic expectations based on your playing style.
Along with your skills, the skills of your opponents should be considered as well. If you’re playing with similarly-skilled friends, you can expect to finish under par. If the opponent is highly skilled, you should dial your expectations back. It’ll help you manage a lot of mental fatigue.
Overcoming Physical Fatigue During Late Golf Rounds
As we’ve mentioned already, addressing physical fatigue and overcoming it is easier than managing mental fatigue. However, there are more steps in this process. Let’s figure out how you can overcome the physical aspect of fatigue.
Assess Your Game and Track Your Rounds
Experts believe that you cannot manage things that you cannot measure. Before you take preventative measures, you need to diagnose the issue. The best way to do that is to track your rounds.
You can simply carry a notebook with you to the course. Take a minute after every round to write down stuff such as how was it, how do you feel, what you did and didn’t like about the round, etc.
After you’re done with the 18 holes, you can analyze the information you’ve written in your notebook to see where you’re falling behind. For most players, it’s the back 9 holes simply because they get tired with time.
On a few particular courses, the front 9 might be the culprit due to extreme lies or more hazards. From your scorecard, find out which 9 rounds you played the best. Now, take some time to revisit each hole and see what’s different about them when compared to the other 9 holes.
When you have a better idea about what might the culprit be, you can plan your days more efficiently.
Eat a Good Meal Before You Hit the Course
This might sound like a no-brainer to a lot of you. But you’ll be surprised to see the end results. If you’re supposed to go to the course on a particular date, make sure you have a healthy and full of energy breakfast.
Eggs, oatmeal, bacon, various fruits, steaks, etc. work best as meal components. The linear protein from the eggs is known as one of the greatest sources of energy. Fruits are full of antioxidants that keep you rejuvenated throughout the day.
Also, make sure to avoid sugar and processed carbohydrate on the day. Sugars are regulated in pulses in our body so you might feel very energetic during the day but crash mid-round!
Drinks Lots of Fluids During the Rounds
Make sure that you carry a water bottle with you to the course. It might be plain water or glucose. It’s usually better to stay off of energy drinks because they are not really healthy. Plain old water is your best friend.
All the water that goes out of your body as sweat can be replenished by water. If you add glucose to the water, you’ll also replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat.
One of the main reasons to drink lots of water is to keep yourself hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, the brain switches to survivor mode and limits your brain activity. For most occasional-hot-tempered players, this is the reason.
So, if you keep yourself hydrated, your brain and vital organs will function normally without causing any mental or physical outbreaks.
Pack Some Snacks for the Day
After you have your nourishment in the morning, you may want to pack healthy snacks for the day. It’s very normal that you’ll feel hungry after a few rounds. When selecting the snacks, the same rule as breakfast applies. Stay off of sugar and processed foods.
You can carry fruits such as bananas or apples, protein bars, nuts, or peanut butter sandwiches. All of these food items are a great source of instant energy.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
If you’re a golf player, you must exercise. Period. There’s no alternative to exercising regularly to keep yourself on top of your game. We have plenty of work guides for different body parts on our website that you may check out.
Exercising keeps up the blood circulation in our muscles and helps build resistance to fatigue. If you exercise regularly, you’re guaranteed to have more stamina than the players who don’t.
If you exercise occasionally or just before the game day, it’s time to change the habit. If you only exercise before the game day then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Because chances are your body won’t recover from the exercises.
That’s why it’s important to be consistent with your workouts and building up stamina over time.
Warm Up. Every Time.
Exercising at the gym or at home is not the end of the process. You might pack a lot of strength and stamina but you need to trigger them before you play. And triggering your body for success entirely relies on how well you warm up.
When you don’t warm up, your heart rate will be lower which means less blood will get pumped to the muscles you’re going to use for your shots. If you shock the body with sudden chores, it’ll drain faster. Also, you open yourself up for injuries such as muscle pulls and sprains.