These Nutrition Strategies Are Keeping Today’s PGA Tour Pros Fitter than Ever

Don’t let the neatly tucked polos and tapered slacks idiot you. This present period of golfers are the fittest and most athletic the sport of golf has seen. From CrossFit coaching to touring with private cooks, reflexologists, and cell gyms — the sport hasn’t modified a lot however the gamers teeing off now have developed.

The PGA Tour season kicks into full gear this week with The Players Championship. It’s the game’s flagship occasion that mixes the strongest subject at one of many tour’s most iconic venues in The Gamers Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Pete Vedra Seashore, FL. With a handbag of $25 million, the $4.5 million for the winner is the largest payout on the tour.

With all the eye being centered on the inexperienced, a brand new participant eating idea centered on diet may even be unveiled. On the entrance of this alteration are efficiency dietitian Ryan Harmon and Chef Mohamed Azhar. The tour labored with Harmon to collect suggestions from the participant’s final summer time to rethink how they’re fueled.

Beforehand working as an government and company chef for TPC Sawgrass, Azhar was lately named as the primary Nationwide Culinary Director for your complete TPC Community, which consists of 9 PGA Tour occasions, together with the Gamers.

M&F spoke with the pair on their position in serving to guarantee the gamers are at their finest with healthy options without sacrificing great taste.

Not Your Father’s Means of Golf

Ryan Harmon started talking with gamers on the tour final summer time to achieve their perception into the choices on the totally different tournaments throughout the season and what they needed to see. With every athlete having totally different wants and targets, there was quite a lot of info to absorb. What was constant in every of these conversations was the need for high-quality meals. And the gamers’ checklist was lengthy, from grass-fed and grass-finished beef and bison to house-made whole-foods, nutrient-dense snacks, natural non-GMO sourdough freshly baked from an area bakery to natural and seasonal native produce, and even house-made dressings—the tour execs’ theme centered round placing one of the best components of their our bodies.

“Greater than ever, gamers in the present day perceive the foods they choose for training and competitors have an effect on how nicely they will prepare, get better, compete, and good diet supplies a aggressive benefit for them,” Harmon mentioned. “The trendy golfer is touring with a efficiency chef who’s making and getting ready most of their meals. They journey with a full efficiency group and it’s a really advanced operation. They’re additionally utilizing meals and diet to assist stop accidents and prolong their careers.”

Harmon had beforehand labored for the Tampa Bay Rays, the place she constructed and headed their first-ever efficiency and diet program from 2017-2021. That program spanned throughout the Ray’s minor league groups and their baseball academy within the Dominican Republic. It took her a couple of 12 months to completely construct this system out and implement it totally however as soon as it caught on, it appeared to pay dividends within the standings. The Rays had been on the backside of the AL East earlier than she got here aboard. In her final three years, the group completed first within the division twice and second as soon as for 3 consecutive postseason appearances, together with a World Sequence berth in 2020.

She credited the time being current full-time as the rationale this system was capable of work. Had she simply been in a advisor position and been somebody that popped out and in of the clubhouse sometimes, it’s unlikely the gamers would have been capable of set up the belief wanted to purchase into what she was implementing. There would even be no method a group that doesn’t have the posh of a giant market price range would justify spending a premium on higher-quality meals.

Harmon was part of all of the highs and lows throughout her time with the Rays. In talking Spanish at an intermediate degree, she was capable of converse with quite a lot of the gamers of their native language, which additional cemented the belief issue inside the ball membership. She additionally isn’t new to the golf scene having labored as the top golf sports activities dietician for IMG Academy from 2012-14. She’s labored with athletes throughout nearly each sport and is wanting ahead to seeing the outcomes of this new idea throughout the tour.

“My objective is to verify each single participant in that clubhouse’s dietary wants are being met,” she mentioned. “Whether or not that’s fueling alternatives, meals preferences, assist to navigate a brand new eating regimen, struggles with power ranges…I need to be sure that all the gamers really feel like their wants are being met one hundred pc. This diet program is constructed to do this and it doesn’t get any higher than what we’ve been engaged on for the final 9 months.”

Bringing The Eating Expertise As much as Par

TPC Sawgrass

Azhar got here aboard the PGA Tour in 2017 because the senior government chef at TPC Sawgrass. Given how extremely regarded the 9 PGA Tour occasions within the TPC community are, the meals and beverage program was in want of some reimagining to achieve the identical acclaim. Azhar’s objective has been to characteristic a menu that’s each innovative, stylish, and capable of rival a number of the high eating places within the native markets of the programs.

With the Gamers Championship being the tour’s flagship occasion, his choices will take middle stage together with the motion.

“One of many primary issues I began engaged on is ensuring the Gamers Championship is among the finest eating experiences within the space,” Azhar mentioned. “The previous couple of years, we’ve been engaged on innovating the Gamers eating idea as nicely.”

Throughout Gamers week, Azhar could have his fingers full overseeing the choices to the 144 competing gamers in addition to their households and visitor visiting TPC Sawgrass searching for a singular Gamers Membership expertise. Azhar says that these eating in can count on to get pleasure from a nutritious meal that doesn’t compromise nice style. That job is achieved from the sourcing of the components.

“Our meat, fish, eggs, and produce are all regionally sourced,” he says. “If I’m not capable of supply regionally, then it’s all grass-fed or natural. All of the fish is wild caught as a result of they’ve the next degree of fatty omega-3 acids and that’s vital for anti-inflammatory properties with athletes. Our eggs are from pastured hens as a result of that reinforces nutrient density, and all of our fruit and veggies are natural and grown regionally.”

What’s on the Menu?

Born and raised in India, Azhar has additionally labored in varied areas of the world and the menus throughout the TPC community draw direct inspiration from his culinary journey. A few of his favorites on the menu are the TPC Pretzel with housemate queso, the butter hen with papaya chutney yogurt raita, the Tinga nachos, and the superfood bowl that features a poached egg, crispy brown rice, kale pesto, and the choice so as to add the protein of selection.

The menu adjustments seasonally to make to make the most of the freshest native components. About 30 % of the choices stay as they’re one of the best sellers and causes visitor return to dine on the clubhouses. Given the trouble and a spotlight on enhancing the eating for the Gamers Championship, Azhar is aware of it is going to simply be an added bonus to this weekend. However he isn’t shy about what he desires from every one who shall be eating at TPC Sawgrass this weekend.

“I need them to say this is among the finest meals I ever had and I need to come again to have this meal once more,” he says. “You need to hear that always and I need to be sure that gamers and their households say that.”

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