Life on tour vs lockdown life

Managing health and fitness in professional golf during lockdown.

February 3, 2021

My core responsibility to my clients is to develop and maintain their fitness, health and wellbeing to deal with the rigours of competitive golf. It is not just about getting them in great shape in the gym to support and develop their technical game, but also about ensuring they are fit to do their job. They must easily be able to deal with the demands of international travel; play multiple rounds of tournament golf each week and have the energy, strength and fitness to train and practice.  

I monitor my players year-round. Dealing with any signs of prolonged fatigue, injuries and any small aches or pains to ensure that these do not become a serious issue.

In pre-covid times players would easily play in excess of 25 events per year, crossing multiple time zones each month.

Simplified working week on tour:

Monday: Travel day

Travel to airport for the 2hr arrival pre-flight, average 5 hr flight, wait for disembark and collection of luggage – 60mins, transfer to hotel - 60minutes approx.

Tuesday: Practice Day.

Practice on the range, discuss technical aspects (swing) with coach and equipment changes/alterations (manufacturer), sponsor / press work, play 9/18 holes – gym = 10hrs.

Wednesday: Practice Day as Tuesday

Sometimes required to play Pro-am (18 holes), practice after – there’s usually something to work on, gym, sponsor / press work = 10hrs.

Thursday: Tournament Day 1

Wake up can be as early as 4.30 – 5am. Arrive to course 90mins before tee time.

Dynamic warm up – gym based 15mins pre range warm up, 60mins range – on course 4.5-5hrs, 30 – 60mins range work post round.

Friday: Tournament Day 2

Repeat – possibly gym.

Saturday: Tournament Day 3

Repeat – possibly gym .

Sunday: Final Day

Repeat then race to airport and on to the next country to start the above again.



What now?

I now have a golfer who is used to:

Lockdown which reduced us all to a mere few thousand steps per day with gyms, golf courses and ranges closed. It was my responsibility to my core clients – Eddie Pepperell, Jordan Smith, Lorenzo Scalise - to do my utmost to manage this dramatic reduction in workload.

I had to be inventive to ensure that when they could play again their fitness, their health, and their game and therefore their livelihoods wouldn’t take a dramatic tumble. The players faced a sudden “de-load” for an unknown period.

My initial concern was what this meant from a physiological perspective, not with regards to the acute phase of time (next few weeks) but the chronic (>3months) element.

Furthermore, there was a closure of all gyms globally. The body adapts to what you ask of it (within reason) and these golfers are used to doing a lot. For anyone, if you suddenly stop, you’re going to be fine, it is when you re-start that you can find issues.

More to come about how we filled the time during lockdowns 1, 2 and 3…watch this space.


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