How does Gary Player stay so fit? His secrets are simple.
Gary Player is legendary for his fitness mania, but the 81-year old Player isn’t a gym rat. He leaves the sweating up to youngsters like Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson.
Player was preaching fitness long before the gym routine was de rigueur for golfers and we could see the benefits of practicing what you preach when we watched him open the 2017 Masters with that solid, sturdy, down-the-middle tee shot. He has a higher finish than players 20 years his junior.
Although he advocates a regular workout routine, the Black Knight didn’t get and keep that flexibility and core power lifting weights in the gym.
His squats demonstration with Elise Lobb is great fun to watch, but there’s an underlying truth here as well: get your exercise regularly and be creative about it.
Gary Player didn’t put 164 worldwide professional wins on his resume, 9 of them major championships, by sitting on the sofa. The Hall of Famer piled up those victories and has held on to his swing essentials by making exercise a part of his daily routine.
But that doesn’t require a gym and special equipment. Player shared his fitness tips with Sports Illustrated’s Michael J. Joyner: walk – don’t stroll – take stairs when we might avoid them, and establish a walking pace that leaves us slightly winded.
Even playing a round of golf from a cart, an average golfers should be able to log about 2.5 miles during an 18-hole round, and increasing the pace of those many short walks to and from the cart will accomplish exactly what Gary Play’s advising.
There’s a bit more to Player’s fitness tips. He’s an advocate of the “we are what we eat” school of thought. You don’t need a nutrition lecture, just a reminder that you can get as much energy from an apple slice or a few grapes as from a candy bar. A handful of almonds or walnuts will supply as much protein as a cheeseburger and more than what in that hot dog at the turn.
If you’ll just keep moving on a regular and consistent basis and be attentive to nutrition, you’ll almost certainly avoid the excess weight that Player says golfers of all ages should avoid. Add some moderate weight training. Focus on strength and flexibility in your hands and wrists.
And my favorite Player tip: draw energy from people younger than you. I take this to mean I should play golf more often with my grandchildren and, if they’re not available, I should play occasionally with the junior golfers who are always hanging out waiting for their afternoon tee times.
Article courtesy of Pro Golf Now.