Just because the temperature is rising doesn’t mean your score has to spike as well. Maybe you think you can manage the conditions just fine, but check the score card. Do you start to fade around the 10th hole or do you feel strong, energized and focused till the end? Along with a hat and sunscreen, try the following to withstand the heat and enjoy your game.
It’s a shocking tip, but, more than water, go for a sports drink. With all the sweating, you need to replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes for your energy level, says Amanda Carlson-Phillips, R.D., director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance.
2. Snack right.
Carry easy protein and fiber—dried fruit, bananas, apples, nuts, beef jerky, any sports bar with 10 grams of protein and 3 of fiber.
3. Snack strategically.
Nosh on holes, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15. Having something small and regular will stabilize your energy levels, keep you from becoming over-stimulated, and help you maintain your focus and fine motor control. It’ll also curb the desire to gorge on the 19th hole, Carlson-Phillips says.
4. Grab for more.
Even at your best, it’s hard to hit for maximum distance. It’s even harder in the sapping conditions. Adjust your expectations for your game and use a little more club—the 7-iron over the 6—than you’d usually hit with to compensate, says Eric Alpenfels, director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy.
5. Hit the treadmill.
Or bike or elliptical trainer. While good for overall health, cardiovascular exercise will help prepare you for challenging conditions, building overall endurance, leg strength and power, says Anthony Slater, performance specialist and general manager at Core Performance Center. Do three different levels.
-Moderate Intensity Intervals. Go for 30 minutes in total, but start by warming up for 5 minutes, and then alternate 4 minutes at a strained conversation pace with 1 minute of recovery. End with 5 minutes of cool-down.
-High Intensity Intervals. Do 30 minutes, with a 5 minute warm-up, then alternate 30 seconds of 90 percent effort with 1 minute of recovery, ending with 5 minutes of cool-down.
-Recovery. Do 30-60 minutes of an easy, constant pace, good for keeping the blood flowing and maintaining your overall fitness.
Start out doing this rotation three days a week, with moderate on Monday, high on Tuesday and recovery on Wednesday, and build from there.