Is Specialized Nutrition
the Key to Better Golf?
By Mary Egan, Editorial Assistant
August / September 2014
A Dublin-based start-up company, Wyldsson, is partnering with the University of Limerick using an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher to investigate the impact of specialized nutrition for golf performance. Wyldsson specializes in developing healthy food products for elite athletes.
Dave McGeady, of Wyldsson explains, “Hunger can be a serious issue for elite golfers, who can spend up to 6 hours straight on the course during a major tournament. There are few sports where such long periods of concentration and stamina are required. The margins are absolutely tiny in golf, so a good nutritional strategy can really make all the difference to a players’ performance. However, very little research has been carried out on this area – so we wanted to take the lead.”
McGeady added, “Golf-pro John Daly is notorious for drinking Coke and munching on M&M’s during tournaments, however the parent of any young child will tell you after the great sugar rush comes a major crash – not ideal for any sports professional. That’s why people like Tiger Woods eat natural snacks like nuts and trail mix, which have a much lower glycemic index.”
University of Limerick researcher, Dr. Mark Campbell, explains, “A huge amount of research has been undertaken in recent years to improve golf clubs and balls. However, there has been little work done in the area of nutrition and its effect on golf performance. This study will firstly, measure the typical energy expenditure of golfers undertaking a championship course round of golf. Secondly, physiological and psychological measures will be employed to measure golf performance. Finally, we then aim to recreate this round in our biomechanics lab and to evaluate the effect of feeding a nut and grain sustainable energy product on the maintenance of blood glucose and golf performance whilst undertaking a ‘simulated’ round of golf in the laboratory.”
The study will take place at Lahinch Golf Club and the University of Limerick’s biomechanics laboratory and will involve Professor Phil Jakeman and Dr. Mark Campbell. The study is being funded as part of the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Scheme.