Summer snacks that beat the heat!
Last summer I had a favorite energy bar that perked me up on the back nine, didn’t upset my stomach, tasted good and came in bulk pricing at my husband’s favorite big box store.
I could not, however, count on him or my playing partners to wipe off the chocolate I wore on my face for the next hole or two. The darned things melted in no time in the Colorado sun, even if I remembered to freeze them.
The CGA’s resident health expert, Neil Wolkodoff, has plenty to say about on-course nutrition. He’s a fan of Aloha bars, which I have not tried, but he owes me one because I picked the Nuggets to win a certain playoff game. Hopefully I will not be wearing it!
Here are five other ideas to try at the turn, or whenever the rumbling in your stomach begins to drown out your swing thoughts.
Harvest Snaps Lightly Salted Green Pea Snack Crisps
I know these last awhile because I recently came across a bag that had been sitting in my cupboard past its expiration date. I decided it wouldn’t kill me to eat them, and I found them to be perfect for golf, with a nice saltiness but only half that of potato chips, with 5 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 130 calories per ounce, which is about 22 pea pods. You can find a 20-ounce bag at a big box store and parse it into single-serving bags you can grab on your way to the course.
CGA champion walker Suzie Frenchman runs races and plays as many holes a day as golf courses will let her. This is her golf course snack of choice, because they’re full of natural ingredients like egg whites, nuts, oats, dates and cranberries. I’d stay away from all chocolate and maybe go for the mixed berry, which has 210 calories, 12 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber. These now come in minis, too, which are great for golfers who tend to get hungry every five or six holes instead of every nine.
Neil notes that Al Geiberger (“Mr. 59”) was known for chowing down on this sandwich at the turn. Geiberger shot his 59 in 1977, before we had many ways to make this sandwich a more healthful one. I recommend a sturdy whole-grain bread like Dave’s, with a no- or low-sugar nut butter of your choice and a low-sugar jelly of your choice. Proteins, carbs, fiber – it’s a whole meal! If you take the time to toast the bread and chill the sandwich overnight, it will hold up best. But even whipped up in the morning and wrapped in cellophane, it won’t melt as long as you don’t overfill it. Neil says this might come to 350 calories.
Banana or Boiled Egg
I put these two in the same category because they are natural, simple choices. I always remember Johnny Miller praising a pro golfer who peeled a banana at the turn because “it’s healthy, comes in its own package and won’t upset your stomach.” The same could be said for the egg – but you do have to think ahead to boil it, and I recommend peeling and seasoning it in the morning before your round. The banana will darken in heat, so keep it close to your icy cold water bottle.
My Golf Recipe
A grocery store flyer had a recipe for baked oats, which were supposed to be baked in 8-ounce ramekins and eaten warm out of the oven. I adjusted it for altitude to make muffins, which I freeze in individual bags, so I’ve always got one handy for my morning round. It is SO EASY: For 12 small or six large muffins, you just put 4 eggs in a blender with 3 or 4 soft, ripe bananas (or 1 cup pumpkin puree) and 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Whirl it around and add 2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt and spices of your choice. (I always add cinnamon and cardamom, and a tablespoon of dark cocoa powder.) Whirl it again, then pour it into greased muffin cups, swirling in ½ cup each dark chocolate chunks and either walnuts or pecans, all distributed equally among the cups. Bake at 350 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on what size muffin tins you’re using, but take care not to overbake.
And, finally, this reminder from Neil: “Eating healthier is a good idea, but the golf course is not time for food exploration… As golf is about constant energy, a little food every 5-6 holes is optimal, depending on how many holes the golfer is playing, how they transport and play, and when was their last, regular meal.”
Veteran journalist Susan Fornoff has written about golf for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, ColoradoBiz magazine and her own GottaGoGolf.com. She became a CGA member when she moved from Oakland, CA, to Littleton in 2016, and ghost-writes as “Molly McMulligan,” the CGA’s on-course consultant on golf for fun. Email her at email@example.com.