Imagine this, you’ve just finished the first nine and you scored really well. The second nine wraps up and it was a complete drop-off. It happens. Have you ever wondered why? It might not be the reason you’re thinking and there is a solution. Most people think of hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries when we think of golf and that’s fine when you finish, but catching a quick burger and fries on the turn may be a contributing factor as to why you played poorly on the back nine.

“Nutrition is key to your success on the course,” says Cate Munroe, nutritionist and kitchen coach based in Phoenix. “Eating the right foods can provide you with the consistent energy, improved concentration and increased stamina you need to shoot lower scores and maximize your physical and mental performance. Proper nutrition can give you the strength to hit it farther off the tee and the focus to drain putts.”

There is a reason that tour players carry snacks and eat them frequently during a round of golf. When asked what they snack on, most of them had similar answers.

Below is a list of the best snacks to eat on the course during a round of golf that will keep your energy levels up and help with focus and concentration.

Multi-ethnic men playing golf.10 Quick Snacks Suggestions

  • Bag of Mixed Nuts – Preferably salted to help maintain your fluid level
  • Healthy Nutrition Bars – Not to be confused with high sugar energy bars
  • Bag of Dried Berries and Nuts – Combination of your favorites
  • Cheese Sticks – Always a great choice when combined with fresh fruit and/or whole grain crackers
  • Raw Vegetables Sliced – Pick your favorite and place them in a ziplock bag
  • Dried Jerky – Any type meat can be made into jerky, pick your favorite from the local supermarket
  • Homemade Trail Mix – Easy to make and you can combine your favorites
  • Fresh Fruit –Apples, grapes, oranges, pears, bananas, etc.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs – Easy to prepare and store in your golf bag
  • Dark chocolate – A great option to provide some mental stimulation and healthy fat. Make sure you stick to a high quality brand with very minimal ingredients and no less than 70% cocoa, otherwise it will contain too much sugar.

Combination Snacks

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
  • Peanut Butter and Slices Fruit
  • Ham or Turkey with Cheese and/or Fresh Fruit
  • Jerky with Nuts and Fresh Fruit
  • Whole Grain Crackers with sliced cheese and olives

19th Hole or Turn House Selections

If you forgot to bring your snacks to the golf course and need to eat on the turn, here are some of my favorites:

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
  • Sliced Turkey Sandwich
  • Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • Tuna Salad Sandwich

Things to Avoid

  • Coffee
  • Fruit Juice
  • Soda
  • Alcohol/Beer
  • Energy drinks and bars

With coffee, there’s too much caffeine and juices and soda have too much sugar. Worst than both of those are energy drinks / bars because of the combination of too much caffeine and sugar! If you’re having a bad round, you may want alcohol / beer but that’s best to held off until the 19th hole. It’s a sedative and (unfortunately) will affect your coordination.

At the end of the day, I can suggest all of the healthy options in the world for your round, but many of these will require some prep time prior to your round. So, the second step to eating healthy snacks for your round of golf is coming to terms with the fact that you will have to think about what you will bring with you prior to leaving the house. That’s right everyone, no more rolling out of bed 10 minutes before you have to leave (well unless you prepared your snacks the night before). Trust me, the simple fact that you will feel better on the course and have a chance to improve your score will be worth the prep time.