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What Do Pro Golfers Eat for Breakfast?

Professional golfers carefully consider their breakfast choices to maintain optimal energy levels throughout a tournament. Many opt for high-carbohydrate and high-protein foods to sustain their blood sugar and provide long-lasting fuel. Some pro golfers may kickstart their day with a serving of oatmeal, which is rich in complex carbohydrates and provides a steady release of energy. Others may opt for a hearty pancake breakfast, which offers quick-burning carbs for immediate energy.

Nutritionists often advise athletes to include a balanced meal that includes both carbohydrates and protein, which can be found in options like whole grain toast with eggs or Greek yogurt with fruit. Regardless of the specific choices, the goal is to ensure that golfers have sufficient energy to sustain them through a round of golf, without experiencing any dips in their energy levels. A well-chosen breakfast can significantly impact a golfer’s performance on the golf course during a tournament. 

What to eat before a round of golf

Before a round of golf, it is important to eat a balanced meal that will provide sustained energy and focus. Lean proteins, such as grilled chicken or fish, are an excellent choice as they will help keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout your time on the course. PGA Tour players and professional golfers who may have an early morning tee times often opt for a pre-round meal that includes a lean protein and complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain toast or oatmeal.

 It is important to eat something that will not spike your blood sugar levels, so steer clear of sugary cereals or pastries. A protein bar can also be a quick and easy option for golfers who need to grab a snack on the go. Pancakes or waffles may seem like a tempting breakfast choice, but they can lead to a crash in energy levels later on. By choosing the right pre-round meal, golfers can ensure they have the sustained energy and focus needed to excel while playing golf.

Carbohydrate-Rich Whole Grains

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for pro golfers. Walking 18 holes of golf burns significant calories and carbohydrates provide a steady supply of glucose to working muscles and fuel the brain. Many pro golfers start the day with carbohydrate-rich whole grain foods, which break down more slowly than refined grains to promote steady energy levels.

Some popular whole grain breakfast choices include:


Oatmeal makes for an excellent breakfast before a long day on the course. A bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit provides complex carbohydrates from whole oats along with fiber to stabilize blood sugar. The beta glucan fiber in oatmeal may also help reduce cholesterol. Many pro golfers appreciate oatmeal’s versatility it can be mixed with milk, water, almond milk, fruit, nuts, seeds, protein powder, peanut butter, etc. Customizable toppings allow golfers to tailor the nutritional profile to their needs and preferences.

Whole Grain Toast

Whole wheat or seeded bread also makes a regular appearance in pro golfers’ breakfasts. Toast with nut butter or eggs supplies complex carbohydrates for sustained energy on the course. Ezekiel bread is a popular choice thanks to its fiber and protein content.

Whole Grain Cereal

Less processed whole grain cereals like shredded wheat, Grape Nuts, and steel cut oatmeal also help pro golfers start the day right. Paired with milk or yogurt, a whole grain cereal bowl delivers slow-burning carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Granola can also be a good choice, just check the sugars.

The Protein Factor

While carbohydrates take center stage, protein also plays an important supporting role in a balanced pro golfer breakfast. Adding a protein source ensures that breakfast provides complete nutrition to build, maintain, and repair muscle tissue. Protein also helps golfers feel satiated and focused.

Here are some smart protein choices found in many pro golfers’ breakfast routines:

Eggs Packed with 6 grams of protein each, eggs are a top choice for many pro golfers. Scrambled, hard boiled, poached, baked into a frittata eggs can be prepared quickly and offer protein to sustain golfers for hours. Vitamin-rich egg yolks also contain choline, an essential nutrient for muscle control and brain health.

Greek Yogurt

High protein Greek yogurt has become a breakfast staple for pro golfers and everyday athletes alike. With around 20 grams of protein per cup, Greek yogurt provides muscle-building amino acids to support an active golf lifestyle. When choosing yogurts, pro golfers tend to avoid those high in sugar. Pairing Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, granola, chia seeds, or nut butter makes for a nutritious and delicious breakfast.

Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter offer plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Justin Thomas has shared that he frequently has peanut butter and banana sandwiches before tournaments. Other golfers add nut butters to smoothies or fold them into oatmeal or yogurt.

Cottage Cheese

With approximately 25 grams of casein protein per cup, cottage cheese has also emerged as a regular breakfast ingredient for pro golfers. Casein protein digests slower than whey, resulting in a more gradual rise in amino acid levels. This makes cottage cheese an excellent choice for sustained energy and satiety during long tournaments.

The Hydration Habit

Maintaining optimal hydration is a key priority for pro golfers, especially during hot summer tournaments. Dehydration can quickly take a toll both physically and mentally during 5+ hours of outdoor competition. So in addition to food, pro golfers emphasize hydration all morning.

Some hydrating breakfast beverage choices pros count on include:


Hydration starts early with a few glasses of water during and after breakfast. Plain water (still or sparkling) is the hydrator of choice for many minimalist pros. Others opt to add electrolyte powders or tabs to ensure adequate mineral replenishment.


While some pros avoid caffeine, plenty still drink coffee in moderation for a morning jolt. Consumed black or just with splash of milk, a cup of coffee hydrates nearly as effectively as water. Others choose decaf to avoid late round crashes. Cold brew coffee has also grown in popularity thanks to its smooth flavor and lower acidity.


Whether hot or iced, unsweetened tea makes for an excellent hydrating breakfast beverage for pro golfers. Options like green tea provide antioxidants while herbal teas offer different wellness benefits. Justin Rose has shared that he drinks turmeric tea each morning.

Coconut Water

With naturally occurring electrolytes, coconut water effectively replenishes fluids and minerals lost through sweat. A great choice any time of day, coconut water is increasingly being utilized by pros at breakfast too.


What does Tiger Woods eat for breakfast?

Tiger Woods starts most mornings with a high protein breakfast to fuel his workouts and long days golfing. He often has an omelet or egg white scramble with vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms. He also regularly enjoys yogurt parfaits mixed with fresh berries and granola as well as smoothies packed with fruits, veggies, nut butters, protein powder, and coconut water.

What is the best breakfast before golfing?

The best breakfast before golfing contains complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and fluids. Good choices include oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, a veggie omelet with whole grain toast, or a smoothie made with Greek yogurt, milk, banana, greens, and nut butter. These provide energy, muscle recovery, hydration, and nutrients to help you play your best.

What snack does Rory McIlroy eat?

Rory McIlroy fuels up with nutritious high protein snacks like fresh fruit, jerky, mixed nuts, and RxBARs which contain egg whites, fruits, nuts, and spices. He also snacks on nut butter and banana sandwiches to help sustain his energy. Staying hydrated with water and coconut water is a priority for Rory as well between shots.

What do golf pros eat?

Golf pros emphasize balanced whole food meals and snacks that provide quality complex carbs, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fluids. Oatmeal, salads with protein, whole grain pasta, fish like salmon, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, yogurt, seeds, nuts, and smoothies are all diet staples. Staying hydrated with water, tea, coffee, milk and coconut water is also key.

In Closing

Balanced breakfasts combining complex carbs, lean protein, healthy fats, and hydration provide pro golfers with the physical and mental fuel essential for peak performance during tournaments and practices. Knowing what works best for their lifestyle, preferences, and goals guides pros’ daily breakfast choices.

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