Drinking While Golfing

This is a fantastic question, I’ve always wondered how golfers can walk 18 holes while drinking a case of beer.  Or, drinking an entire energy drink before the 3rd hole and drink another one on the back nine. 

Drinking while golfing isn’t exactly something that is going to make your golf game better.  In fact, some would argue that it’s going to make you worse, but that’s probably no surprise to you.

But it is legal and most golfers actually play golf because it is the one place where they can drink in public.  Just so you’re warned, this article is mostly about the amount of water you should be drinking during a round of golf.

Check out this awesome Yeti Hopper Portable Cooler that fits perfectly in the back of a golf cart and you can put some beer…or water in it.

Bottle Insulator
Yeti Stainless Steel Drink Insulator

Let’s Move On

I couldn’t drink coffee or beer for a couple of reasons if I drink and play I can pretty much kiss a decent score goodbye.  Two, my body is extremely sensitive to caffeine and I would start shaking after drinking half a can of any energy drink, or coffee.

The third reason, I’ve noticed my golf game go downhill really fast if my body doesn’t stay hydrated.  If I’m not drinking water, by the 7th hole I’m feeling the effects, this also depends on the weather but a 75-degree day and walking usually get’s me good.

I know that dehydration isn’t the same for everyone and the effects can be completely different for me than for you. But an interesting fact about dehydration is, and you may have heard this before, but if you’re drinking water because you’re thirsty then you’re already dehydrated.

My rule of thumb in general is, don’t get thirsty.  If I drink a cup of coffee in the morning, I’ll drink water the rest of the day usually because coffee dehydrates the body.

Some Facts About Dehydration

  1. Your body can not survive without this thirst quenching drink, the amount of time it takes for you to actually fall to your death depends on your activity level and your climate.
  2. Your body absorbs water, 10 minutes in bath or shower of chlorinated water is the equivalent of drinking 8 glasses of the same water. Which makes you question the way you should hydrate maybe, but put a filter on the tub because your body will absorb all the other particles, minerals and chemicals in the water.
  3. Dehydration causes the body to feel fatigue, I can vouch for this as I generally always have aches and pains in my joints if I don’t stay hydrated.
  4. Kidney Stones, due to chronic dehydration can occur.
Energy Multiplier
Hydration Multiplier

How Much Water Should I Drink During a Round of Golf?

This is definitely relative to the individual and the conditions you’re playing in.  Generally what I try to do is drink a sip or a gulp of water before every swing, or every other swing.

I don’t drink because I’m thirsty though, I drink because I know if I don’t take sips and gulps I will become thirsty or dehydrated.  Remember, if you’re thirsty then you’re already dehydrated.

This little routine will change if I’m playing in the winter time on a 50-degree day because I’m not sweating that much, if at all.  But I still need to drink water, maybe not so much though.

Hot Months

During the summer months, I will pack 64oz of water at the minimum in a couple of water bottles.  I will also pack 2 – 4 water bottles of 16oz size just in case one of my playing buddies didn’t come prepared.

Drinking water is so crucial during the hot summer month, I’ve consumed 64oz of water while playing 18 holes.  I didn’t have to use the restroom once during the round and when I got home, I finally needed to go and my urine was really yellow.  That was a really hot day and if you didn’t know already, yellow urine is another sign of dehydrations.

Now, I try to drink enough water so that I at least need to use the restroom midway through the round.  This could mean that I need to drink 96 oz of water, I don’t know what the exact number is but I know if I play on hot days, I’m drinking almost every swing.

Dehydration Leads to a Cloudy Mind And Missed Putts

A cloudy mind is a fact but you can’t always blame a two foot missed putt on dehydration.  It’s not only missed putts, your body gets fatigued and your next shot after the missed putt is a phat tee shot.  I think you get the point, don’t get dehydrated.

Should You Drink Only Water?

I will usually drink only water, but on occasions, I will have a beer or two if I don’t really care about my scorecard. Gatorade or Powerade is something I will drink sometimes, but I will dilute it, half water half Gatorade or Powerade.

I would suggest you drink whatever helps you get the best scores, this could be vodka/cranberry.  Too many of these will most likely end the round of golf with you falling asleep in the golf cart, so pace yourself if this is your drink of choice.

Other Drink Options

I would suggest something that helps replenish your electrolytes but without all the sugar like sports drinks have.  You can find packets of electrolytes that you add to water at your local grocery store, or you can find a better deal here on amazon.  

You can also use Celtic Sea Salt to help replenish your electrolytes, this is also fantastic for helping prevent muscles cramps after a hard round of golf.    

What Should You Carry Your Beverage In?

I use a vacuum insulated 32oz bottle, I put the thermos in the refrigerator the night before I go play golf with the lid off.  If the lid is closed, the water will be slightly cooler than room temperature, trust me.

I use this thermos only for water, this makes it easy for me to use it multiple rounds without having to try and remember what kind of drink I put into it.  Also, I don’t put my lips on the bottle, I do this so I don’t backwash into the container, now I don’t have to wash it as often.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m kind of OCD about my water and water bottles, I think that I’m lazy and just don’t want to clean it.  Besides, it’s hard to do any kind of chore after playing and walking 18 holes.

Helpful Tips to Ensure Hydration

Hydrate First

Something I’ve tried to do before a round of golf during the hot summer months is hydrate before I go out to the course.  This just gives the body a head start on the inevitable, which is definite dehydration, especially on a hot summer day.

Choose Foods Wisely

You’re going to want to hydrate while you play but you might also get hungry while you’re playing.  I would take food that isn’t too filling like a sandwich or something, eat something nutritious and light, something like mixed nuts or a banana.  You don’t want to feel like you can’t drink water because your stomach is full of food.

Go By Body Weight

Take your body weight and divide that number in half, then, take that number and divide that in half.  Example: I weigh around 170lbs, divide that in half and you get 85, 85 is the amount of water in ounces I should be consuming every day.  I take the 85 and divide that in half and I get 42.5, this is the number I want to meet or exceed depending on the playing conditions while playing a round of golf.  Link to the website where I got this helpful tip.

Eat a Good Breakfast

You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, if you have a good filling breakfast before a round, you will have loads of energy. Plus by the time you tee off, your food should have digested enough so you can drink water plenty of water throughout your round.

I love eating a good hearty breakfast, I feel like I have a ton of energy.  The picture below is my meal of choice, sometimes I will add some fruit but that depends on if I have any.

There You Have It

If you don’t stay hydrated after all this info then I don’t know what to tell you.  Feel free to like this post and share it with whoever you feel needs it.

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