Gary Player meets the Butch Harmon School of Golf’s Claudine Foong to discuss the keys to a healthy game

Your Core Is Your Power Source
By Gary Player

My advice to all golfers is very simple. Focus on your core! Picture yourself in golf set-up and now zoom in on the area that runs from your breastbone down to your knees – that is your power base. When I exercise, I spend a lot of time on this area. I do 1,300 crunches and sit-ups four times a week, and a series of plank exercises, starting on my back and then alternating each side, holding these planks for two minutes each time.


To play your best golf, you should focus on a strong core, strong hands and feet, and a loose, supple back. What you should not be doing, is building up your shoulders and biceps with too much muscle, as I believe Tiger Woods did. And when you stretch, don’t forget to pay close attention to your ‘weaker’ side. I’ve hit over 11 million golf balls in my life, swinging right to left. So when I stretch, I make sure I spend extra time going the other way.

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3 Things You Can Learn From Gary Player
By Claudine Foong

Meeting Mr. Gary Player, the first thing you notice is his energy and vitality. You would never guess he is 80 years young. He is in phenomenal shape; and his passion and zest for life are incredibly inspiring. Here are the three key things that I took away from meeting golf’s original fitness pioneer.


1 Make Fitness a Priority
Not only is fitness important for golf, but fitness for life is key. Player attributes his ability to shoot well below his age to his exercise routine. His routine includes weights, sprints and an extensive group of core exercises. He demonstrated a few of his routine exercises during the interview, one of which included me sitting on his feet while he leg pressed me.

2 Take Nutrition Seriously
Gary Player is a strong advocate for healthy eating.  He believes in educating people to eat nutrient dense meals mainly consisting of a variety of vegetables. He does eat some meat, however he ensures it is free range and good quality.

3 Get Healthy in Mind and Body
As part of his fitness, Mr. Player practices Tai Chi poses that help him focus his mind and instil discipline. He is a firm believer that a healthy mind promotes happiness.

Claudine Foong is the Director of Fitness at the Butch Harmon School of Golf. For more information, contact +971 (0)4 425 1040 or visit

Photographs by Farooq Salik