Olivia Mehaffey: Fitness only gets you so far in golf – the rest is skill and practice

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Banbridge golfer Olivia Mehaffey who competed in last week's World Amateur Championships at Carton House, Co Kildare

Northern Ireland golfer Olivia Mehaffey – eat healthily, exercise and enjoy your life
Gail Bell

1 Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

My morning routine usually changes, depending on what my day involves. I normally spend 10 minutes catching up with messages and email first thing. I'm naturally an early riser; I don't often sleep past 7am. I will eat breakfast pretty quickly as I'm either going to practice or to classes.

2 What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? The food I eat changes, depending on whether I am competing, training or having a rest day. Normally, my breakfast would contain yoghurt, fruit, brown bread or turkey.

Lunch? Lunch could be anything – from a salad, soup or sandwich to chicken with rice. As a rule, I eat my lunch fairly speedily as I am on the go.

Evening meal? A normal dinner would include chicken, vegetables and sweet potato or rice.

3 Is nutrition important to you?

Nutrition is especially important during tournament weeks. I try to plan what I am going to eat, based on the time I tee off. I may have to eat lunch on the course and, if this is the case, I need to make sure I won't get tired – or run out of energy. When I'm on the course I always make an effort to eat something every four holes in order to keep my energy levels up. This could be anything at all – from fruit to rice cakes or a protein bar.

4 Best meal ever?

Has to be my mum's roast chicken dinner.

5 Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Chocolate, of course. Chocolate has got to be everyone's guilty pleasure.

6 Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I've never a diet as such, but I have tried to cut things out of my diet... I realised my sugar intake was a little high and I was aware of this and so monitored my intake more frequently. This was successful and I soon noticed my energy levels were much higher and I wasn't flagging as much towards the end of the day.

7 Do you take health supplements?

I only take vitamin C as I try to get the nutrients I need from my daily food intake.

8 How do you relax?

I watch movies, have chats with friends and family members, go shopping, nap and read books. They all help me unwind and relax.

9 Teetotal or tipple?

I don't drink alcohol much, so I would call myself mainly teetotal.

10 Stairs or lift?

That depends on the situation – I try to always take the stairs when I'm at airports as I feel that on travel days you do nothing but sit around. On the other hand, after a long day on the course, it will be the lift, for sure.

11 Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I try to work out around four to five times a week during an 'off' week and I'll also do mobility work and stretch every day. During tournament weeks, my step count is high from walking a lot, but I work out less during tournaments as I am on the course for long periods at a time. During off season, I would say I have a lot more structure in my exercise regime.

12 Best tip for everyday fitness?

Focus on steps or doing a little bit of fitness every day.

13 On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?

I think most people strive to be as near 10 as possible, but I would say I am around six. I'm working on getting that number up, throughout the off season. In my sport, fitness can only get you so far, as a huge amount of skill is involved and just spending time on the golf course.

14 Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

I have had acupuncture on a few occasions.

15 Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

I loved school sports; it was my favourite time at school and any activity or opportunity to try a different sport was a highlight for me. I played netball and hockey for the school teams when I was younger.

16 Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

No, I have never had a heath epiphany. It's just been a gradual process, where something new comes up, technically, in my golf swing and requires more from my body, physically. At one stage, I was trying to work on a move in my swing which required more pulling strength.

17 Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

I would say, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and, most importantly, enjoy your life.

18 Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness /attitude to life?

For me, being a golfer and seeing so many strong women golfers, such as Lexi Thompson, is a huge inspiration to me.

19 What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

I take sleep seriously and try to go to bed around 10 o'clock every night. During tournaments, if I have a 5am alarm or earlier, I could be sleeping well before that – maybe 9 o'clock in the evening, to ensure I get enough sleep. I like to go to bed early and wake up early. I have no problem falling asleep anywhere.

20 Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

This is something that I have not given much consideration to, as I am only 20 years old, but I live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: