Gary Player’s Secrets of Healthy Golf Travel

Gary Player (Image:

Gary Player has won nine major championships. (Image:

Golf legend Gary Player estimates he has flown an astonishing 15 million air miles during a career that has seen him win 165 tournaments (including nine major championships) around the world. His recipe for healthy travel? Rigorous exercise, proper nutrition, and sticking to a familiar routine.

Player, a 76-year-old workout and diet disciple who has trademarked himself as the “World’s Most Travelled Athlete,” starts preparing his body for a trip hours before his departure.

“Before I left last night I had a strenuous workout which helped me to sleep on the plane,” Player told CNN Travel following a flight from his home in South Africa to London. “I didn’t have any dinner of any sorts. All I had were a few grapes and a banana. And this morning I didn’t have any breakfast.”

Player recommends drinking plenty of water upon arrival, as well as a bracing hot and cold shower to get the blood circulating. Allow yourself a nap of no longer than an hour after a landing early in the day. Then go about the rest of your day normally.

But Player says the real key is to make exercise a part of your daily routine, whether at home or on the road. Indeed, few golfers have gotten more out of their body than the South African. Standing just five-foot-seven and weighing 150 pounds in his prime, Player overcame his physical disadvantages through hard work and dedication. He made up for his slightness by swinging the ball more aggressively than any of the other great modern players, often finishing off-balance and “walking through” the shot when his momentum carried him forward.

“I do a thousand sit-ups — some on a ball, some on a bench, some on the floor, some on these crunch machines,” Player said. “I do a whole variety because you don’t want your body to know what you’re going to give it that day.” Read more at CNN Travel.