Why Ryder Cuppers—on both sides—are racing to get back to their 'fighting weight'
ROME — For many golfers, losing weight is an enormous task. One that takes a huge amount of time, effort and discipline.
For professional golfers, they lose weight without even thinking about it—and that's a problem. They’re locked in a constant battle of keeping the pounds on, because even small fluctuations have the potential to cut into their advantage off the tee, and throw off their carefully dialed yardages.
It’s why, with a (slight) break heading into the Ryder Cup after a long season, players on both sides are taking the time to dial-in their bodies just as they would their equipment. As Golf Digest top 50 Fitness Trainer Dr. Harry Sese, who works with numerous professional golfers including Jon Rahm and Wyndham Clark, explains.
Sese runs Golfletica, which has a number of fitness clinics across the northwest, and works with numerous professional golfers including two of 2023’s major winners: Jon Rahm and Wyndham Clark.
"I almost think of my guys like fighters," Sese, who runs the Golfletica fitness clinic, says.
"Let's say your ideal fighting weight is 200 lbs. If you're too light you're probably going to lose distance because you can't put as much behind the ball. If you're at 220 lbs, you may be a little thicker and not able to move as well."
With the amount of miles players put on clock throughout the season, Sese says it's not uncommon to see players lose up to 20 pounds over the course of the season. And with the undulating terrain at Marco Simone, the weather forecasted to be hot over the course of the week, and the pressure predictably high, it's a recipe for players sweating away more weight than they want to.
How to maintain your ideal weight
Dr. Sese says the solution, whether you want to lose weight or, in a player's case, gain it back, is the same: Discipline around their diet.
"Whether you're trying to gain or lose weight, it's difficult from week to week, that's the challenge," he says. "You're on the road; you're tired; you don't want to work out; you don't want to diet, so you get inconsistent."
Rahm, Sese says, is incredibly disciplined with his habit. And if you look closely, you'll spot it this week.
"Diet is crucial to maintaining the weight you want," he says. "Look at Jon and you'll see that he's always eating wraps and sandwiches on the golf course. He's incredibly focused on maintaining his weight, and it all comes down to calories in and calories out."