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Padraig Harrington Credits Sacrificing Burgers for Success on the Golf Course

Last Updated: July, 8 2024
Padraig Harrington Credits Sacrificing Burgers for Success on the Golf Course

Irish golfer Padraig Harrington was recently inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, capping off an illustrious career that included three major championship victories. But Harrington's success didn't come easy - he worked tirelessly to maximize his potential through meticulous training regimens and dietary sacrifices.



In a recent interview with Golfweek, Harrington opened up about some of the extreme lengths he went to in order to gain a competitive edge. Like fellow power player Bryson DeChambeau, Harrington experimented with new training and conditioning methods under the guidance of instructor Bob Torrance.


However, Harrington's dedication also extended to his diet. "In my heyday, I wouldn't have eaten a french fry. I didn't eat a burger for years," he recalled. Red meat was also off limits at night. "I didn’t eat red meat at night for years. I went 10 years not doing this." For nearly a decade, Harrington deprived himself of certain foods in pursuit of golfing greatness. 


Perhaps the most notable dietary sacrifice was Harrington's decision to avoid burgers for a span of five years leading up to one of his biggest victories. In 2006, he captured the Order of Merit at Valderrama without having consumed a burger in half a decade.


“I remember I hadn’t eaten a burger for years, and I went maybe five years when I won the Order of Merit in Valderrama in 2006.”


After finally tasting success, Harrington had a memorable reunion with the forbidden food. Rushing to catch a flight home from the tournament, his group ended up at the only place still open - Burger King. “There was about six of us, my family were there and we came back with 12 burgers. We were all hungry. I know I had two of the Whoppers. I think that was the nicest piece of food I’ve ever eaten in my life. Bear in mind, I had not eaten a burger for at least five years before that.” Harrington recalled.


Now in his 50s and transitioning to the PGA Tour Champions, Harrington acknowledges he couldn't keep up the grueling regimen forever. But his extreme dedication helped maximize his abilities and lead to slots in both the European and World Golf halls of fame. For Padraig Harrington, it just took sacrificing burgers to reach the pinnacle of his sport.


Read more: Tiger Woods Taps Son Charlie as Swing Consultant for US Open


What other unconventional methods did Padraig Harrington use to enhance his game?


Wore the Golf SwingShirt, which was equipped with sensors to gather data on his swing plane, angles, etc. This was one of Harrington's "outside the box" efforts to analyze and improve his swing mechanics.


Trained intensely with his coach Bob Torrance, routinely spending 12-hour days focused on practice, lessons, fitness work, etc. Harrington was dedicated to maximizing his time on and off the course.


Followed a rigorous pre-tournament routine that involved multiple workouts, physio sessions, and extensive practice time on the range until dark. Harrington treated each event like a military operation to optimize preparation.


Compared himself to current top players like Scottie Scheffler to push his work ethic. Harrington wanted to go above and beyond what his top competitors were doing training-wise.


Underwent swing analysis and tweaks throughout his career looking for subtle efficiencies. Like DeChambeau, Harrington took a scientific approach to constantly refining his golf swing.


Maintained an extremely disciplined diet that eliminated certain foods for years at a time. Harrington believed nutrition played a big role in performance.






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With a background in digital media and a passion for golf culture, Emily scours the internet and PGA/LPGA tour circuits for the most entertaining, shocking, and bizarre stories about professional golfers. She is skilled at curating viral golf content, from Instagram antics to tournament controversies, and turning them into shareable, humorous articles. Her readers appreciate her ability to find the fun and humor in the world of elite golf.

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