In 2006, Richie became the first British golfer in almost a century to win the US Amateur. His career has seen him play in the 2005 Walker Cup, win twice on the Challenge Tour and and in 2009 he won his first European Tour title by defeating Shiv Kapur in the playoff at the South Africa Open. In 2012 he won the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
We got a chance to catch up with Scotsman Richie Ramsay last week in Morocco at the Trophee Hassan II to ask him a few questions about golf and fitness and find out a bit about what has helped make Richie a 2 time European Tour winner.
How important is fitness and health to you as a professional golfer?
It is very important as your body is your living so taking care of it is paramount to be able to perform. Golf is a sport you can play for years but taking care of yourself and being proactive in looking for ways to improve is something I always look to do.
How much time a week do you spend training/preparing?
I would say on a typical week off I like to get in the gym 5 times a week with Mon, Wed ad Friday weight training and Tuesday, Thursday maybe circuits. I use a foam roller almost every day to loosen up before practise and before bed. Overall you are looking at 8-10 hours a week in some form.
How important is The European Tours Medical service and Physiotherapy unit to you and you’re game?
I think the Physio unit is the best around. This has been reinforced after travelling extensively and experiencing treatment from other physio’s. If there is something I struggle with like chipping in the game, you look at who is best at that and ask their advice. The staff on the truck are the best at what they do so it is great to have them there to support me and the tour at all times. It is very important to my game and no doubt in the years to come it will help give me longetivity in the game.
What aspects of the service do you find the most beneficial?
The stretching day to day is very helpful but I find staying on top of specific injuries is the most important part. Forming a clear plan to help with an injury and be proactive early so that it does not impact too much on your game and future.
What advice would you give amateur golfers regarding preparation and fitness?
I feel that seeking out the best advice and forming a plan early to make sure you give your body the best chance to perform at the highest level is important. I believe that some people have natural attributes, like flexibility or strength which enables them to perform successfully. However, certain people need to work hard on their weaknesses to optimise performance. Fitness and preparation are key components to being the best you can be on the golf course.
What are key areas of your body you work on in physical preparation to help your game?
I work on core strength and upper back to enable me to get in the positions I want for my golf swing. I do squats, straight leg deadlift and lunges currently in my program as well. A lot of my exercises involve keeping my shoulders blades back and down while maintaining good core stability.
What’s you’re favourite golf course?
Augusta is my favourite course, I have been fortunate to play it several times in practice and once in the 2007 Masters.
What’s you’re favourite tournament?
The Open and Masters are my favourites. I don’t have one firm favourite but to win the Open on home soil in Scotland would trump any win at Augusta.
What’s the best shot you ever hit?
I hit a 3 wood 252 yards to 15 feet in the first playoff hole in the 2009 South African Open. This was my best shot with the pressure, execution and situation making it no 1
Best moment of your career?
I would say winning the Omega European Masters in 2012. It was just as special as my South African Open win however I had either lead or been in the top 5 all of the 3 rounds in Switzerland. I held a one shot lead going into the final round and went out and won that tournament myself. Nobody gave it to me through mistakes, so the feeling of winning but winning in the manner I did with pressure is the best feeling.
And finally what one piece of advice would you give to amateur golfers to improve their game?
Practice your short game more !