As the final round of the Zozo Championship wound down this past Sunday, viewers may have noticed eventual winner, Patrick Cantlay, doing something a bit unusual for professional golfers: chewing gum.
Cantlay isn’t alone with this oral fix. Jordan Spieth, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and the great Tiger Woods – are all noted for gum-chewing on the course.
Consider this quote from Mickelson:
“The chewing…stimulates the frontal cortex.” (Huh?)
Spieth went on to win during his chewing display at the 2017 British Open. His use of gum seemed a bit more naive:
“I was one under through two, and I thought I better keep it in…”
Are there psychological benefits of chewing gum?
So, what gives? Why are some of the best golfers in the world, “chewing the cud” as it were? There has to be more to it. Even great athletes outside of golf have been gum-chewers. Michael Jordan is one that comes to mind.
“When you’re chewing gum, you can’t keep your jaw clenched. You’re opening and closing. So releasing that tension could calm you down.”
And, tension is a killer in golf. If you’re able to loosen up some by the simple act of chewing gum, why not employ this activity during all your rounds?
I personally haven’t intentionally chewed gum while golfing – but I am more apt to try it after seeing pro golfers like this chomp their way to victory.
By the way, my favorite gum? Big League Chew (original) or watermelon Bubbilicious.
What do you think?