Like many impressionable kids with giddy enthusiasm for their favorite sport, Scott Stallings discovered his interest for golf at the young age of 3. But it was the “aha moment” for his LOVE of the game that came in 1997 when Tiger Woods won the Masters and would forever change the entire landscape of the industry, as well as what Stallings would aspire to achieve in his future professional endeavors.
Little did he know at the time, however, not just how successful he would become, but also how an unforeseen health compromise would also rock his world, and his cross training, for the better.
From 3-year-old Putter to All-American Golfer: Stallings’ Background
Born in Boston and raised in Oak Ridge, TN, Scott set off on his golf career at the early age of 3 and trained his way through achieving all-state golfer and Dean’s List status in high school. He was a seven-time tournament winner and was an All-American while attending Tennessee Tech, and he has won on the PGA Tour three times as a professional golfer.
Upon realizing earlier in ‘97 “that Woods wasn’t that much older than him,'' Scott set himself into overdrive to “get it together” and tapped into his natural drive to be one of the best.
Scott’s Health Problems and Developing a New Workout
Flash forward to the year 2016:
It became a life-changing year he never would have anticipated; one filled with strife as he learned he had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and acute adrenal fatigue. It was a result of some unhealthy nutritional habits, both of which affected his ability to continue effectively as a professional athlete.
With the guidance of doctors, surgeons, and his good friend Rich Froning, a four-time Crossfit champion, Scott developed a workout to trim 60 pounds, boasting 10% body fat, revising his daily eating habits, and sleeping healthily through the night.
The Workout Basics:
Stallings’ primary equipment:
- Kettlebells – Cast iron or cast steel ball with a handle attached to the top; ideal for exercises that combine cardio, strength and flexibility training.
- Bars and weights – A long iron bar on which weight plates are placed. Weights come in a variety of styles, including weight plates, barbells and dumbbells.
- Dumbbells – Short barbells, usually held in each hand
- Medicine balls – Weighted balls roughly the diameter of the shoulders that are used for strength training and rehabilitation
His top exercises:
Kettlebell Power Snatch: Uses ground force to leverage the kettlebell upward, then the shoulder, arm and back support the weight as it gets pushed overhead. Also a great cardio exercise and trains the body for a good golf swing.
Kettlebell Halo: Start by holding the kettlebell upside down at chest height, then lift the weight to head height and rotate it around the head like a halo in both directions. This exercise focuses on shoulder mobility—which is important for a good golf swing—and warms up the muscles and soft tissue around the shoulder girdle.
Clean to Lunge: First, the kettlebell is lifted from the ground to shoulder height. Then, the foward lunge loads weight into the legs one at a time, which happens from the backswing to the downswing. The exercise increases strength in calves and forearms, which is essential for a powerful swing.
- Landmine Rainbow: Tracing the shape of a rainbow, take the barbell down alongside each hip in a rotational movement and then back to an overhead position. Strengthens legs, shoulders and arms; improves coordination for ground-up downswing.
- Landmine Rotational Clean and Press: Facing the landmine, hold the bar in your right hand, then pivot your toes 90 degrees to the left, dropping into a deep lunge while still holding the bar with your straight arm. Press into your front foot and stand up as you press and lift the barbell to chest height, all in one quick motion. From the waist down, this move mimics the look of a golfer finishing a swing.
- Landmine Thruster: Thrust the barbell upward from a squat position. Builds lower-body muscles, which are key for the start of the groundswing and to get longer off the tee.
Stalling’s Best Advice for Golfers
Tips for the avid golfers reading this?
“Golf is a grind, but don’t let physicality get in the way of your game,” Scott says.
Today, Scott happily shares healthy time with his wife and kids and is leading up The Scott Stallings Kids Play Free Junior Golf Initiative, a partnership with the Tennessee Golf Foundation to bring free junior golf to the Knoxville area.
“The mission is simple: Provide Knoxville's youth with unrestricted, free access to the game of golf at multiple facilities, 365 days a year,” he says.
Look for Scott Stallings to be the first PGA Tour professional and mainstream athlete to represent NOBULL, a footwear, apparel and accessory brand that aligns perfectly with Scott’s train-hard story.
“I came to the realization that it was no one’s fault but my own. The excuses and finger pointing led back to me, and once you take ownership, you take power in that,” Scott says.
“The voice within gave me some scary realizations that I always hated the doctor, and that they would tell me something was wrong. I learned a little information goes a long way, and that saved my health. Make one change today, and make another one tomorrow, and you’ll never look back.”
Had Scott not gone to the doctor because of that innate fear, he never would have known the diagnosis of sleep apnea that needed to be addressed.
“You only get one body,” he says.
Luckily for Scott, he didn’t have an overwhelming, crazy life overhaul. Instead, he was able to find one small thing, delivering simple systematic changes in his workout that led to his improvement in fitness and quality of life.
He still was driven to be one the best PGA Tour players and the best family guy he could be, and he would do all of the discovery, the surgeries, and the daily changes all over again to continue living his best life.
“I legitimately have some great people push me and stay around me,” Scott says.
Scott has traveled the world over, playing on some of the best courses around, from Augusta National twice, to courses across Asia, Europe, Australia, and the hope to cross the Middle East and more stunning destinations in New Zealand off his global travel list. His next “bucket list” trip?
Golfing 36 holes a day across seven courses on Long Island, some of the top in the country all within 20 miles of one another—and you better believe Scott “teed up” a “fitness test” among him and his two buddies to see who would fare the best in the end.