Jill de Villiers and Nick de Villiers are the founders of JdV Sport, fulfilling all golfing requirements thanks to their partnerships with leading golf equipment, clothing and hotels around the world. From events and corporate days to golfing holidays and so much more, JdV Sport offer ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences for golfers.
Westlab are delighted to have Jill and Nick de Villiers as Ambassadors from JdV Sport, working together to highlight the importance of recovery to golf as a sport. Here we get to know Jill and Nick a little better, and understand how they integrate recovery, wellbeing and Westlab products into their daily lives, both on and off the golf course…
When and why did you start to play golf?
Jill: I started playing golf after my Grandmother took me to play at age 9. My mother also plays. I loved playing outside in the beautiful sunshine with her and she taught me the basics. I joined a club aged 10, was playing for the county at 12 and most improved girl in England at 13.
Nick: I started playing golf at the age of 11, also through the influence of our Grandma, who was a county golfer herself and a wonderful swinger of the golf club. She was very encouraging and I joined a golf club at the earliest opportunity which proved to be a fantastic thing for me at a young age. I had seen golf on TV and really liked the look of the game, my earliest memories that inspired me were watching Severiano Ballesteros winning in such style.
What do you love most about playing golf?
Jill: Being outdoors with beautiful nature, with fresh air, the challenge to play well, the fantastic people you meet and golf has meant I have travelled to many interesting and stunning golf courses and places plus has led me to an exciting career in sport. It’s very good exercise keeping the whole body and mind fit. There is nothing quite like hitting a great golf shot and the game keeps bringing you back for more.
Nick: I love being outside in the countryside with friends, enjoying the challenges of the superb golf courses we have in the UK. The great thing with golf is that over the average round you walk around four miles and sometimes more on bigger courses. The game really engages the body and mind into the challenge and gives one a tremendous feeling of satisfaction on completing a round.
How do you feel golf is of benefit to your health and wellbeing?
Jill: In every way it is benefiting the body, a 3-6 mile walk of exercise, mentally challenging scoring the best you can, fresh air, it’s all encompassing so allows you to take your mind off everything else, using every muscle in your body with the golf swing, meaning being supple and agile is of key importance. The social aspect is great too, often meeting new people and making friends with many a good time had by all in the 19th hole.
Nick: I think the average round of golf will burn in excess of 1000 calories and with walking four plus miles you will certainly see your step counters piling up and dramatically help in hitting your fitness goals. Often fitness training is inside but golf gets you out in the countryside to enjoy the fresh air and stunning views. So, golf uniquely offers physical and mental wellness, very few sports have so many challenges to enjoy. The golf swing itself is a very dynamic movement and the body needs to be flexible and agile to achieve the best results, it is a great measure of your physical abilities. This has seen the emergence of the much higher levels of fitness and athletic ability to achieve even higher levels of golfing performance.
Back pain and joint pain are common injuries for regular golfers. What do you to help prevent injury?
Jill: I try to stretch and warm up before I play, I usually swim as much as I can, use the Westlab muscle spray after every round with any aches and pains to reduce any pain I feel. I always have a hot bath with the Recovering Epsom Salts after playing which helps after playing long demanding championship courses. I try to stretch at the gym as much as I can usually and have regular physio.
Nick: The golf swing involves turning the back in a slightly unnatural way and body is placed under force during the swing. To make sure I stay flexible I like to make time each week for two to three gym sessions a week to work on core muscle groups strength and conditioning. I tend to focus on building flexible muscle mass but not lifting extremely heavy weights. I think explosive dynamic power is the key here along with strong legs and core. The core muscles around the legs and abdominals need to provide a solid base for an effective golf swing. The other major element of the swing is being flexible, so I tend to stretch most days. I also often roll my muscles with tennis balls to make sure that you remove lactic acid from the muscles. The body is like an engine and you need to also stay hydrated and eat well to get the very best from your muscles and mind.