Is Golf Fuel Too Good To Be True?

Posted on 08. Mar, 2012 by in Discussion

You can’t miss it.

If you’re interested in golf and search about it online (and if you’re not, how did you end up here?), then you’ll have heard about Golf Fuel.

Depending on when you clicked on the link, the presentation you’ll have heard will have varied a little…but not by much. The version I clicked on today has changed a little from the first time I heard it, but the overall effect is just the same.

It all feels…icky.

There’s something about the presentation which makes me uncomfortable.

And I’m not the only one.

I’ve asked my Twitter friends about it a few times, and each time a few people respond with the same concerns.

Very few have listened to the presentation all the way through, despite (or perhaps because of) the miraculous claims made about golf fuel.

Responses have ranged from “it’s probably BS” to “It got my scam radar tingling”.

But the video is full of claims of “scientific evidence” that Golf Fuel is “scientifically proven” to work; such claims intrigue me, as I’ve got a little experience of interpreting such evidence. I’ve decided to delve a little deeper into the evidence behind the hype before you part with your hard-earned cash.

So is Golf Fuel a scam?

I don’t think so.

Will I be buying it?

Again, the answer is no.

So what gives?

Firstly, their marketing leaves me cold. I suspect it plays a big part in the negative response to Golf Fuel. The first video I saw promised to “take less time than I might think” and exhorted the viewer to “watch to the end”. But there was no indication of how long it would take , no controls to pause it if, say, you wanted to go to the bathroom. If you want to see the end of that video, you have to sit and wait.

And, if you get past the initial “ick”, you might find yourself wanting to stay until the end. Not because you’re enjoying it, but because you’re constantly teased with information “you’ll find out in just a minute”. Try to navigate way from the page, and you’ll get an “Are you sure?” pop-up which just heaps on more disquiet.

But if you persist, you’ll notice something else. You’ll be told just how scarce the product is. You’ll be told “someone else will get your place”. It starts early on (almost from the beginning of the latest video), and is just ridiculous by the end.

I think it’s these tactics which have led to the suspicion I and others have experienced on viewing. These tactics will be forever associated with the seedy side of internet marketing, to the point where they’re beyond redemption.

They’re icky  because they are so blatantly manipulative – sit to the end of the video, and you’ve already subconsciously made a commitment, making you more likely to buy. They tease you with information and promises to encourage you to watch, and then they pile on the scarcity tactics, crowding you into compliance. It’s unpleasant, and redolent of scams; I’m not surprised it’s turned a lot of people off.

But does this mean Golf Fuel is a scam?

I still don’t think so.

Sadly, these tactics are so prevalent online, and used by so many “respected” marketers, many honest businesses think this is the marketing way is done online . Many of the so-called “A-list” bloggers use them too, and encourage their readers to do the same. It’s not fair to call out a product as a scam, just because their marketing has been naive.

But I still won’t be buying Golf Fuel.

I’ve had the chance to look at the scientific evidence behind the claims.

And, while it’s substantially better than I thought it would be, I still have significant concerns about its quality.

I’m going to focus on Phosphatidylserine (PS), as that’s the first ingredient they mention, and the only one with study evidence directly related to golf.

(studies focusing on the other ingredients look at things like the brain’s ability to cope under stress, and there’s an assumption golfers would see a similar benefit)

The “good” bits:

Golf Fuel’s marketing had led me to believe the study would be published in an obscure journal with little quality control. I was delighted to find this wasn’t the case. Articles in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN) are reviewed by 2 experts before they’re accepted, and the journal appears well regarded.

Journals are measure by their “impact factor” (the number of times articles from the previous year are quoted by other articles divided by the total number of articles published in that year. JISSN has a very respectable impact factor at 2.58; to put this in context, Age and Ageing (the principal journal of Medicine for the Elderly in the UK) has an impact factor of 2.71.

There are various ways to conduct a study, but the best way is to have a group taking placebo along with the group taking the relevant substance, with neither participants nor investigators aware of who’s taken what until afterwards (in technical terms, a double-blind controlled trial). And that’s exactly what this study was.

At the driving range, the participants were assessed, and put into groups. Handicaps varied from 15-40. After warming up, they were asked to hit a target 135 yards away, choosing their own club (but not a pitching wedge). They were asked to hit 20 balls in quick succession, with 15 seconds between each ball in order to simulate pressure.

So far, so good. So why do I remain unconvinced?

The “not-so good” bits:

Although it’s very common for manufacturers (and drug companies) to fund research, this is usually clearly declared. So it’s not an issue that one of the authors holds the patent for the preparation of PS they used in the trial, or that the trial was funded by the company which makes the preparation.

But I did have to do a wee bit of hunting to confirm this – the declaration quotes the wording of the patent without making it’s clear that’s what they used in the study – and the company funding the trial is mentioned by name, rather than identified as the manufacturer. While this may be what the journal permits, I would’ve preferred to see this made explicit.

I also have a few issues with the study itself. 

Firstly, it’s a very small study.

Each group had only 10 participants; it’s very difficult to get accurate results in a study this small, as it’s more prone to statistical abnormalities. Most studies work out how many participants they’d need to ensure their results are relevant; there’s no mention of that in this paper.

Although that doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t do it (they might just have left it out of the final paper), I find its absence concerning. With groups this small, just one golfer hitting a rich vein of form could throw the results out of kilter.

There’s also no mention of a how the groups compared. While choosing which group each person is in at random helps to prevent bias, this only really works with large study groups; if in this case one group had a higher proportion of higher handicap players or younger golfers, this would be enough to invalidate the results. It’s impossible to interpret the results of this study without seeing how the groups compare on key points like age and handicap.

This is particularly relevant when you realise the study only just reached statistical significance; even then, there’s still a 1 in 20 possibility these findings are a result of chance occurrence.

This is very concerning in such a small study.

The study also focused on ball flight, with 9 different flights defined. There were only 3 “good” ball flights (straight, draw and fade). I think this is focusing on the wrong thing; surely repeatability and hitting the target are more relevant measures? The ball flights deemed acceptable by the investigators would exclude a number of well-known professional golfers (think of Kenny Perry’s high hook, or KJ Choi’s push fade).

I’m also unhappy with the how the ball flights were generated; hitting 20 balls to the same target with the same club hardly simulates golf. Even if it did, what It would be far more interesting to look at the 18-hole scores of the two groups over a period. If this study had found an improvement in 18 hole scores, this would have been a very different post, even with all of the above concerns.

My final concern? The study was published in 2007. Although it’s flawed, the results are interesting, and there’s clearly scope for further study. If the study results were consistent and true, I would’ve expected a slew of further studies citing this one. And yet, Google Scholar suggests it’s only been cited 12 times…and not many of these are studies examining PS use in golf.

Journals tend to report positive findings, so negative studies don’t see the light of day.

The silence is eloquent in this instance.

That’s not to say Golf Fuel is a scam.

Interpreting study data is difficult, and it’s easy to get it wrong – just look at how the media reports any study in medicine.  So I’m not for a second suggesting the manufacturers of Golf Fuel have done anything unethical or illegal – I just have a different opinion on what the study data shows.

Golf Fuel also contains other ingredients, and it may be these have a greater effect. My goal here isn’t to denigrate the product – it’s to provide you with the information as I see it, so  you can make an informed decision.

Might the company do more research themselves?

They might;  I’ve got real concerns about this though, as the video I watched seemed to be offering the chance to buy the product and become part of the study group.

While this might seem to make sense at first, particularly given my concerns about study size, it raises a number of concerns – how could you have a control group? You can hardly send placebo to paying customers, after all. And wouldn’t having people buy the product themselves increase the chance of a positive result anyway? I think it would, and that’s without stopping to think about the effect the sales tactics might have.

Golf Fuel is over-hyped, over-priced and under-researched.

That’s not a winning combination – I suggest you stay away. 

 

 

This article is a bit of a departure from my normal style; I usually focus on helping golfers lower their scores without changing their swings, improving performance through sport psychology and productive practice . If you’ve just arrived as a result of a Google search, why not subscribe to get a new article each week delivered to your inbox? Subscribers also get a free copy of my eBook “Why Almost All Of Your Golf Practice Is A Waste Of Time…And How To Fix It”.

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I’d also be delighted to review any other products claiming to be backed up by scientific evidence, as my medical background means I’m able to critique the quality of such evidence. If there’s anything you’d like me to take a look at, please get in touch. You can  do this by Email, via the Contact Form or on Twitter.

 

 

 [image credit: "Difficul-tee" by Wendy Candela, "Research Bookworm" by viewoftheworld under Creative Commons License]

 

 

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28 Responses to “Is Golf Fuel Too Good To Be True?”

  1. court 8 March 2012 at 2:24 am #

    I picked up a couple of shots of Golf Fuel at the Merchandise Show, but haven’t used it just yet, and to be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to the marketing past the ingredients until this article. There isn’t anything bad or harmful in it. My biggest question was whether this was one of the many “brain boosting” products that take a number of uses over time before it kicks in.

    At the Merchandise Show, Golf Fuel was only talked about as a product to help with mental focus. There was no mention of more powerful drives or better short game shots. It wasn’t a magic potion – just a little extra mental focus.

    I’m still going to give it a try when we have a little better weather, but I have to admit that if I had seen their web site before talking to them, I would probably have walked on by.

    • Allan 8 March 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Hi Court, thanks for taking the time to comment. To be honest, I think it’s a stretch to think nutritional supplements can lead to improved focus. If that was indeed the case, Big Pharma would be all over the nutraceutical world like a rash. Their absence makes me certain there’s less evidence than proponents of such supplements might suggest. The FDA agree, too. They’re on record saying most evidence doesn’t support claims of PS decreasing the risk of dementia, and what evidence there is is preliminary and flawed. They feel there were serious methodological flaws in both design and analysis of the relevant studies.

      Most damningly, the correspondence appears to end in 2004 – that’s a heck of a long time. It looks to me like it’s a dead end in clinical research, and now they’re looking for ways to recoup their investment.

      To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have got all hot under the collar about this if their marketing hadn’t pushed my buttons in exactly the wrong way. There’s a whole heap of snake oil being sold to golfers (look at the fuss surrounding Powerbands, when they had to admit it didn’t work). The trouble with quoting scientific evidence is someone might just call you on it!

      • Joel 15 May 2012 at 4:59 pm #

        I agree with Allen…and many other posts on this blog. The marketing style really insults my intelligence and turns me off. And if the product is so good and effective, why are there “only 100′s of bottles left”? You would think that if it’s in such high demand they’d ramp up production. The whole thing “smells” such that I will not buy it, however, that doesn’t mean the product doesn’t work, as someone already wrote. Chances are, though, that if it really DOES work, why would such hoaky marketing techniques be used? Keep it simple, sell the product with integrity, and if it works it is guaranteed to attract all types of golfers in a good light.

  2. Tom Donnelly 8 March 2012 at 6:15 am #

    I have a feeling, not based on any particular science, that “Golf Fuel” works exactly as advertised. For those users who believe it will work. I’m not kidding and I’m not being sarcastic. It truely is for real and truly produces the results it claims as long as you think it is going to. You see, it contains the secret ingredient “placebo”. Ask any doctor and they will tell you the placebo effect really exists. Unfortunately, it requires absolute belief. The slightest doubt is enough to negate the effect. And for “Doubting Thomas” people like me, it will never work. My wife take Airborne at the slightest sign of a cold and it always wards off the cold. I’ve tried it several times and it never does anything except reduce the weight in my wallet. Golf Fuel, in my not-so-humble opinion, is Airborne for golfers.

    • Allan 8 March 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Hi Tom, thanks for stopping by. I think you’ve got a good point – I’ve often said the important word in the phrase “the placebo effect” isn’t placebo; it’s effect.

      But that’s why I’m so hot under the collar about the manipulative tricks used in the marketing – they really pull out all the stops to persuade golfers to buy, but the science doesn’t back their claims. Although some people will undoubtedly get a placebo effect, a large number of golfers who buy this won’t. And that’s what’s got my goat.

  3. Nick Chertock 8 March 2012 at 6:50 am #

    Tom: “Airborne for golfers” sounds spot on!

    • Allan 8 March 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      I had to look this one up (we don’t have Airborne this side of The Pond), but I totally agree with Tom’s assessment!

  4. Colin Cromack 8 March 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Allan,

    could you ask the manufacturers what the benefits are of improving your focus if you’re still focusing on the wrong things?

    When they can explain to a golfer how, where, why and when to focus using both the visual and attentional systems of the brain give me a call and I’ll have a sip.

    Col.

    • Allan 8 March 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      Even if they did, Colin, you’d be wasting your time. This is almost certainly a placebo, as I’ve outlined above.

      • Colin Cromack 8 March 2012 at 11:40 pm #

        Allan, I respect your analysis and from my perspective, I find it sad that those who manufacture such products choose to hang around the golf industry. Clearly focus is a critical skill for golf and I can assure you it’s not found drinking a magic potion.

        Ultimately, these products undermine the efforts of those who recognise the mental skills required to develop the art of conscious focus in golf.

        Col.

        • Allan 29 May 2012 at 10:00 pm #

          Sadly, the idea of a “shortcut” remains attractive to many people…the triumph of “hope” over “experience” once again!

  5. Thompson 13 March 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Has anybody even tried this stuff ????

    • Allan 27 July 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      Thompson – I haven’t and I’ve got no intention of doing so, pretty much for the reasons I’ve described above. Not only does their marketing leave a bad taste in my mouth, but their much vaunted “scientific evidence” is less convincing than the search for WMDs.

  6. Geoffrey 24 March 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Hey Allan,
    When you stop to think about it, Cold FX made advertised(and stilll does) that it’s scientifically proven. It was recently on the news and one of those tv shows like 60 mins or W5 etc that found out that it’s all a bunchas baloney. I would suspect this is the same. I mean, lets think about it. You’re only putting chemicals into your body. I couldn’t watch the whole video and found your website instead and read all what you wrote. There’s the old adage: If something appears to good to be true then it probably is. You can probably go to a herbal store and get somethng similar for alot less. I’d say eat one of my cakes n you’d feel alot abetter and at least there’s no chemical persatives in my stuff!!!LOL Just sayin’ this deosn’t pass the sniff test of B.S.(IMHO)

    • Allan 2 April 2012 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Geoffrey,

      Many thanks for stopping by!

      Yeah, I totally agree. And I was expecting to find very little scientific evidence to say that it’s “proven”. But what was interesting, and what prompted this post, was that there was far more evidence than you might expect. The phosphatidylserine and golf performance study was a double-blind randomised controlled study – the best type of evidence, this means the participants were put into groups at random with one group given phosphatidylserine and the the other a placebo; “double blind means nether participants nor investigators knew who’d had what – and a study which was published in a peer-reviewed journal.

      So there was a chance a casual observer could do a wee bit of research and think “oh this stuff looks like it’s legitimate…I’d best buy some”. My background means I’m experienced in interpreting such data, so I thought I’d best have a proper look through the study.

      I’m based in the UK, where we have less of this type of advertising – so I’m never too sure what constitutes a medicine versus a dietary supplement; it seems a bit of a grey area.

      All in all, I’d agree with your assessment – best to steer clear of Golf Fuel!
      If you liked the post, please feel free to have a look around the site – if there’s anything you like (or don’t like) just let me know!

      Allan

  7. Ray 18 May 2012 at 4:07 am #

    My main concern. In that veeeeerrrryyyy long video hawking Golf Fuel. It mentioned and I am paraphrasing. Buy the product now. and become a tester. If I am going to be a tester of a product. Why in the heck should I purchase it. As was stated in this article. 10 people hardly gives credence to testing/research. I would like to volunteer as a participant of an ongoing study of Golf Fuel. But, I want the company of Golf Fuel to have a minimum of 100 or so golfers for the research to better have an idea of Golf Fuel. Have the makers of Golf Fuel foot the bill. If it is as great as told by the company. After the results of the research, if positive. I would be more than happy and I am sure others as well would want to purchase Golf Fuel. But, of course as stated by the company. “GOLF FUEL IS IN SHORT SUPPLY.” You have to hurry to get yours. Or someone else will!

    • John 25 May 2012 at 5:45 am #

      All good info, thanks. Certainly looks and smells like a scam to me. Your body has enough chemicals to allow you to focus. You just need to use them. If you want to increase your mental focus try some good old fashioned meditation or just a few good deep breaths coupled with descent diet. If you want to be more consistent – practice. Save your money and contemplate where we are heading as a society with the desire for a quick fix for everything. The ‘instant’ society mentality (fast food, supplements for everything, online this and that) is one of the things that makes golf great; a walk outside for 4 hours (ish) with some mates (existing or newly found) followed by a pleasant 19th sounds like heaven (and you always get at least one good shot in!).

    • Allan 29 May 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      Ray, many thanks for your comment – you’re absolutely right. Why on earth should anyone pay to be a tester? This beggars belief.

      Considered from a scientific standpoint, it’s even worse. It’s a poor deal if you’re a consumer…but making your test group pay for the substance they’re supposedly testing is going to distort any results obtained beyond usefulness. Not only will people be less likely to report negative findings (no-one likes to admit they’ve made a poor decision, even to themselves), they’re also more likely to feel it’s helping (paying would increase the “placebo effect” – ”testers” are more likely to think something’s having a positive effect if they’ve had to pay for it).

      No scientific journal would accept such evidence for this very reason. Even if they ARE intending to carry out research, the way they’re going about it means their results cannot be trusted.

      Two more reasons to give Golf Fuel a wide berth.

  8. Leigh 26 May 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I received a free bottle of golf fuel to trial that is turning out to be quite costly. As I am Australian, postage was around $25, then there was another charge on my credit card for approx $6, no idea why, and now Dr Frank has decided to charge me $67 for a bottle of pills every month. I would suggest that Dr Frank and his pills are a scam as I have had no change in my golf scores, drives, chips, putts, ability to drive the golf cart or sharpen my wits. At $67 a month, (as I can’t seem to be able to find out how to stop this ridiculous charge to my credit card), it’s a lot of cash for a bottle of “what was I thinking” when I ordered this. By the way the product was suggested by Revolution Golf with whom I pay a monthly fee to be a member. Will now cancel my membership to RG as well as they should not be apart of this con.

  9. Ray 31 May 2012 at 12:06 am #

    @Leigh;

    To all reading this. PLEASE! Please always read the TERMS&CONDITIONS……There you will read what Leigh is going through as far as MONTHLY CHARGES. Of course it also states. With a phone call/email. These chargrs at your request will cease. WRONG!
    The best course of action for Leigh. Call your Credit Card company. Explain what has been transpiring. Your Credit Card co. will put in a DISPUTE. In most cases all funds charged to your CARD will be returned pending investigation.
    Be patient on this. CREDIT CARD CO. do not like this sort of business practices.
    Remembder guys! Always read the TERMS & CONDITIONS. Nine times out of ten these scam artists will have what they call recurring charges/membership, whether you want them or not.
    BE CAUTIOUS/BEWARE….

    • Leigh 31 May 2012 at 1:17 am #

      You are correct of course Ray, when you dig deeper into the “free bottle” it is only free for thirty days, which of course is not free. Dr Frank’s people are telling me there will be no more charges.

      • Allan 31 May 2012 at 1:43 am #

        Sorry to hear about your troubles Lee – that’s a hard lesson to learn.

        I don’t think this in itself makes Golf Fuel a scam though; like their marketing, I think they’ve been poorly advised. Loads of otherwise reputable companies offer “free” trials where you have to make a conscious decision to cancel (and go through the rigmarole of dealing with your credit card issuer), although it’s a practice I detest.

        My rule? If a “free” sample needs your credit card details, then it’s probably going to end up costing you money.

        Although I don’t think Golf Fuel is a scam, such marketing does them little favour in the eyes of their target audience. Add that to how much they overstate the trial benefits and the paid “test” group, and you’ve got a product I suggest you avoid.

        • Leigh 31 May 2012 at 2:11 am #

          Hello Allan, Yes I agree it’s probably not a scam but poor marketing. I am basically a pretty poor golfer and was clutching at straws, looking for that miracle that doesn’t include exercise/stretching, professional guidance and practice. No pill is gonna cure my lack of ability.

          • Allan 27 July 2012 at 8:38 pm #

            Leigh – sorry to comment so late, but was reading this again and thought I’d say this:

            There are a number of ways ANY golfer can improve their game; looking at the “mental” aspects of the game and finding ways to make your practice more effective are the areas I concentrate on; if you click here to subscribe to get my blog posts delivered, you’ll get a free copy of my eBook “Why Almost All Of Your Golf Practice Is A Waste Of Time…And How To Fix It” to help sort out your practice.

  10. Leigh 31 May 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Hey Ray, thanks mate but the lesson has been learnt and will hopefully never hear from Dr Frank again.

  11. Mark Baigrie 2 June 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    The simplest way to make sure you have the best chance of playing golf consistently within your ability is to be alert before you tee off. In my case, for instance, I’m not a ‘morning person’ and have never been, especially since I retired and did not have to get up early. Although that was only for work and NOT a game of golf that can be a paralyzing experience if you’re dead tired and take some time to wake up.

    This past Wed with my regular crew that tees off at 8:16AM, which means I have to get up at 7:00AM just to be there on time, I was definitely on the ropes on the first tee and I knew it. I had not slept well the night before at all.

    I still tried my best, but I was 10-over after 4 holes(quad-double-triple-bogey). I’m not a bad golfer at all, I simply hate getting up in the morning to do anything, let alone play golf. 8:00AM is my earliest best get-up time and has been for yrs since I retired. I’m a nighthawk-period. A little later than that is even better.

    Then on the 5th tee, a par-five, I started to literally wake up from my early morning stupor. I birdied that hole. All in, after #4 I played 7-over(1/2 bogey) in total, and still broke 90(89). THAT is what I would have played for 18 holes(1/2 bogey or better) if we had teed off even one hour or so later as we once did until a club of golfers were able to back up their first tee-time to 8:30AM from 9:45AM – screwed me up royally.

    I play decent golf if I have enough sleep. I’m only making this point as I know that us nighthawks are not the norm on semi-private or pay-as-you play courses. Most like it earlier, I guess-could be wrong. Tiger Woods is a notorious early-morning phenom in all parts of his life as we have seen over the years.

    Sleep is #1-period. I rarely go to a driving range and hit only a few balls to stretch my golf muscles before a round, and even then it’s into a net, so it’s not about how far or how straight, but to simply loosen up a bit – btw, I’m 67 yrs old and in half-decent shape OR I couldn’t play 1/2 bogey golf – I can tell you that for sure !!

    Finally as I remember from my high-school days and one favorite teacher who told all of us – “There is no royal road” to anything without hard work and in the case of school- study.

    Golf is what it is and I have been playing since I was 12 yrs old and have seen literally ALL skill levels, and one thing is apparent in all cases – you’ve either got it or you haven’t – period.

    In my formative years, say (25-40) I played a solid 5-handicap at no slouch of a golf course. That being said, over the years I found out the reality of the game and honest scores. Before golf took off with the ladies and now an incredible influx of ethnic golfers, almost all orientals(no offense meant – my area has a huge population of orientals – I live in Canada) – the %age of all male amateur golfers who played at least once a week on a course of at least 6000 yds who HONESTLY broke 100 was 10% – fact, one in ten and BOY have I seen that.

    No offense to all those in that group who weren’t as lucky as I to have a modicum of golf skills, but I was born to hand-eye co-ordination through my father who was a terrific baseball player, although never a pro. I played that game too with better skills than most.

    Imagine my delight when I knew that my 5-handicap at a decent course put me up there, yet those types of course attract the better golfers and there were good matches to be had easily.

    I have digressed here, but it’s been since 1957 that I’ve played the ‘gentlemens’ game’and I do know that nothing in a bottle will solve the problem. You might be better off with Red Bull or something, but I shy away from stimulants – all I need is the proper am’t of sleep – about 20 swings from soft to full throttle before I tee off and I’ll do fine, thank you – some days better than others – just give me enough sleep and maybe one day I’ll shoot my age – if I live that long(please laugh).

  12. Brian 25 July 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    I am usually in snyc with the need for research but I alos have trained myself to listen to my body and to make my own conclusions. I am aware that my results are based on one person, myslef.

    I have just gotten back to golf after an injury and have noticed that my mental focus is waning as I age. I looked up all the ingredients in golf fuel before buying it and they all have benefits for mental gains.

    Knowing that all movement is controlled by the brain I decided to try golf fuel although I was sceptical.

    Some days before visiting the range or playing I used golf fuel and other days I didn’t. As a golf fitness instructor I have worked for years with supplements and I am well aware of the placebo effect so I varied my intake and monitored how I felt.

    I am convinced that the pill works for me. I feel stronger and more energetic every time I use it regardless of how tired I was or how sharp I felt. It always improved my performance substantially. At 66 years old I admit that my mind is less sharp today than it was a year ago due to illness but i am positive about the benefits. Caution, some of the ingredients are not good for those with heart arythimias.

    Perhaps those who have had felt no benefit are just younger and stronger mentally and therefore there is no mental boost.

    I am a strong believer in pratice with a coach, fitness, and proper equipment. I have all of those and I am a plus two handicap so I know that the golf fuel is only one tool in the arsenal to better golf but for me it is well worth the cost.

    • Allan 26 July 2012 at 1:00 am #

      Brian, many thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, I’m going to have to disagree with you. The “evidence” for mental gains with these ingredients is shaky at best. Given that Phosphatidylserine is their flagship ingredient (the one they push hardest on their oh-so-icky ads) and the research they quote shows such little improvement in an absolutely tiny study with serious methodological flaws (to say nothing of the age of the study and the dearth of any more published studies in the intervening period) suggests that golf fuel is little more than highly marketed placebo.

      Although you’ve taken steps to avoid the placebo effect, I’m afraid you’re still all too susceptible to it. The problem is you know you’ve taken golf fuel – so your assessment of how you feel is still very much open to bias.

      And while it’s an entirely reasonable hypothesis to wonder if more senior golfers get more effect from the supplement, that’s not what we see with medicines acting on the neurological system on older people. Older people tend to need higher doses of any centrally-acting drug to get the same effect as younger people, and although this is a “nutritional supplement” rather than a drug per se, it’d be subject to the same pattern (and is subject to significantly less stringent testing).

      As we age, we lose brain cells. These cells mostly can’t regenerate – which means none of us have the brain cells we were born with. By the time we’re paying “senior” fees at the golf club

      The good news is, you have managed this “mental boost” all by your self. You don’t need the placebo.

      I’d suggest you explore a way to find that resourceful state of mind without using such an expensive supplement.

      Please forgive me for asking, but do you recommend Golf Fuel to your clients and, if so, do you receive financial recompense for doing so? While this wouldn’t render your opinion invalid (I can understand a fitness coach recommending a supplement they believe in and then selling it if, for example, there were no local stockists).

      But I’d like to see such information declared, to allow my reader to see any potential conflict of interest and weigh the proffered opinion accordingly.. (I know you’re not selling or advertising Golf Fuel on your website – but as it’s a relatively new phenomenon you might not’ve updated your site. And this is as much for anyone who’s planning to comment who might have a similar conflict of interest).

      Thanks again for your comment; I’m sorry we have to disagree on your first comment! I am impressed by the integrated approach to golf improvement your lab appears to offer.

      Allan


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