One of the most popular golfers on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, Natalie Gulbis is currently ranked No. 69 among female golfers worldwide. Born in Sacramento, Calif., Natalie took up golf at the age of 4 and had an extremely successful amateur career. Claiming the title at the California Women’s Amateur Championship at the age of 14, she played in her first LPGA tournament the same year, setting a record as the youngest LPGA qualifier.
Natalie played collegiately at the University of Arizona in 2000 and 2001, and was named an All-American before turning pro in 2002. Since joining the LPGA Tour, the 29-year-old has shot to international fame and has since released a number of workout videos and calendars and has appeared in numerous magazines, including the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Natalie earned her first LPGA win at the 2007 Evian Masters and has played her way onto three victorious American Solheim Cup teams. Natalie’s hobbies include working out, running and living a healthy and active lifestyle.
What was the “ah-ha” moment that made you start taking your health seriously?
I have always taken my health seriously. I was very active in my youth and was a nationally competitive gymnast at the age of 11. I learned at a young age that you have to eat well in order to feel good and perform your best. I’ve made my health a priority, and my diet is the same now as it was then. I will say I do have a cheat day on Sundays when my performance is not affected.
Do you have a secret habit that is part of your healthy lifestyle?
Sixty percent of my diet is protein. It keeps me full and provides long-term energy. I’ve never really worried about fats or carbohydrates but have focused on protein intake to help in recovery, maintaining muscle and feeling good.
If you could permanently get rid of one bad habit, what would it be?
If you could get a free pass forever with one bad habit, what would it be?
Having a sweet tooth and being able to eat desserts every day.
What is your greatest health achievement or milestone?
I would say it was being able to come back after back surgery and play on the tour.
What is your biggest health hang-up in others?
Leaving bottled water in the car and then later drinking it. There have been many studies linking it to breast cancer.
Run, walk, ride or swim?
Running. I love to run. I run every morning, and it is one of my favorite ways to exercise. I prefer to run outside, but anywhere will do!
If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind would you be?
An apple with a tough skin — but sweet on the inside.
If you could “superpower” one of your five senses, what would it be and why?
Taste. There are so many international flavors and combinations. To have a really great palate for everything would be wonderful.
If you could break a world endurance record, what would it be?
Running a marathon. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment after training and seeing the results.
If you could tell one thing to your adolescent self, what would it be?
I would tell myself to incorporate physical activities that I enjoy and foods that I like into my daily schedule.