Game Fuel: The story behind ‘Birdie Balls’, Rickie Fowler’s mid-round energy snack

May 7, 2019

Rickie Fowler’s bespoke mid-round snacks pack serious energy.

When Simon Lusky worked as a chef for the St. Louis Cardinals, he’d rent a room from Rickie Fowler, who lived near the team’s training facilities in Jupiter, Fla. The two became friends, and their conversation naturally turned to on-course nutrition—and Fowler’s lack thereof.

“He said he ate PB&Js, and my first thought was that that must be really bad after four hours in a golf bag,” Lusky said. Fowler’s other problem? It was hard getting himself to eat enough while he was playing. It got Lusky thinking.

“We needed something small, the size of a golf ball, that was easy to get down and dense in calories,” he said. “He’d go play, and I’d tweak the recipe until we found something that worked.”

The result? “Birdie Balls.”

A whirled paste of pitted dates serves as the base. Add some peanut butter, sorghum (an antioxidant-rich grain), pea protein and a flavor of your choice (Rickie prefers a Nutella-inspired hazelnut cocoa). Lusky’s St. Louis–based restaurant, Revel Kitchen, sells ’em like golf balls—in a sleeve of three—and they’re catching on. Michelle Wie eats them, too. What’s the key?

“They’re money,” Fowler says.

What’s in ’em? Pitted dates, peanut butter, pea protein, sorghum, and a flavor of choice.

Rickie’s off-course eats

Pre-round: Eggs. “I struggle to eat a whole lot in the morning, but on tourney days I get down eggs or an omelette.”

Lunch: Sandwiches. “I love sandwiches. I would pretty much eat sandwiches for every meal if I could.”

Dinner: Tacos. “It’s Japanese or Mexican. Maybe half the tournaments we go to we get houses, and we’ll always [have] taco nights at the house.”

Drinks: “Corona Light. I like the taste better than Corona!”