Ian Poulter Admits To Unhealthy Eating Habits After 'Ridiculous Abuse'

The 47-year-old has explained the abuse he received after moving to LIV Golf led to a period of overeating

Ian Poulter takes a shot at the 2023 LIV Golf Mayakoba tournament
Ian Poulter has revealed he overate after receiving abuse following his move to LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ian Poulter has opened up on the abuse he received after his move to LIV Golf, which he says led to a period of overeating. The 47-year-old explained to The Telegraph’s Golf Correspondent James Corrigan that he turned to unhealthy dietary choices after the negative response to his move. 

He said: “Those sarnies, covered in HP sauce, on a daily basis, were great, delicious, as was all the chocolate and everything, but I was feeling awful, slovenly, and it was plainly not a good situation. I would never admit that I was stress-eating, but who knows the way the mind works. I was getting ridiculous abuse and, in that sense, they were tough times.”

One of the accusations levelled at LIV Golf players is that their primary motive for signing up is the huge financial rewards. However, Poulter insisted he was simply trying to maximise his earning potential to safeguard the future of his family. He said: “I don’t just think of my kids, but their kids and their kids and that is what I work for. People might have their objections. I’m not sure I get it, but fair enough. Yet I don't understand why they take it so far. “

Poulter’s remarks came after his appearance in episode three of Netflix docuseries Full Swing, where he justified the reported $30 million he was offered to join LIV Golf, saying: “People ask all the time 'don't you have enough already?' but that's all relative. I treat my golf as a job and I obviously want to maximise every bit of my potential over the coming years.“

Poulter said the series has helped restore the perception of him. He said: “After the first seven or eight months of having the same opinion shouted at me, I was worried how it would be received, but I have been taken aback by the response. “I mean, scrolling through the messages, since it was released 10 days ago, it's been one positive thing after another. The opposite of what I’ve become used to.”

Away from LIV Golf, Poulter’s future on the DP World Tour is likely to become clearer in the coming weeks when the outcome of a hearing to determine the fate of LIV Golf players on it is expected. Meanwhile, there is still a chance he could be one of 12 players on Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup team, most likely as one of the six qualifiers. However, he was philosophical about his chances of competing on either. 

He said: “Look, I just want to be accepted as a normal member of a members’ organisation and as an independent contractor who wants to play golf globally – simple as that. We’ll find out if that’s possible soon enough, although I’ll have to play my way into the team anyway because there’s no chance I’ll get one of the six wildcards, whatever I do."

The Englishman is also facing the possibility of failing to complete in a Major for the first time since 1999. However, he said he hopes his appearance in next month’s World City Championship in Hong Kong on the Asian Tour, where four places at Royal Liverpool are available, can rectify that.

He explained: “Without knowing the outcome of the hearing, I am regarding Hong Kong as my qualifier for The Open. I don't want to miss Hoylake, but that might prove my only chance. If I do not make it, people will probably say, ‘well, that’s the end of him’. It wouldn't be. I’ll keep battling. I’m back to my fighting weight after all.”

As for his progress following a tumultuous period of his life, Poulter revealed he is now in excellent shape. He said: “I’m down to 180lbs, about 12½ stone in old money, and that is what I was in 2010. I am doing it more seriously than ever, with my training and my diet.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.