MJ5: Golfer Tony Finau on Attacking His Workouts, Doing Yoga, and the Course Every Person Should Play

American Express Golf, La Quinta, USA - 16 Jan 2020 Tony Finau hits from the third tee during the first round of The American Express golf tournament at La Quinta Country Club, in La Quinta, Calif 16 Jan 2020
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Shutterstock

Even though he hasn’t won one yet in his PGA Tour career, golfer Tony Finau is on the cusp of winning a major championship. Finau has a top-10 finish at all four of the majors on tour, including a career-best third-place finish at the 2019 Open Championship. With how he’s played in recent years, 2020 could be his time to finally snag one of those trophies.

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One place Finau is focused on is at the first major of the year, the Masters Tournament in April, where he’s coming off of a top-five finish. The course also just happens to be one of his favorite places to play. (Finau and the tournament are also linked from the time he went viral in 2018 after dislocating his ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one during the Par-3 Contest; Finau was still able to tough his way through the rest of the tournament.)

“It’s one of the best-designed golf courses in the world,” Finau tells Men’s Journal. “When you combine that with the history and the matches being played there, it’s definitely got to be at the top of my list.”

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For his MJ5, Finau spoke with Men’s Journal about the way he tries to “attack” his workouts in the gym, his favorite lifts, the best advice he’s received, and more. Check out the full MJ5 archives for more interviews with Chris Evans, Russell Wilson, Michael Strahan, Tony Hawk, P.K. Subban, Ewan McGregor, and more.

On the areas he focuses most in his training: “The three areas I attack in my workouts are stability, mobility, and flexibility throughout the whole body. I believe those three areas are very important in the golf swing. I attack all parts of my body, just like I do with my golf game. I go pretty hard at the gym to get stronger every year. I try to gain an advantage by getting stronger and more fit than other players. At the end of the season, it makes a huge difference—the thing about the PGA Tour is it’s such a long season and we don’t really have an offseason, so you’ve got to train and keep in shape throughout the whole year.”

On his favorite workouts: “I like to use kettlebells for power cleans, Olympic lifts and squats—but that’s about all the weights I’ll use. Outside of that, I do a lot of floor work. I’ll mix in yoga with pilates for core, and then I’ll get on the bike. I also use a lot of bands.”

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On the best advice he’s received: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is ‘be yourself.’ I’ve learned that if you can be your most authentic self, things will happen in your life the way they’re supposed to. I think we all learn things about ourselves, we’re all unique and have unique things about us—and that’s what makes everybody great. That’s probably the best advice I can give as well.”

On his favorite courses to travel to: “My favorite course is my home course I grew up on in Salt Lake City, the Jordan River Par Three. Unfortunately it’s not there anymore, but I just have so many great memories starting there and playing with my dad and my brother. It’s my favorite course, and it’s the course I’d love to play my final round on if I ever had the chance. As far as a golf course every golfer should play before they die, it’s Augusta National. It’s such a treat to be on ground and play, and there’s so much history there.”

On his dream golf matchup: “I had my opportunity last year with Tiger Woods at the Masters at Augusta National, and I’d love that opportunity again this year. Hopefully I can have that chance again this year and have a different result.”

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