Dec 05

Warm Up Before You Play

Often I see players go straight from the car to the first tee to start their round. This can be a big mistake if you are hoping to shoot a good score and remain injury free. Properly warming up will prevent injury while mentally preparing you for your round.    

If you want to play good you need to be in a good frame of mind.  Give yourself plenty of time to leave the house and to properly warm up.  Rushing to the golf course will lead to a rushed feeling on the golf course.  This can lead to a quick tempo and a poor start because you were not mentally prepared.  Make sure you take your time and go through a routine.

If you ever watch a PGA Tour event, notice how they warm up before their round.  They arrive in plenty of time, and probably start on the putting green.  They begin with short putts and slowly work away from the hole.  This gives them confidence with the short putts.  They then begin to develop a feel for the speed of the greens with some longer putts.    

Next, spend some time hitting a few chip shots slowly moving away from the green to practice a few pitch shots.   Elite players know how important the short game is to a good round of golf.  The short game can easily account for sixty percent of your score.  Focus on what will help lower your score.

After warming up around the green, head to the practice range.  Start with wedges and work your way through your bag with the shortest clubs to the longest clubs.  With this routine, the last club you warm up with is driver.  This will help develop a smooth tempo for your swing.  In addition, it will help prevent injury.  Without properly stretching and warming up, you take the risk of pulling and straining muscles, or even worse.  If you incur an injury, it could be weeks or months before you can get back on the course.  One of the quickest ways for injury is to go straight to the range or first tee, and start hitting full, aggressive swings with a driver.

In a perfect world you would follow a routine similar to this.  However, we have all been in the situation where we arrived at the course five minutes prior to our tee time.  If you don’t have the opportunity to warm up, make sure you stretch and spend a few minutes on the putting green.  Half of your strokes will be around the green so make sure you have an idea of the speed and undulation of the greens.    

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