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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    • Eva Yoe
    • kelly on June 22, 2011 at 1:53 am
    • Reply

    Warming up before playing on course is so important. I actually pulled my back a few times… because I didn’t warm up before I tee off.

    I read an article regarding Annika Sorenstam’s warm up route, hope this will help some of you to get idea 🙂

    “Annika has a strict routine before she tees off. She begins her warm-up an hour and 15 minutes before her tee time. She starts on the practice green to get a feel for the speed of the greens. Next she chips. Then she hits the driving range, beginning with her short irons and ending with her metal woods. From there, she heads back to the practice green.”

    • ella on July 5, 2011 at 11:40 am
    • Reply

    Yep although we’re always stretched for time i make sure to stretch b/c i got injured a couple of times and it could have been avoided if i actually managed to stretch prior to the game.
    ella recently posted..How to Find the Perfect Event Planning TemplateMy Profile

    • Ledley King on March 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    • Reply

    Nicely written Post.
    I enjoy the mentioning you make of ‘warming up the mind’ and ‘the body’ (in a way they are the same thing – both muscles, made of particular fibers, vulnerable to the nutritional intake of the user). I’m very curious about the routine of Tiger Woods and the routine of Arnold Palmer (or any other greats) and how they approach their warm up activities.

    Per Tiger, I found these

    I like your warm-up schema (endorsed also by the articles) of a starting off with the green and short puts and then going further back. Then after this you recommend chipping at the fringe, and then going to the driving range and going from short to longer clubs.

    One mentioning that’s interesting also is the importance of a routine, and I wanted to stress the value of “Routine saturated cues “ – or cues the person develops or creates that are only around and used during this routine mode, so its that much easier for the user to get into their warm up period and to go at it.

    I’m not certain the role of music, or the role of driving route, and how that relates specifically to golfers (I’m certain you will go a different route based on the courses you play at) and also studies show “mindfulness” and focused attention (rather than distracting oneself) are good routines to engage in during athletic performance (like focusing on each shot, and being there, present, while you are chipping, driving, putting etc. instead of somewhere else”

    Another on good warmup for fun

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