Before a competitive round a golf professional normally arrives at the course hours before their tee time to warm up for golf. They begin with stretches to loosen their body up and continue their routine on the practice green. Professional’s focus on other short game areas such as chips, pitches and bunker shots. Next, they work on their full swing at the practice range. Typically, they spend a few more minutes on the putting green before they head to the first tee. There is no doubt they are fully prepared physically and mentally for their upcoming round.
On the other hand, many amateur players often arrive at the golf course with only a few minutes to spare. They spend little or no time warming up and the first few holes end in disaster. While you don’t need to go through a routine such as a tour professional, you should spend a few minutes warming up before your round.
Try to arrive early and develop a consistent routine before every round. Stretching is an important aspect to warm your muscles up and prevent injury. Static stretching is the most common form that greatly improves flexibility. However, static stretching does little to contract the muscles needed to generate powerful golf swings. Dynamic stretches help improve range of motion while reducing muscle stiffness. In addition, research indicates dynamic stretches have a positive influence on performance. Athletes often prefer dynamic stretches during their warm up routine.
After your muscles are properly stretched, develop your warm up routine. Always follow a model of small swings to large swings. Therefore, begin with some practice on the putting green, developing a feel for the speed of the greens. After a few minutes of putting, hit a few chips and pitches. Finally, make your way to the practice range and begin with wedges while eventually moving up toward a driver. This progression will prepare you for the round and also help keep you injury free.
There is a reason why tour professionals do not go straight to the range and start ripping drivers. Unfortunately, there are times when you can not arrive thirty minutes or more before your tee time. If you only have a few minutes, use the time to create a few dynamic movements to get your muscles stretched out, and attempt to spend a few minutes on and around the putting green. Remember, the short game will eventually determine how well you score throughout the round.
by Matt Keller