Many weekend golfers are too impatient for their own good. They don’t take time to warm-up before playing a round of golf. They’re too much in a hurry to tee off when they get a chance to play, which is understandable if they only play once a week. By the time they get to the course, they’re usually chomping at the bit. Unfortunately, these golfers risk injury, sacrifice performance, and hurt their golf handicaps by not warming up properly.
Failing to warm-up affects consistency and power. That’s why I recommend using a pre-round warm-up routine in my golf lessons. You can’t get the most out of your muscles if they’re not ready to play. That means warming them up before you tee off. So if you’re one of the weekend golfers who don’t have a pre-round warm-up routine, think seriously about developing one. It could help your golf handicap more than you realize.
The goal of a warm-up is increasing the body’s core temperature, drive blood flow to working muscles, improve neuromuscular firing, and enhance oxygen flow through your muscles. Warming up also helps prevent injury. Once you’ve completed your warm-ups, you’ll feel loose, better prepared to swing a club, and ready to play 18 holes.
Since most players know their bodies better than anyone else, I encourage those who take golf lessons from me to develop their own warm-up routines. Developing your own routine les you target those muscles that need the most attention. But whether you develop your own or borrow one from someone else, the important thing is setting time aside to achieve the physical goals you set for yourself.
Keys to a Warm-up Routine
One key to pre-round warm-ups is efficiency. PGA pros usually get to the course two hours before they play. After arriving, they go through a complete warm-up program, designed to prepare them for playing. Their programs work on every phase of their game, from start to finish. When playing golf is your livelihood, you leave nothing to chance.
But weekend golfers don’t have two hours to warm up. Their time is limited, so they must depend on efficiency to make up for it. Their warm-up routine must prepare them for everything, from their body to their golf swing, in a short period. So the weekend golfer must be resourceful and imaginative in developing his or her warm-up routine.
Another key to pre-round warm-ups is working on the right muscles. This saves time, prepares you for swinging the club, and enhances overall performance without wasting time. If you plan to develop your own routine, try concentrating on the muscles that most influence your game, like the larger muscles of your lower body, which power your swing. Then add exercises to your program designed specifically to stretch and warm these muscles groups up.
Elements of a Good Routine
A good routine must incorporate the entire body and accomplish the physical goals discussed above. A brisk walk to the practice range and back or around the clubhouse grounds is a good way to kick off a warm-up routine. It loosens your muscles and raises your body temperature. Once complete, you can move on to exercises that stretch and flex your muscles.
Below are three examples of exercises you can incorporate in your routine:
This exercise focuses on golfer’s two most troublesome areas, the hamstrings and lower body. It also involves body rotation specific to the golf swing.
* Place your feet shoulder width apart
* Extend arms over head while grasping a club
* Slowly bend downward toward the top of your feet
* Extend downward until a stretch is felt in the hamstrings or lower back
* Pause one second then return to the starting position.
* Rotate your shoulders, arms, torso, and head to the right
* Extend the club downward toward the top of your right foot.
* Pause one second, then return to the starting position.
Now repeat the exercise to the left. Continue doing the exercise for 10-15 repetitions.
Squat with Arms Raised
In this warm-up keep your body erect throughout the exercise. Do 10-15 repetitions.
* Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
* Hold the club vertically in front of you with both hands
* Lower you body by bending at the knees, not the hips
* Simultaneously raise the club horizontally in front of you
* Raise yourself up again and lower your arms.
Standing Twist with Club
This warm-up loosens up the muscles you use when you twist and swing. It helps ensure that your first swing is right on the button. Repeat both sides 5 times
* Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
* Keep your knees loose
* Grab your club with both hands
* Rise it in front of you to almost chest high
* Slowly turn to one side, then the other.
Having completed this part of the routine, you can now go to the practice range and hit some warm up shots. Start with your short irons, and then skip every other club. Finish by hitting your driver. If you fade the ball while warming up, you probably will be fading the ball during your round. Bear that in mind when you start.
Now move on to the practice green. Hit some long putts to determine the green’s speed, and then finish with short putts to build confidence in your putting. When you finished hitting short putts, you’re ready to play.
A pre-round warm-up routine is a must for every golfer. Creating and using one that you’re comfortable with prepares you for a round of golf, prevents injury, and improves consistency and power. And anything that improves consistency, power, and performance can only help your golf-handicap.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jack Moorehouse