Pre-round warm-up checklist
* If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail!
* Stretch before hitting the range – at home or in the clubhouse
* Work from short irons up to driver
1) Before you get to the club
Whatever your age, it’s no good going on to the 1st tee as stiff as anything, then announcing on the 4th tee to your playing companions that you’re ready to play now having finally loosened up! By then, you’ve probably lost two or three balls, your score has gone and your day is potentially ruined.
But you have to accept responsibility for failing to prepare, and your pre-round warm-up can actually start before you even get to the practice ground with a few stretching exercises when you get up in the morning, or in the locker room before heading out.
2) More stretching
We all live busy lives, but try, if possible, to leave yourself 30 minutes to warm up at the course. Ultimately, if we fail to prepare, we are preparing to fail! Start with some more exercises to loosen up stiff muscles.
Lean against a wall or tree with your hands and stretch your legs out behind you. Then pop a club behind your back, stand as if addressing the ball, and make the movements of the golf swing slowly to stretch the leg, side and back muscles that you use in the golf swing.
3) Hitting balls
Make sure you allow yourself enough time to hit 10-15 balls with the short irons, 10-15 with the mid-irons and perhaps five or six drivers, in that order.
This will not only loosen up your body, but also tell you how it is working, as it can change from day to day depending on how you’ve slept or what you were doing the previous day.
If the side of your back is stiff, for example, you might find yourself fading the ball more than usual, so you may have to play the first few holes allowing for that until your body has fully loosened up.
From the practice ground, head to the putting green just before teeing off. It’s important to not only get a feel for the speed of the greens, but also to calm yourself down a little after hitting those warm-up balls.
Having done your exercises and hit a few balls, you’ve now given yourself every opportunity to play well, and if it doesn’t happen, well, it wasn’t because you didn’t prepare – it just wasn’t your day!