How To Warm Up For Golf

How To Warm Up For Golf

Warming up before playing golf

Warm up our body:

This focuses on a series of quick, simple exercises that can be done to get the blood flowing and remove any stiffness in our joints.

For a good golf swing, we need to get our hips moving, so that’s where we should start. Take a club out of the bag and hold it horizontally out in front of us about chest height. We can use that for control as we aim to rotate our hips 90 degrees to the right and then 90 degrees to the left. This allows us to get turning like we would do in a golf swing. Aim to do between five and ten of these rotations on each side.

The next thing we need to do is get our body moving. Put ourselves in the position we would take for a golf swing with our feet apart and our bottom sticking out. Now we want to perform a windmill-like movement with our arms so we swing them one way as we would do with a club in our hands and then back the other way. This should get the shoulders and the main part of our body flexing nicely as well as warming us up. There should not be too much movement below the beltline as it is important to maintain good posture. Again, aim for between five to ten of these exercises.

The third of these gentle warm-up exercises is arm rotations. First of all, it’s time for vertical arm swings, swinging our arms straight up from down by our sides to up past our ears if possible. Do five of those and then change to horizontal arm swings. For these, we need to get our arms out and across our bodies. With this, our left-hand swings across and touches just under our right shoulder and our right hands swings across and touches just under the left shoulder. After five of these, our body should be starting to get warm.

Warm up our long game:

The easiest thing to do would be to take the driver out of the bag and hit a few shots with that straight away. No! Instead, pick our favourite club from anything between an eight-iron and a lob wedge. Without aiming at a specific target, just hit five nice, easy shots. The purpose is to get the body moving in a nice, relaxed way with a club that makes us feel comfortable.

Then move back to a mid-iron and do the same with that, hitting five nice, easy shots. Again, it is about being relaxed and getting the body warmer and more golf-ready. Finally, go for the woods. Now pick a target and aim for that with two or three shots, getting close to the approach we would have on the first tee (or whatever hole we first use a driver or three-wood on). The driver is the club that requires most physical exertion, so we want to give ourselves the maximum opportunity to be warmed up and ready to hit the type of shot we want.

Warm up our chipping:

Why do professionals spend so long practicing their short games? Because they know it can make or break a round. No golfer expects to hit every green in regulation during 18 holes, so chipping will always be a factor. So let’s make sure that it is part of our warm-up.

Head to the chipping green and decide to practice a chip that is no more than ten yards from the hole. It does not need to be a difficult chip, as it is about building up rhythm. Have ten shots at the target, looking to hit the ball as close as possible. We may not hole any, but that does not matter. We want to get a feel for how the ground is for chipping when we are out on the course. There is nothing worse than duffing a chip because we don’t realise how wet or soft the ground is because we have not warmed up.

Warm up our putter:

Putter Warm Up

In a normal round, around 40% of our shots come on the putting green. We take more shots with a putter than any other club so it’s imperative that we warm up with it. The keys to good putting are feel and confidence. We want to see the ball going in the hole, so a quick warm-up on the putting green should be to do five to ten putts from three feet. Aim to confidently roll them in. When we have successfully holed them all, move back to around six to eight feet. Take two or three efforts from this distance as by now you should have a feel for the speed and line of the green. Then find a hole over 20 feet away and take two or three putts and try to get them as close as possible. This should mean that we will have faced most types of putts when we get to our balls on the first and second greens and we won’t be tackling the putts ‘cold’.

Warm up our mind:

It’s easily forgotten, but the mind is so, so important in golf. We need to be mentally ready if we want to play a good round of golf. A simple way of doing that is while we are getting our balls and tees ready to focus in our heads on what we are about to do.

What is our thought for the day that we want to keep revisiting? It could be good tempo in our swing, good rotation of hips or shoulders, how to play certain holes in terms of club selection. What we must not do is overload our mind, but keep one particular idea prominent. That way we can keep going back to it when we are on the golf course, making sure we are putting it into practice.

Now we have done all these warm-ups, we are ready for the golf course. Knowing golf the way we do, it is no guarantee that we are going to play lights out golf. But it is about giving ourselves a proper chance to succeed rather an excuse to fail.