Posted on: 17 June
You would be hard pressed to find a professional sportsperson on the planet who doesn’t warm up before a competition. Even a champion Tidily Winks player would take some time to warm up their hands and do a few practice shots before taking to the floor. In fact, I would say there are few sports where people warming up less than they do in golf.
But what is the right amount of time you should leave for a warm-up? Show up late, walk straight to the tee and feel no pressure of expectations? That is one way…but probably not the best. As many of us are time poor there is no definitive answer to this question other than to say something is better than nothing.
There are a number of reasons why we should warm-up. At the top level of sport, players usually complete a robust warm-up routine with a view to maximizing performance but also to avoid injury………..no play – no pay!!!
For the amateur golfer like yourself, injury is also something you would like to avoid. Not being able to do something you love because you have tweaked a back muscle or strained a wrist would be most frustrating. The golf swing is a ballistic action and as such it makes you vulnerable to injury. Unlike other sports where there is continuous motion, golf has a lot of walking and standing around which makes the body even more susceptible to injuries.
Golf has a strong reliance on good hand-eye coordination and optimum performance is improved by having a good rhythm. Stepping to the first hole having “got your eye in” and safe with the knowledge that you’re not going to strain anything makes for a positive first tee shot of the day.
Now I’m not suggesting that you spend an hour on the range like us crazy pros. Nor would it be necessary for you to spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike followed by a bunch of golf related exercises – like all the young blokes do on tour these days. However, taking 10 – 20 minutes getting your body ready, getting your hand-eye coordination switched on, and getting a good rhythm to your swing will actually improve your performance.
Here a few things to consider:
• 15 mins is all you need – If you have time to hit some balls, choose your favourite clubs so you can start the round with confidence and a good rhythm. Keep it loose. Remember you are just trying to stimulate the blood and warming up the muscles.
• Rotate your back with a few exercises – As many as 34% of golfers will suffer a lower back injury of some sort so make sure these muscles are loose.
• Swing two clubs together – Not only does this help loosen the muscles but also helps create tempo and transition.
• Only 5 mins? – If you have only time to either hit balls or chip and putt I would chip and putt with gentle stretching.
• Just get loose – If you do go to the range remember it is a warm up, not a swing flaw correction session. Pros don’t work on their swing until after the round which is the best time to correct any flaws.
• Sun Smart – Give yourself time to apply sunscreen before the round and not during the round. Rushing around is not good for your overall performance.
So the next time you book a tee time think about how you can get to the range a little ahead of your tee time. Grab a small bucket of balls and head to the range. And don’t forget to take a couple minutes to have a few putts on the practice green – this will help your stroke and more importantly it will help you to get a feel for the pace of the greens.
Don’t wait until the 2nd or 3rd hole to get going…… start scoring well from the very first hole.
Book a lesson at email@example.com and start managing your game like a professional.