We all realize that loosening up before a round of golf is important. Not only does it get the muscles warmed up for peak performance, it gets our hand-eye coordination zoned in. Loosening up can go a long way toward preventing injury—but you need to do it correctly.
I often see golfers turn a light loosening up session into a full-out practice. Most golfers have the right idea—getting in a few shots to warm up their swing—but if they hit a couple of bad shots, panic sets in and they hit ball after ball, tweaking their swing. Their mindset has switched from warm-up to mechanics.
It's easy to lose sight of what a warm-up is supposed to be. You may think, "Why not work on my swing before we tee off?" A 10-minute warm-up turns into a 30-minute practice session, eating into time reserved for putting practice. Eliminating the warm-up for putting, which accounts for 44 percent of the game's scoring, is irrational at best. Considering that putting success is as much about your mental approach and "feeling" the stroke as it is practice, it's crazy not to make time for it before your round.
Proper Golf Warm-Up
Here is the simple solution for a confidence-keeping warm-up: count out a preset number of balls—I recommend 50—and stick to it. You'll only have a few balls for each club, so you won't get fixated on perfecting your swing.
Start with your wedge and work through the bag, finishing with the driver. Hit every iron a few times, or just hit the odd-numbered irons. Next time you're at the range, go with the even-numbered clubs. Most pros on tour follow the same exact routine, even to the minute, in their warm-ups, and some limit the number of balls, like I suggested.
Give it a try, and good luck. Keep your confidence high, warm up correctly and you'll shoot your lowest scores.
Mark Rummings is a golf coach and business manager at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. He is a PGA Class “A” Member, Senior Certified Leadbetter Instructor and author of instructional articles for golf websites and foreign golf magazines. He has a bachelor’s degree from Webber International University.