One question I get a lot regards “the perfect warm up.”
I don’t believe perfection exists. Warm ups are personal and misunderstood in my opinion. Firstly, it’s a warm up! Who cares what it looks like or entails? The basics are:
- Get to the golf course on time. If you are running late, you will not pay attention to your intentions, cut corners to save seconds, and generally undermine your entire pre-round rhythm and cadence.
- Generally, you should feel as if you are “loosening up.” This may sound too simplistic, but every game you have played requires this. Dynamic movements accomplish this far better than static stretching. If you are the type that stands on the range and “holds” stretches, I would advise you to get moving!! At the gym you may achieve gains in flexibility by stretching, but you need a warm up to prepare for play – it’s too late at the point to achieve true lengthening of muscle and connective tissue.
- Traditionally you are instructed to take a short club, take short swings, and move your way through your bag. WHY? What other sport does this? The best basketball players don’t shoot layups for five minutes after they emerge from the locker room. They run. Why not take your driver, and make big swings, in slow rhythm, right out of the gate? The driver affords the opportunity for the biggest range of motion, is dynamic, and also quite possibly the first club you will swing on the first tee. From there you migrate through the bag.
- I prefer my players changing targets with every swing. This is golf.
- Don’t “fight” your tendencies if they won’t hurt you on the course. If the ball is behaving slightly differently than it usually does, assess it briefly, but embrace what you have that day. This will calm the mind and not undermine your confidence.
- If possible, I encourage players to walk to the first tee confident with they can trust their driver and wedges.
- Putt, but don’t be concerned with results outside of 8 feet. Longer putts should be attempted to hone your distance control.
- I prefer my players putting with one ball.
- Boost your confidence by holing several short putts from 3-5 feet. This will free your mind and afford you the opportunity to make certain your first putts get to the hole – if you don’t feel the comebacker putt, you will make more first putts (however, if your first putts are regularly going more than 2 feet past the hole, you will “shrink” the hole).
- Embrace the conditions for the day. Rainy? You looooove rain because you are a great ball striker and rain will affect others, not you. Windy? You relish the challenge. Calm conditions? It’s a great day for you to shoot a low score. Partnered with someone you don’t fancy? No other player is responsible for your success or failure, and you can learn a lot from today’s round.
Finally, assure yourself that you are going to have fun, prepare yourself for every swing, accept the results of every shot regardless of result, and be worry-free. After all – YOU GET TO PLAY GOLF TODAY!!!!