Like so many golfers, I too have been guilty of arriving to a golf course close to my tee time and running to the first tee with no warm-up. This is not a good idea physically or mentally especially in colder temperatures. So give yourself a fighting chance to play well out of the gate and try this short but effective 15 minute warm-up:
- 00:00-01:00 — First stop, driving range. Take out a PW, stand tall with feet spread at shoulder width and knees flexed. With one hand on the grip and one hand near the hosel and arms stretched at chest height do some medium speed torso turns for one minute straight keeping your heels on the ground and eyes looking straight ahead.
- 01:00-02:00 — Hold he PW in golf stance and swing back and forth without stopping for one minute straight just trying to gently brush the grass or matt.
- 02:00-02:30 — Stretch your hamstrings by doing static toe touches with crossed legs, hold each side for 15 seconds, remember to breathe as you stretch.
- 02:30-03:30 — Hit 10 balls in a row with the PW starting with a half swing, making each next swing bigger until you reach a full swing on the 9th and 10th ball. Focus on tempo.
- 03:30-10:00 — Hit 3 shots with a 7 iron, 3 shots with your hybrid, 5 shots with your driver picking different targets with each ball and going through your pre-shot routine each time integrating one swing thought (if any) for the day. Calibrate your alignment, wind conditions.
- 10:00-12:00 — Visit the practice green with 5 balls in hand. Hit 5 bump and run shots, followed by 5 pitch/lob shots. Take note of ground conditions, how the ball is bouncing, rolling etc.
- 12:00-14:00 — Get your putter hit 5 20-footers up slope, then hit 5 down the slope and another 5 across the slope. Don't worry about making these putts, you don't even have to putt at a cup just get a feel for the speed of the greens.
- 14:00-15:00 — Place your 5 balls around the hole in a circular setup at a 3-4 foot radius. Putt them all in doing your pre-shot routine each time.
After all of that you should be "warm", ready and focused. Count your clubs, set your bets and go play golf ... no excuses!
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine — and she's oobgolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, e-mail her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
I prefer doing the "Miguel Angel Jimenez"
Like the short time frame element of the routine. "School of Golf" had a 5 minute warm-up for those who don't have a range last spring that I use regularly. I think stretching the hamstrings is the key to getting off to a good start - took me a while to learn that.