Warming up to play golf
By Jon Woodroffe – Master Professional, World of Golf London
Now we all know that Rory Mcilroy has a detailed and extensive warm up routine before he goes out onto the golf course. Indeed, all tournament professionals do. Any top sports player will have some form of knock up, warm up or kick about, to prepare themselves to play. This includes not only physical actions like stretching, but also nutritional planning around the intake of fluids and carbohydrates. In an ideal world, you should get to the range early and hit golf balls for about 45 minutes. Starting with a few short wedge shots, through some medium irons and onto the finale with the driver. Then off you go to the tee.
But for most of us, life is not that simple. Normally we are running late for the tee time as we screech to a halt in the car park, yank the clubs out of the boot and hare across to the golf shop to sign in and pay the green fee. This doesn’t leave sufficient time to fire away the desired quantity of practice shots. So, when faced with this reality, I would suggest the following.
If the truth be told, hitting golf balls on the range before you play, is more about getting the muscles moving. It really isn’t to suddenly “find your swing”. If it isn’t there yet, you are not going to find it on the range before the first tee. So, you just need to get your muscles warm and stretched in as short a time as possible. I recommend taking 2 iron clubs, preferably similar numbers, ie 6 & 7 iron. Do worry about the grip, just grab the clubs and then, slowly and gently, start to swing them together. Gradually increase the speed and ferocity of the swings and after about ten times, just stop. Place one of the clubs back in the bag and then swing with just the one club. It will now feel very light and easy to swing.
If you are limited in time before you tee off, do not worry about hitting balls on the range. Instead spend that precious time practicing some putts and getting to feel the pace of the greens. As I mentioned previously, with the best will in the world, you are not likely to suddenly find your golf swing. However, you can help your scoring for the day, by getting the feel of the speed and roll of the greens, before you set foot on the course.
Trust me, this will be time well spent.