In a perfect world, you would be able to arrive at the golf course with plenty of time before you are scheduled to be on the first tee. Most professional golfers arrive at the course at least an hour in advance of their tee time – if not more. However, that just isn’t going to be possible for the average amateur in most circumstances.
You certainly have other responsibilities in your life outside of playing golf, so you probably can’t add an hour warm up to the four-hour commitment of playing a round of golf in the first place.
With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to the average player to create an effective 15-minute golf warm-up routine. This routine is going to be focused on helping you get ready to play within just a short period of time.
While you aren’t going to be able to do everything you might like to do if you had unlimited time, you can still get yourself ready to play if you have as little as 15-minutes before your tee time.
Every golfer knows just how important it is to get off to a good start, and it is our hope that this routine will help you do just that.
We will get into the specific outline of the routine later in the article, but we should first address the issue of what you are trying to accomplish when you warm-up. It seems that many amateur players are confused on this point, and it shows when they arrive at the first tee.
The goal of a warm-up is not to improve your game in some way – this is not a practice session. Rather, you are simply trying to get your body ready for the challenges that lay ahead on the course. You need to find some rhythm, warm up your muscles, and get your mind focused on the task at hand.
It is the mental aspect of warming up for a round of golf that is surprisingly important. When you first get to the course, your mind is probably thinking about a million different things – and none of them are golf. If you fail to warm up, you will likely remain distracted by the time you get to the first tee, and your game will suffer.
Warming up is helpful because it gives you a time where you can allow those non-golf thoughts to float away while you center in on playing your best. There will be plenty of time after the round to shift your mind back toward real-world issues.
Forget the Range
Many amateur golfers feel that they absolutely have to hit the driving range before they tee off – but that simply isn’t the case. If you only have 15 minutes available to warm-up, the first thing you should do is cross the driving range off of your list.
If you take the time to walk over to the range, get some balls, hit some shots and walk back, your 15 minutes will already be up. You don’t have to visit the range in order to play well, so just forget all about that possibility when 15 minutes is the extent of your warmup time.
Remember, our focus here is maximizing your pre-round efficiency when you are on tight schedule. If that’s not the case, and you are able to get to the course an hour or so before your round, then by all means, hit the range!
Here’s the scenario – you have arrived at the golf course for an 11:00 tee time. After going into the pro shop to pay for your round, you walk back outside and find that the clock reads 10:40. Considering you need to be on the first tee a few minutes early to be ready to play right at 11:00, you basically have 15 minutes free to warm-up.
So where do you go? What should you do first?
Follow these five steps to properly prepare yourself to play a great round of golf:
To get started, head directly to the practice putting green and set your clubs down somewhere near the edge of the green. Take your putter and a couple of golf balls from your bag, and find an open stretch of green to use for your first few putts.
These initial putts should be rather long – at least 30 feet, if not longer. The goal here is simple – to judge the speed of the greens for the day. This is the biggest variable in golf from day to day, so you need to sort out this issue right off the bat.
Once you have hit a few long putts, gather your golf balls around a hole and knock in a few short putts. These putts should be flat and only three or four feet in length. Once you have made five short putts, pick up your golf balls and return to your bag.
These putts will continue to help you get a feel for the greens while helping warm up your putting stroke.
Next, take a wedge from your bag and find a place near the putting green to hit a few chip shots. Most golf courses don’t allow you to chip onto the putting green, so just chip off to the side using a tee as a target. The results of your chip shots aren’t terribly important – you are just trying to get a feel for the rhythm and tempo of your swing.
After hitting a few chip shots, set the golf balls aside and make a few full swings (without hitting a ball, of course). These swings are going to serve to warm up your muscles, and you can build in a little stretching at this point, if you are so inclined.
With just a couple minutes left to go, take your putter from the bag once again and roll a few more short putts. The last thing you want to do before walking to the tee is to see the ball falling in the hole, as this is an image that will give you confidence for the day.
With a little bit of practice, you should be able to work through the routine above in roughly 15 minutes. Once you get to the first tee, take out the club you are going to use for that initial tee shot. You will likely have a couple minutes of downtime on the tee before you actually need to hit, so you can continue warming your muscles through additional practice swings.
When it is your turn, you should feel ready and excited for the round to come!
Cover Image via Flickr