Sunday, May 07, 2006

Warm-up To Play Your Best Golf

Do you warm-up before you play golf? More importantly do you warm-up correctly?

In all sports, it is essential that you warm up properly to attain the best performance. If you go to any professional or even amateur sporting event, you will see competing athletes doing pre-game warm-ups. Golfers, especially those in the professional level, are not different from them. When tour professionals are about to begin their first tee, they would have made full warm-ups to be able to make their best swings.

However, most amateurs have their "warm-ups" done by racing from their autos to the golf shop and check in, then dashing to their first tee, in just about five minutes. Most of the time, this is followed by an unsteady and inconsistent play for the first holes, ending up with another lackluster golf round. The result: Disappointing golf scores.

Here are some tips to improve your golf score:

1. First, go to the golf course as early as possible. You need time in taking care of your matters in the golf shop, in using the restroom, changing clothes and shoes, among others. It is crucial that you do not feel pressured or rushed, allowing you to get warmed up at a relaxed pace. Remember that your warm-up time sets your mood and tempo throughout the day, so just relax and move slowly. A minimum of an hour or two before you begin hitting your first tee would probably help you get a nice and relaxed warm-up.

2. Start your warm-up routine on the putting green. By starting your warm-up on the putting green, you will be ready for the speed of the greens. More importantly, you will start up your day with a nice, deliberate, and smooth tempo.

3. Spend about 10 minutes or so trying to hit the chips around the green using a tee as your target. First test the greens' firmness to see how much or less the golf ball will roll. In general, the ball tends to move more on hard greens than the soft greens. In addition, there are various kinds of rough which make the ball move differently when it touches the green. Spending some time around the green helps you visualize some shots on the green during your round, and also, the spots where you are landing the golf ball on the putting surface.

4. Next spend about 20 minutes on the golf range. Make sure you properly stretch before hitting any golf balls. You want to start hitting half-wedge shots and progress up to your driver hitting 3 or 4 balls with each club. I personally start off with my sand-wedge, 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron, 3-iron, 3-wood, and then my driver, which turns out to be about 30 golf balls. Remember the reason for hitting golf balls is to get your body warmed up. You're not there to practice your golf swing so don't get a large bucket and pound out 100 golf balls before you play.

5. Next go back to the putting green and putt for 5 to 10 minutes. Take 3 balls and from 3 feet and hit them until you make 3 putts in a row. Repeat this from 6 feet and then from 10 feet. Don't worry if you don't make it through all the distances in the 10 minutes because the importance is getting your confidencence up on making putts.

Remember: If you do not get enough warm-up, you should not expect to have an optimal performance, and consequently, a good golf score. So do yourself a favor and make the warm-up a regular part of your golf game to give yourself the best possible outcome at the end of the day.
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