Why is it important to warm up before a round of golf?
This is a question as coaches we get asked a lot so below I talk about why a warm-up is important, the effects of not doing one and how to practice efficiently before a round to increase your performance.
How do you warm up? Quick hit in the net 10 minutes before your tee time? Is this really enough?
Why do we need to warm up?
Research conducted by Dr Ben Langdown, found that out of the group tested the average driver carry was 243.57 yards without a warm-up. Another group who undertook a dynamic warm up hit it on average 247.94 yards and the 3rd group who did a resistance band warm-up hit it 249.31 yards on average. For a warm-up that only takes 10 minutes a 6 yard gain is huge and one any golfer would love to see without having to change their golf swing!
As well as this, by doing a thorough and correct warm up it decreases your chance of injury when playing and improves your range of motion by 17%. This is because it prepares your body for a more intense activity by getting blood flowing to the muscles, raising your muscle temperature and gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation.
As well as helping to prevent injuries, a warm up can help you prepare mentally just as much as physically, this is because you are more motivated to perform your best; confident in your ability; think thoughts that are productive for performance and you are focused and prepared to perform well.
So, what should a good warm up look like?
Your warm-up should always be personal and individual to you, however there are some great pointers to help you create a successful and consistent warm-up.
1: Give yourself time! The average PGA tour player will arrive at the golf club or driving range 1.5 hours before their tee time! This gives them enough time to stretch and warm-up effectively without rushing. There are many warm-ups that don’t need a club that can be done at the golf club itself, these include lunges, squats and side bends.
2: Dynamic & static stretches! It is important to mobilise the body as much as you can before even hitting a golf ball! This should be a minimum of 10 minutes and should be a mix of both kinds of stretches targeting your legs, arms, shoulders and core. Click on the link for some cool information on a PGA Tour players warm-up: http://www.mytpi.com/articles/fitness/how_tour_pros_prepare_for_a_round?search=Warm%20up%20routine
3: Don’t hit too many! The most common fault we see in amateurs is the amount of balls they hit before a round of 18 holes. Limit yourself to 25-50 golf balls and use these for your range work, pitching and chipping!
4: Drills! Why are you on the range? What’s your purpose of hitting balls before you play? Use your first few balls working on your most recent swing fault! Find a drill you like and spend your time working on that rather than hitting ball after ball at a specific target which can decrease your confidence.
5: Visualisation! Try and hit different shot shapes that you know you need around the course, visualise a hole and play the shots you will need for that rather than aiming for targets on the range that will decrease your confidence if you miss them. Build your confidence instead!
6: Finale! Keep 4-5 balls to one side and hit those balls with the club and shot shape you need on the first tee! Prepare yourself for that opening tee shot!
7: Finally let go of expectations! Let go of all your expectations, by expecting yourself to perform perfectly every time sets up for a vicious cycle of disappointment and anxiety which leads to muscle tension! Instead just remember why you play and enjoy the fresh air with no expectations!
Next time you have a competition, try getting to the range earlier than 5 minutes before your tee time and see for yourself the difference in performance and mentality and let us know how you get on!
If you have any other questions about your warm-up, come and see us in the shop or email firstname.lastname@example.org