Best Pre-Range Warmup

By Mike Pile

A warm-up before the warm-up will make your range time more effective.

Warm Up Your Mind First

Pull out your favorite club to get you in the golfer's mood, but before you take your first swing, take 2 minutes to plan your range time. After a couple of deep breaths, carefully think about what you want to accomplish during this session. Identify just two or three things you will focus on addressing. Recall your weak points from the last round: it could be keeping your head still, increasing your shoulder turn or initiating your downswing with a hip turn. Whatever your area of need might be, establish it in your head before taking the first swing.

Stretch the Circle

Grab a mid iron and take some long, lugubrious, full and loose swings thinking only of stretching out your whole body. Next grab one or two more clubs and do the same thing, feeling the added weight and force as it gently elongates your major swing muscles.

Stretching the Majors

There are more ways to stretch your hamstrings than there are golf instructors, but many of them don't lend themselves to a range venue. The tried and true of bending at the waist with knees slightly bent and reaching for your toes is effective and doesn't require you to sprawl on the ground in your new Cutter and Buck. Stretch slowly and deliberately feeling the pull on your calves and ham strings. Stretch and hold for 15 seconds three times. Do this repetition once each time in three different positions; legs together, legs at shoulder width and legs just wider than your stance on the tee.

Stretching the Minors

After back injuries, wrists and elbows are the next most common area to suffer an injury. This warm up should prevent that. With your arm held loosely in front of you at shoulder height, let your hand hang down freely. With your other hand, gently press down on the back of your hand to stretch the forearm muscles that connect to the elbow. Hold for the count of 15 and do this three times with each arm.

Divide the Bucket

After stretching, assume your position on the range line and with a mid iron take five slow motion perfect swings with nothing else in mind other than the couple of swing thoughts you established up front. Now do five full speed swings again, focused only on the few things you want to work on at this moment. Now fix a number of balls (five, 10 or 12) and agree with yourself that need to hit a majority of them (three out of five, six out of 10, or nine out of 12) as perfectly as you can. Setting a fixed ceiling on the number of balls you can hit in a go keeps you from bashing the balata indiscriminately.

Once on the course, keep a clear head and leave the swing mechanics home on the range.

About The Author

Mike Pile is a professional golf writer. Pile has been writing for 11 years with work appearing in Golfing Magazine, Solar Industry, North American Clean Energy, Electrical Construction and Maintenance, and GolfLink among others. He holds an MBA from the University of St.Thomas.


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