Hi my name is Nick Taylor and I’m golf professional at Chigwell Golf Club. I spend a lot of time around golfers, and after a while you pick up on their habits. Generally the same people each week will be rushing to make their tee time and neglect any time for preparation or warm up before their round. However there are the odd few that do make sure they allow enough time to hit a few putts, stretch and warm-up properly by hitting a few balls. A common phrase I hear, “it took me 3 or 4 holes to warm-up and after that I played so well”. It’s no surprise to me when a golfer that rushed onto the 1st tee without a chance to warm-up or prepare takes a few holes to get ‘warmed up’, but by that point its usually too late. As a golf professional I make sure I allow plenty of time pre round to prepare, for example before a competition I would:
- arrive at least 40 minutes before my tee time
- 10 minutes warmup/stretching
- 10 minutes hitting balls on range/net
- 10 minutes on chipping green
- 10 minutes on putting green
This will still allow me time to change, visit the pro shop, have a drink and/or snack without rushing about allowing me time to relax and allow me to be in the right frame of mind before I tee off. For some of you, you simply don’t have the time which is understandable, that is how I prepare before a competition however if I’m playing a friendly game I will generally allow at least 30 minutes to stretch, hit a few balls and a few putts. The more time you allow yourself to prepare doesn’t necessarily mean that you will play any better, however you are leaving nothing to chance and giving yourself and your body the best chance possible of playing to your potential. We all know how to stroke a few putts, chip a few wedges and hit a few balls on the range before we tee off, however I imagine there are far less of you that know how to stretch your muscles correctly and efficiently before a round of golf. I caught up with Sara Taylor of SK-Life-Fitness Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, and together we give you 5 top tips of the key warm-up and stretches you should be doing to prepare your muscles before you head onto the 1st tee. Pre round stretches/warm-up
- Lightly jog on spot for 2 minutes to get the blood flowing to your muscles.
- Take a golf club and hold above your head keeping your arms as straight as possible, then drop down into the squat position (keeping your arms above your head) and hold for 5 seconds- repeat this 10 times.
- Using the same club hold it behind your head across your shoulders and position yourself in your golf posture. From here rotate your upper body like you would in your golf swing back and forth but keep your hips stationery- repeat 10 times.
- Keep hold of the golf club and hold your arms out at just below shoulder height, from here raise each knee in turn to touch the golf shaft, repeat this with both knees 10 times.
- Hold the golf club above your head again and bend from your hips keeping your legs straight, until the golf club reaches your toes or as close as possible. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds then back up to holding the club above your head. Repeat this movement 5 times.
- Take the golf club behind your head and drop it down in between your shoulder blades, and hold it with opposite hand and try to slide your hands together to get shoulder flexibility
- Take the golf club above your head and arms wide, slightly bend your knees and side bend at the waiste trying to get the club towards the ground.
- Hold your club out in front of you and hold on to the top of the club and tuck one leg around the other leg and keeping hips still turn your shoulders and waiste from side to side (Stork Turn)
- Stretch out the calfs by placing one leg behind you keeping the front leg bent and back leg straight
- Clasp your hands behind your back and push your chest out to stretch across your shoulders and chest