Found the perfect warm-up routine!

I’ve been experimenting with several warm-up techniques this season and have finally hit on one that fully prepares me to play.    Several routines have left me fidgety and uncomfortable for the first few holes until my natural rhythm takes over, and usually with some bad scores on the card.  My goal is to feel as comfortable and confident on the first tee as I am after playing five holes.  Here we go:

Start by getting to the course early.  Normally, I’ll arrive 50-60 minutes before my tee time but have recently found that an additional 15 minutes is required to eliminate any feeling of being rushed.  I’ll start the warm up on the driving range by slowly swinging my 4-iron with a weighted doughnut around the hosel.  I’ll deliberately hold the finish position on each swing to ensure I’m fully rotated, weight is distributed correctly on my forward foot, and my rotational muscles have been fully stretched.  I’ll take about 15 of these.  Next I’ll hit about 15 balls off a tee with my pitching wedge.  I use the tee to promote good contact and to build confidence.  Next I’ll hit about half a dozen 7-irons, again off a tee to build more confidence.  Next, I’ll move to driver and hit half a dozen.  If I feel really good, I’ll try to shape a few because drawing or fading the ball on command is a tremendous confidence boost, but only try this if you understand how to shape your shots.  The warm up is for getting loose and building confidence, NOT for experimenting with new moves or getting overly mechanical.  Finally I’ll wrap up with about 10 shots off the turf with my 56 degree wedge.  On every shot, I’ll alter the target because I don’t want to get robotic and do want to get my mind in game mode.  I find it helps to pause between shots and maybe chat up a friend or fellow competitor, just to remove any focus on yourself and set your mind in a relaxed state.

Next I’ll move to the short game area (hopefully you’ll have one), and hit some easy chips off good lies to a flag that has ample room to run out.  Very important to hit easy shots because you want to see the ball getting close (or in) to build confidence.  Chip for about 5-10 minutes.  Then take a few pitch shots from good lies to easily accessible holes, again to build confidence.  See a pattern developing here?  Finally wrap up with some lag putts of 10-20 feet.  You want to see the ball get close or go in and not end up in three putt range.  Finish up by making half a dozen very short putts of two feet or less, just to make sure you make them all.  It’s VERY important to see the ball go in the hole.

Want to be prepared for success on the first tee?  Try this routine.  Let me know how it goes and good luck!

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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6 Responses to Found the perfect warm-up routine!

  1. Nik Fuller says:

    I recently started playing and have been looking for a warmup routine. I’ll implement this when I play tomorrow. Thanks for the tips!

  2. brianpenn says:

    Good luck Nik, let us know how it goes! -Brian

  3. I like this routine Brian. I can’t even count the amount of times I have gone to the range before a round and started with my 56 off the turf and worked my way up to the driver. When I do this I most always get stuck on one or two clubs that aren’t feeling right. This is obviously not the best method to build confidence. By the time I get through the bag I don’t have a lot of time to chip and putt and I just make due with whatever time I have left. I’m not a huge fan of my old routine and have been fixing that by sticking to certain warm up clubs and amount of shots per club as well as always leaving myself time to work on and around the greens. I really like the pre-round work off the tee to build confidence and get good contact early.

    Are you strict on the amount of balls you hit per club or will you stay on a club for a few extra to work out kinks? Thanks for sharing!

  4. brianpenn says:

    Not strict on the amount per club. The approach is more important and I’ve learned that for me, building confidence is equally if not more important than warming up the golf muscles. I want to hit this fist tee and feel like I’m mid-round and in rhythm. I’ve tried lots of different warm-up routines, some that work better than others, but the one constant is that if I warm up well, I play well, and I figured it’s best to give myself a good shot at a good warm-up by hitting easier shots off the tee and easy chips, pitches, and putts. I also recall several bad warm-ups that started by laying the sod over a couple of wedges. Do that first and you’re in a recovery state of mind all day; not what you want. It may be different for you but try to recall when you warmed up poorly and played well. I’ve never been able to pull that off and I’m sure 90% of this is mental, but you know how important confidence is.

  5. Hi Brian, very impressive warm up routine, just wish I had that kind of energy in the tank. In my hectic lifestyle I usually arrive at the tee with five minutes to spare, do a few stretches and then walk straight into it. Handicap is going down, so I guess in a way this approach suits me. On the energy front, have you tried Golf Fuel yet. If you believe the advertising all you really have to do to play great golf is to take two tablets a day, and everything just automatically falls into place. they say some pros are using it, if their boast is true it must be the guys who are winning.

  6. brianpenn says:

    Never heard of Golf Fuel until you mentioned it. Sounds like 5-hour Energy drink. Maybe it works for Brittany Lincicome, but I’m sure you can’t draw a 1 to 1 correlation to say that because she drinks it, she’s successful. If she took a beeswax tablet before golf, you could make the same claim. That being said, I’m sure it can’t hurt. Does it have any caffeine?

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