Warmup at the Practice Range Before Your Round

Do you show up to the golf course five min­utes before your tee time? I used to do this all the time, but is can cause a few issues!

First off, I’m usu­al­ly pret­ty amped up to golf when I get to the course, which some­times trans­lates into my swing, result­ing in a duck hook off the first tee. Not exact­ly the way you want to start a round.

Sec­ond­ly, you just nev­er know what swing you are going to bring to the course. Your ball’s flight path may nor­mal­ly be a nice lit­tle draw, but I high­ly doubt you have that shot every time you golf. Even the pros don’t have their A shot every time out. Your swing today may pro­duce a big­ger draw than usu­al or even a slight fade.

How do you help fix this two issues?

A great way to low­er your anx­i­ety, set­tle into golf mode, and see what kind shot you have today is to show up thir­ty min­utes before your tee time and hit a small buck­et of balls at the prac­tice range.

The key point of the pre­ced­ing sen­tence is a small buck­et. This is a warmup ses­sion and not a prac­tice ses­sion. A small buck­et, 30 to 50 balls, is the per­fect amount of swings to get com­fort­able with­out tir­ing your­self out. This is also the right num­ber of swings to deter­mine what kind of ball flight path your swing will pro­duce that day. Dur­ing warm up is not the time to change your swing to match your desired ball flight path. You are instead find­ing the swing you will be play­ing with today.

Hit­ting a small buck­et of balls also gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to fix your swing in an emer­gency. Remem­ber, you are not using the warmup ses­sion to change slight dif­fer­ences in your swing that result in a slight­ly dif­fer­ent ball flight path. That work is for a longer prac­tice ses­sion with a large buck­et of balls. I’m talk­ing about when you show up to the course with a ter­ri­ble swing. Many times this is caused by you per­form­ing a piece of your swing major­ly wrong. By slow­ing down and reset­ting your swing, you can many times get it cor­rect­ed in the course of hit­ting a small buck­et of balls. Try­ing to reset your swing on the course is much more dif­fi­cult.

So why show up thir­ty min­utes ear­ly when you can hit a small buck­et of balls in 15–20 min­utes? You’ll want to use the extra 5–10 min­utes on the prac­tice green to deter­mine the speed of the greens. Putting some balls on the prac­tice green, while not a per­fect indi­ca­tor of green speed on the course, will help you gauge the speed of the greens before you get to the first green.

Hope­ful­ly, I’ve con­vinced you of the ben­e­fits of hit­ting some warmup shots before your next round. It will go a long way in get­ting you off to the good start need­ed to score well for your round.

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