By Mark Harman
Most golfers don’t even bother to warm-up prior to a round of golf, and that’s a mistake. So if you’ve been into the habit of paying your greens fee, putting your bag on the cart and then heading to the first tee without so much as a practice putt, you might want to reconsider. At the very least, hitting a few putts and chipping a few from off the practice green will give you a better feel for the clubface as you journey out for your round.
For those of you who do make it a point to warm up, the typical session involves going to the range first, followed by the putting green. Most teachers advocate starting with the wedges, building up to the driver, and then gearing down by hitting a few more wedges before heading to the practice putting green.
Instead, why not go to the putting green first, followed by the driving range? This has some benefits, first and foremost the first shot you hit on the golf course will come much sooner after the last shot you hit on the driving range. Hitting balls on the range first and then going to the putting green means that considerable time may pass before you then hit your opening shot on the first tee. I’ve talked to too many players who say they lose their rhythm between the practice tee and the first tee, only to find they last hit a ball some 20 minutes ago, because they went to the range first and then the practice green.
And while we’re doing something different, make sure the last shot you hit on the range is the same shot you will hit on the first tee; forget “gearing down” with wedges. If you’re first shot will be with a driver (which it will be most of the time), hit driver. If it’s a 3-wood, hit 3-wood, etc. In this way, you should be able to maintain a rhythm, at least for the first few holes, on the course.
If you find your warm-up routine in a rut, try heading to the putting green first and the range last. It might just be the cure you’re looking for.
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