Proper warm-up is very important for maximum performance in any sport. If you attend any professional sporting event you always see athletes going through a pre-game warm-up, and pro golfers are no different. By the time tour professionals step to the first tee, they are fully prepared to make their best swings from the opening tee shot.
On the other hand, most amateurs, get “warmed up” by running from their cars to the pro shop to check in, then running to the first tee, all within five minutes. To avoid injuries and a disappointing round of golf try the following quick warm up routine:
– Get to the course early. Ensure enough time to carry out the necessary “admin” – check in, change room, golf attire etc. It is important that you do not feel rushed, so allow time to complete this entire warm-up period at a leisurely pace.
–Begin warming up on the putting green. Putting is 43-percent of golf and the putting stroke is the slowest and smoothest of all strokes in golf. By spending time warming up on the green first, you will not only be prepared for the speed of the greens but you will also be starting the day with smooth, deliberate tempo.
–Stretch the body. A very simple and easy exercise/stretch for golfers to do is the standing twist. The Standing Twist with a club is a rotational stretching exercise that benefits the golfer’s core. As such, it is an excellent exercise for any golfer to incorporate into his or her stretching routine. Here is how to do it
1. Hold club chest high, arms straight out in front, with grip shoulder-width apart.
2. While keeping feet and hips fairly stable, rotate club to the right and then the left.
3. Try to breathe out on every turn to release tension.
4. Repeat each side 10 times.
THE BUNKER SHOT
The bunker has to be one of the worst parts of any golf course. There’s nothing worse than spending ages lining your golf club up, only to see that once you’ve taken your swing the golf ball has ended up in the bunker. It’s not, however, as difficult to hit a bunker shot as some of you may think. Here are some tips that might make the next bunker shot more manageable.
One of the best explanations on how to setup to a bunker shot is the Reverse A Method. As is indicated in the picture above, there are 3 lines that the golfer must focus on: Target Line (The direction in which the ball will travel towards the hole), Stance Line (The direction your feet will align relative to your target line. In bunker shots you will have an open stance relative to your target line, or pointing left), and lastly is the Ball Position line (This line should be directly perpendicular to your target line and touching the inside heel of your leading foot).
Once the setup is complete and you have a good understanding on how to stand over the ball in a bunker, there are a few things to remember that will help you get it out of the bunker and land softly onto the green. When taking a swing in the bunker, make sure to swing through the ball and never decelerate. Always aim to hit one to two inches behind the ball. Lastly, you must focus on keeping your hands high in the follow through.
The one common factor you see among all good players is their posture. Good posture is important, as it will determine the shape of your swing. I believe that once we get the proper grip the next important part of the golf swing is getting in the correct posture.
Here are a few tips to accomplish the proper golf posture:
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Begin to feel a pelvic tilt (butt out) with a flat back as you bend over.
- Your weight should be in the arches of your feet.
- You want a slight tilt with your spine away from the target so your lead shoulder is slightly higher than your trailing shoulder.
- Your arms should hang straight down from your body and you should then grip the club from there.
- Keep Your chin up to allow your shoulders to rotate freely.
Once you are in this correct posture you should feel very stable over the ball. If I came up to the golfer and pushed on their shoulders they should not fall over.
Try having someone push you once you get in your posture and see how balanced and stable you are.
CONFIDENCE WITH SHORT PUTTS
Sometimes short putts are some of the most nerve wrenching shots in golf! Here is a great putting drill that you should practice to improve your confidence over short putts. To do this putting drill place 8 balls evenly around a hole and place these balls just 1 foot from the hole to start with, then attempt to hole all 8 balls in a row. Once you can do this, then move the 8 balls out to 2 feet from the hole, then attempt to hole all those putts. Whatever you do, do not move back until you have holed 8 consecutive putts from the distance you are at. If you ever get to 5 or 6 feet then you are short putting really well and your confidence will grow with every putt that you make. The pressure you feel when you get down to the last few putts of the 8 is very good for your game. This drill is also very good because you have to change positions for each putt. Remember, when you do this make sure you go through you full pre-shot routine for each and every putt. Treat each putt as you would on the golf course. That is very important!
If you want to make this drill harder then do it on a hole with more slope. Now I can promise you… if you do this putting confidence drill regularly, you’ll improve your confidence over short putts and lower your golf scores.
Understanding how to hit your driver is one of the biggest keys to having a good round of golf and improving your game. The position for your second shot off the tee is often one of the most important parts of your game. After all, golf is an extremely challenging game. It is made even more difficult when you struggle to get off the tee with distance and accuracy. Very rarely is a good drive attained while a golfer is in an angry or distracted state. This mentality can quickly have you off to a not so great start. So, take a deep breath, focus and remember the main objective is to relax.
First, position the ball more forward in your stance. Second, start with more weight on your back leg and third, since the ball is more forward in your stance, your back shoulder will be lower than your front shoulder. This set-up will encourage a sweeping motion and help you launch the ball up in the air correctly.
It is important to transfer your weight correctly on the downswing, this move will help you create club head speed and promote a sweeping motion. If your weight stays on the front leg at the top of the swing, then you have a reverse pivot. With reverse pivot, you will never be able to shift your weight on the downswing. A reverse pivot will cause your weight to hang back at the moment of impact. This robs you of power. At the top of your swing, the majority of your weight should be on the inside of your back leg. This position helps you brace your weight so that you can push off on the downswing. At the top of your back swing, keep your weight on the inside of the right leg for more power.