Preparation for tournament rounds:
Before every round of golf I always do the same warm up routine as it helps my body to prepare mentally and physically for the round ahead. I think that every player can benefit from a warm up no matter what their standard. My warm up takes about an hour and 15 minutes but it can be modified to make it shorter.
My warm up starts as soon as I arrive at the golf club and take my clubs out of the car. I walk briskly to the putting green as this helps to raise my heart rate and prepare my body for exercise. Next I will do a variety of stretches that focus on rotation and also some golf specific movements. Once this is completed I will commence the golf part of my warm up. I always start with putting then move onto chipping and bunker shots. After this it is then time to go to the range and hit some balls. I will do a couple more stretches to make sure I am really loose and then I will start by hitting some half shots with my PW gradually moving my way up the bag until I get to the driver. To finish my warm up I will hit a few more putts and then I am ready to go. I will always arrive at the 1st tee 10 minutes before my tee time to make sure I have plenty of time to pick up my scorecard and do any last minute preparations.
Next time you are going to play 18 holes, try doing this warm up for yourself and see how much of a difference it will make to your game. Without a warm up it will normally take most people 4-5 holes to get loose, by which point it is normally too late. Even if you only have 15 minutes, putt a little bit, stretch and then swing a club a few times on the first tee.
Preparation in the gym:
As well as warming up and preparing well just before a round, it is also very important to do some exercises in the gym to help prevent injury and increase flexibility. I will always start a gym session with a warm up, either 5 minutes on the bike or the rowing machine. After this I will do some dynamic stretches, my favourite of which is called a ‘spiderman’ as it is great for opening up the upper and lower body together.
My gym routines vary but I always make sure I do some golf specific exercises too. There are some great rotational exercises for golf that can be done by anyone as the difficulty level can be altered to suit all. A few of my favourites include:
Seated trunk rotation
This can be done on a bench as seen in the photo with a weighted bar behind your back. With both feet planted on the floor, you would turn very gently to the right and then to the left. Alternatively it can be done on the first tee if there is a bench there using a golf club.
This is a great exercise for engaging your core which is so vital during the golf swing. It can be done with various weights but it is always good to start with a lower weight and do it correctly and then gradually move the weight up. From the starting position shown keeping your arms straight and pulling your core in tightly you then bring the cable down to the finishing position shown in the picture. If you don’t have access to a cable machine this can also work with weights.
Medicine ball throws
This exercise is good for rotation, as well as teaching you to use your legs at the same time. Starting in a semi squat position with the medicine ball on the right side of your body as you squat up with your legs you rotate the body moving the arms diagonally across your body as you go and finally finishing as you would a golf shot and throwing the ball to the left. This must be done on both sides to keep everything even!
I am very lucky that I am able to use the great facilities at Foxhills to do all my training. The gym has all the equipment needed to help your game and the practise facilities make a warm up before a round much easier. However even if you don’t have access to a gym these exercises can also be done anywhere and the equipment can be very simple.
Next time you have a spare 30 minutes, go through these simple rotational exercises and you will find it will help you to feel looser and more able to turn during your golf swing, which is so vital for hitting the ball straight and a long way!
Lauren is a PGA Professional at Foxhills Club and Resort and is available for lessons. You can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on social media. Insatgram: @laurenblease89 Twitter: @laurenblease.