Sometimes you have only a few minutes to warm up before your round. Don’t waste that precious time mindlessly banging balls on the range. Focus instead on getting your muscles golf-ready, so you’re loose, limber and ready to go when you step onto the first tee. The best warm-up prepares you by stretching and strengthening the muscles that you’ll need to execute the proper grip, posture and address position. Try these exercises, and you’ll be 1-up before you strike your first tee shot.
Step 1: First, get your hands and fingers limber. That might sound crazy, but establishing feel and touch in your hands is critical. Press forward and back on your fingers to stretch out your wrists and knuckles.
Step 2: To get your triceps and biceps loose, rotate your arms in small circles. Start with your thumbs pointing downward, then rotate your arms back until your palms face up. Repeat.
Step 3: Here’s a great warm-up for stretching and strengthening at the same time. Start by holding a club in your left hand with palm facing up. Keep your arm extended straight in front of your body. Rotate your wrist so that your palm and the club face downward. Move your wrist back and forth. Then, switch the club to your right hand and repeat the motion.
Step 4: To improve your posture, stand tall while holding a club above your head with both hands. Slowly stretch from side to side, keeping your arms extended.
Step 5: To activate your core and back muscles, hold a club behind your head, resting across your shoulders with one hand on each end. Twist to the left and to the right, pivoting on your back foot and bringing your heel up.
Step 6: Hold a club across the front of your chest with your arms crossed over it. Again, pivot from side to side, keeping your head up and letting your shoulders lead the movement. Feeling loose? Good, now let 'er rip.
Scott Munroe is the teaching professional at Nantucket (Mass.) Golf Club.