Two Minute Warmup
Three things to understand about going to the first tee ready to play.
Understand the purpose of your warm up. Swing to get loose.
Hit chip shots…make contact with the ball. Make some putts…keep hitting balls.
Often we don’t use our complete swing routine on the practice tee. We just set up and hit, then rake another ball over and hit, rake and hit, usually without a specific target. When we get to the first tee, it’s very different. Now we have a place we want to send the ball, and we need to aim and address the ball. That’s a totally different way of starting the swing. Going through your full routine for a few shots at the end of your warm-up session, with specific targets and good images, will give you the best chance for a successful transition to the golf course.
Golf is a game meant to be played. We go to driving ranges and practice facilities and we see people hitting ball after ball. We get into a little rhythm and rake another ball and hit it right at our target then another and another and you are saying to yourself yeah that’s me. I hate to break it to you but that method of practice and that alone is not playing the game it is playing the golf swing. There is a time to work on mechanics and your swing but way too many people play the game in that mindset. How many people do you see actually going through their routine on the range? Actually standing behind the ball, picking out a target and hitting the shot as they would on the course? If you want to be able to take your game from the practice tee and from your lesson with your teaching professional, to the golf course then you owe it to yourself to spend at least half your practice time like you are on the golf course.
Towards the end of your warm up or practice session play the first few holes on the range. Pick out the club you would hit off the first tee and go through your entire routine. Wherever the shot goes and how you hit it imagine your second shot and the club you now would hit. Do the same for every shot and so-on. Maybe you missed the green, I challenge you to pull out your wedge and hit a little pitch shot maybe over a bunker! You get the picture; do this little exercise for a few holes. The more you can use your imagination the more realistic and it will translate to better play when you get over to the first tee.
We spend a lot of time on the practice tee working on our swings. We read books that tell us to focus on the target when we are on the course and to not think about our swings. If we don’t practice on the practice tee hitting shots without mechanical thoughts, or just focusing on our target how can we expect to do that on the golf course?