Most golfers have a pre round preparation before each round they play. But unfortunately most golfers don’t do a lot to get ready to play their best before their rounds. In this day and age most of us are busy and our time is limited. We rush to the course check in, rush to the range hit a few balls to warm up. Roll a few putts then go to the first tee. Because of all the rushing our internal system is in a more fight or flight mode rather then a relaxed calm state.
Ben Hogan would make a point to slow everything down before each round and was methodical in his pre round preparations. He would try to do everything at half speed. Walk from the car at half speed, tie his shoes slower just to bring on a calmer state. Even staying aware of his breathing. From the time he woke up to the first tee to get his overall tempo and mental state in a relaxed natural flow.
The first thing we have to be aware of is that we get excited to play and have anticipation of playing well. This brings on tension that many times we are not aware of. Couple that with the rushing of every day life in this day and age and it creates tension in the body. To help relax give yourself extra time when ever possible before each round. Now you will become more at ease because you have more then enough time to warm up and prepare to play your best.
Other than giving ample time to prepare the order you prepare is important too. Most player check in then go to the range and hit a few ball to get loose and warm up. They will hit some wedges the a few irons then some drivers. They might then go to the chipping green and chip a little then to the putting green to roll a few putt before the starter call them that they are up. Most of us don’t even go to the range we just roll a few putts the go play because we either don’t have enough time of just don’t give ourselves ample time to get ready. For me this is backwards. I go to the putting green first. I do my speed test to understand the pace of the greens and then roll some lag putts. I’ll then roll some five footers and head to the short game area if time allow and hit a few chips. If there is a bunker available I’ll hit a few sand shots then head to the range. I’ll hit a few wedges than a few seven irons than a few Drivers and head to the stater shed just before my Tee time. I know that the first tee is usually a Par four and I will be hitting Driver. This is why my warm up is backwards to how most players prepare. If you go to the range first it might be up to a half hour since you hit a full swing. With my prep I get to the first tee and at most I was hitting a driver ten minutes before and know what my predominant shot shape is doing today. This will help improve your overall mind set and makes some much more sense then going to the range first and rolling putts waiting to be called to the first tee.
The key is to give your self an hour before your Tee time whenever possible to get ready and not feel rushed to the first tee. When we do this it is very difficult to find a solid rhythm and tempo in our swing and our body is not ready to have a fluid motion that allows us to play our best. If there is no way that you can get there an hour before than at least give yourself a half hour to check in then stretch out and loosen up. Roll your putts and then hit a few wedges and drives at the very least and see how your front nine is not your warm up any more. You’ll be glad you did for sure.
Bernard Sheridan Sr. staff Instructor Impact Zone Golf Naples Florida
Call 239-236-5536 for lessons and info.