Warming Up For Safety
July 25th, 2016
How important is a warm up? In a word vital. The pros say this is one step that you can't afford to skip. But if you're in great shape, you play often and you're anxious to get right up to the tee, is it enough to take a couple of practice swings and then go for it? You actually may find that you are ready to play from the moment you step out of the clubhouse, but you also may find yourself injured or playing a poor game just because you didn't take those few minute for warming up.
The cars of a few years ago always needed a warm up before you hit the highway. You started them without revving the engine, allowed all the fluids to circulate completely and then knew that the car was ready to go. Your body is the same, only there haven't been any major upgrades over the past few years you still need that warm-up time. In fact, as you age you need it even more.
What constitutes a warm up period? You don't have to hit a whole bucket of balls on the driving range or do a full round of calisthenics. Take time to hit a dozen or so balls but remember that you need to start slowly. Hit a few short range first, working up to longer drives.
It's also a good idea to do some light exercising, even if it's only a bit of walking, before you start your round of golf. The reason so many people (mainly men) have heart attacks and other serious issues on the green is that they simply haven't prepared their bodies for the rigors of golf. And even if you're playing a relaxed game, golf makes some strenuous demands on your body.
If you don't play regularly, you should probably allow yourself at least a half hour to an hour to warm up before your tee time. That means arriving early or doing your warm up somewhere else. You may find that warming up on the course's driving range works best. Some golfers say they spend a bit of time practicing with training aids before they leave home and then park a good distance from the clubhouse, letting the walk be part of the warm up.
If you play often and are in good physical condition, you may not need as much time to warm up, but you should still have some time set aside before you make your first swing. If you haven't, you may find yourself straining muscles that simply aren't ready to be used so rigorously. Pulled muscles will not only hamper the rest of your game, it may very well put you in the clubhouse for an extended period.
Some golfers say they use the warm up time as a chance to be alone and think about the upcoming game. Others say they make a game of warming up with partners and friends. Either way, save a bit of time to get yourself ready for the game. You'll play better, both for this game and for upcoming tee times