Warm up for a better round

WE’VE all done it. Roared into the car park, picked our clubs out of the bag, walked briskly to the pro shop, picked up a Mars Bar (other confectionary bars are available!), and scorecard, and headed towards the first tee.

WE’VE all done it.

Roared into the car park, picked our clubs out of the bag, walked briskly to the pro shop, picked up a Mars Bar (other confectionary bars are available!), and scorecard, and headed towards the first tee.

After fumbling around for tees, balls and gloves, we’re ready – but for what?

Come on, what sort of preparation is that?


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Basically, it’s no preparation – and then we expect to smack the ball 200 yards straight down the middle of the fairway.

Improving your handicap doesn’t have to involve hours upon hours of warm-ups.

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And let’s be honest, while doing a few stretches, hitting balls on the range/net, or practising a few putts isn’t very sexy, why not do it?

Admittedly, you will find some golfers on the putting green, but you’ll find many more less on the range or in the nets, and hardly any actually bothering to have a stretch.

Yet did you know our young Academy golfers, from nine years old, are taught all about stretching and preparing to play. Coaching has moved on.

So, if children as young as nine think it’s good practice to warm up and maybe hit a few balls – shouldn’t we?

I caught up with Waldringfield’s assistant Touring professional, Warren Goddard this week.

He admitted heading straight for the first tee is not the way to enjoy golf.

“If I was a club golfer I would certainly do a few stretches before a game,” he said.

“I’d go on the driving range, hit say half-a-dozen-ten balls, have a putt. I’d turn up at least half-an-hour before my tee time.”

Warren is right and it sounds so simple, but do we bother?

“Most golfers just turn up, grab a scorecard and head to the first tee,” adds Warren.

“But that actually makes their game more stressful than taking a bit of time to warm-up.”

Wise words.

Warren is just returning to action after knee ligament damage which has seen him out of action for six weeks.

He has yet to do his PGA qualifications, but admits he would rather play right now than spend time studying for his PGA.

“I’ll be starting my PGA studies later this year,” said the 25-year-old former Northgate High School pupil, from Ipswich.

“But at the moment I enjoy playing and once the studies start, it does stop you playing as much.

“I’d love to be on a top Tour in 10 years’ time. At the moment I’m on the TP Tour in England. It’s good competition and there are lots of tournaments.”

Warren is clearly determined to give himself every opportunity to succeed as a player, as well as a coach, and good for him I say.

One thing I have picked up talking to many assistant professionals around the region is the fact many of them have to put studies before playing if they want to pass their PGA qualifications.

That can’t be right.

The reason they are professional golfers is because they can play!

And they should enjoy that feeling.

Anyhow, I’ve digressed.

Back to those stretches.

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