Four 15-minute warmup routines approved by low-handicappers
Running late for your round, but not so late that you need to rush to the first tee? Well don’t worry, because if you use your time correctly, 15 minutes can be all you need for an effective warmup. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer, about how to warm up in a hurry.
1. Quality, not quantity
Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): If you’re short on time, don’t panic! Hitting 20 balls on the range versus 10 won’t give you any real advantage once you get on the course. Instead, hit a few wedge shots, focusing on contact, and then hit an iron or two, and then rehearse the shot you’ll be hitting off the first tee. A rushed range session can lead to panic. A zen range warm-up, even if it’s 5 minutes, can put you in the right headspace to take on the real course. You can keep stretching (here’s an article to show you the best way to do that) as you go!
2. Speed control putting
Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.5 handicap): I couldn’t agree with Dylan more. But when I have a handful of minutes before my round, I head straight for the putting green. I take three golf balls, and I do the following:
From one end of of the putting green, I putt all the way to the fringe on the other end of the putting green. After that, I find a downhill putt between 30 and 50 feet, and hit three putts down the hill to a target (either the fringe, a hole or a golf tee) Then, I gather those golf balls and putt those three golf balls back up the hill to the same distance.
If I still have time, I’ll either do it again or begin hitting a few short putts. It’s not perfect, but it’s a quick way that I’ve found helps me dial-in my speed on lag putts in a hurry.
3. Go chipping
Josh Sens (2.5 handicap): When I was younger, I’d use that time to chip and putt. Mostly to chip, just so I could get the feel of club-on-ball contact. But now that I’m pushing toward my mid-50s, I spend that time stretching. Hip-loosening. Shoulder-limbering. And then a quick mental exercise, where I remind myself that this game is a helluva lot of fun and that I should treat it as such for the entire day. Swing without fear. Don’t focus on results. That attitude usually lasts at least a couple of holes.
4. A bit of everything
Zephyr Melton (6.5 handicap): Quick stretch, five wedges, three irons, two hybrids, five drivers and then roll a few lag putts to get a feel for the speed of the greens. I can’t remember the last time I warmed up for more than 15 minutes, honestly.