Flashback Jack: Three tips from the Bear for a quick and effective warm-up routine

January 8, 2020
Jack Nicklaus Warm-Up

Everybody has a pre-round warm-up routine, whether it’s banging a bucket of balls on the range or working in a quick stretch. But as we reach the age of 90-minute warm-ups for tour pros, this archival video from Jack Nicklaus underscores the effectiveness of a simple routine.

The Bear’s three-step approach to warming up is simple and will have you ready for your round in the span of just a couple of minutes.

1. Swing Loosely: Jack’s first step to warming up is one you probably follow, too: taking a loose, easy swing.

“When I get to the golf course the very first thing I do is swing very loosely,” Nicklaus says. “I’m not trying to create any tension.”

The hope is that taking a swing without much torque will help awaken the muscles and tendons while stimulating blood flow for the remainder of the warm-up.

2. Rotate Your Back: The focal point for a lightning-quick warm-up? Your back. It’s estimated as many as a third of all amateur players (34 percent) will suffer some sort of lower back injury caused by playing golf, so making sure those muscles are loose is critical.

3. Lightly Swing a Pitching Wedge: The Bear uses one of his shortest clubs for the final portion of his routine, hitting several light shots with his pitching wedge. So, why not rip driver? Nicklaus says it’s about injury prevention.

“Then I go to hitting golf balls, starting out very loosely hitting a pitching wedge, very lightly,” he said. “(Making) sure that the first few shots that I hit I’m not going to hurt myself.”

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