Do you warm up before you start full swings on the driving range? Or do you like to wing it without a plan? A proper warmup is key to avoiding injury and preparing to play your best golf. Here are my go-to warm up moves to get your body ready for a full-swing practice session or round.
The back-and-forth brush
Grab a pitching wedge and start swinging it back and forth, brushing the ground both ways. This move will help take out some tension in your body, and get you moving properly through the golf ball. I love this exercise because it takes the thinking out of the golf swing. After a few brushes in both directions, start to move into a fuller finish with balance.
The Babe Ruth
I call this exercise the “Babe Ruth” because it focuses on your arm extension — just like Ruth’s famous point to tell everyone exactly where he was going to hit his home run. To do this drill correctly, grab a 9-iron or pitching wedge and a few tees. Tee up a ball just off the ground to start, use a half backswing (I define this as left arm parallel to the ground and club at a 90-degree angle) and swing through the ball to a straight arm finish just below your chest.
The half swing
Now that you’ve hit the ground a few times with the long-arm feel of the “Babe Ruth,” you can start to bring the golf club back to you with your wrists on the follow-through side so your backswing and follow through almost mirror each other. I would again recommend the use of a 9-iron or pitching wedge for this drill. Try it with a tee first, and then work your way to striking the ground.
After running through this progression of drills, you’ll not only be ready for some full swings, but also better contact with the ball.
Sarah Stone, PGA, is the Director of Instruction at Chevy Chase Club in Maryland, and was recently named to GOLF’s 2021-22 Teachers to Watch list.