Top 100 Teachers Confidential: The biggest mistakes golfers make while warming up

February 14, 2020

Most golfers warm up before they go to the golf course, but if you’re just going through the motions, you’re probably making some mistakes along the way. What’s the biggest mistake you’re probably making? Let’s ask a handful of GOLF Top 100 Teachers to see what they had to say …

Michael Hunt

One mistake? Let me give you three that I see all the time:

1) Rushing. People rush from their car to the course and onto the first tee. Take time to breathe. Take a deep breath through your nose and let it out through your mouth. This calms you, slows things down and allows you to focus.

2) No Visualization. When you wake up in the morning, play the first three holes in your head. Visualize the first hole and pull the club you are going to use. Visualize a balanced swing. Envision the ball going in the direction you want it. Play the entire hole, including putting. This can help to set the tone for the day.

3) Not enough lag putting. Practice putts from 30 to 50 feet. This distance is where recreational golfers three- and four-putt. Spend time working on lengthening your stroke with good tempo. Controlling your speed can really help lower your score on the course.

How to get a balanced, centered setup position to start your golf swing

Kellie Stenzel

The biggest mistake recreational golfers make before they tee off is that they don’t practice their pre-shot routine. A pre-shot routine, in case you’re not sure, is a specific order which usually includes a practice swing; grip and posture check; along with aiming and aligning your club and body.

The routine should be consistent in order to allow the golfer to set up successfully, and your practice swing should be as close as possible to your swing when you hit the ball. It’s an opportunity to put thoughts into a feel, enabling the golfer to not have to think when swinging.

A simple example of a straightforward routine might be to set the club behind your golf ball, aim your the clubface, then take your stance, bend forward from your hips to set your proper grip and adjust by stepping your feet until your hands hang below your shoulders. Practice that when you warm up, and you’ll have a better chance of bringing your game to the course.

Dale Abraham

Golfers simply don’t warm up properly. This includes not spending time on tempo and rhythm in their full swings, not establishing a ball flight and miss pattern for the day as well as not imagining playing the first four or five holes with their full pre-shot routine. They also often neglect the short game as part of their warmup. When you hit the range, make sure you spend time on all these things. Find your rhythm, understand your miss, and practice your pre-shot routine.

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