They say the warm up is essential in any sport, but few golfers actually take the time to warm up properly before a round. According to the 2011 article in Men’s Health, the pros “stretch, practice putting for 30 minutes, warm up hitting for 35 minutes, then pitch, chip, and hit sand shots for 10 minutes, then putt again for 10 minutes.” Practice is fairly self-explanatory once you know what you’re doing, but good stretches may not be as intuitive.
First off, give yourself plenty of time to do the stretches by heading to the course well before your tee time. This will keep you relaxed and tamp down on the temptation to skimp on the necessary pre-round routine. Take it slowly and gently, especially if any of your joints or muscles are tender.
Trainer Mike Pedersen, who looks like he knows what he’s talking about, lays out why it’s important to warm up, and demonstrates three simple exercises to get you ready to golf: squats, bend-and-twist, and a stretch that mimics a good golf swing.
Pedersen also demonstrates a number of stretches that isolate the lower back. Back problems are the most common injuries among golfers, so these stretches could come in handy.
The Mayo Clinic offers a slide show featuring stretches to help improve the fluidity of your swing. Doing all these stretches will work all the major muscle and joint groups commonly used when golfing.
This finger-and-wrist flexor stretch helps alleviate golfer’s and tennis elbow, known in medical circles as medial and lateral epicondylitis, respectively. You can also place your hand flat against a wall if stiffness makes it difficult to extend in the correct manner. Fitness instructor Heather Lawrence also demonstrates a stretch specifically for tennis elbow.
A good series of wrist stretches.
And some stretches specifically targeting the shoulders.