Proper mental and physical preparation is important prior to the start of any season, no matter how competitive or casual; for a sport such as golf though it is of upmost importance. After a long winter those first couple rounds can cause a variety of aches and pains if you do not prepare properly. Regardless of how you spent your winter (sitting on the couch crossing days off until the tee boxes are ready or at the gym everyday telling yourself that this is the year you lower your handicap) you will be stretching and using muscles that are seldom used in even vigorous workout routines. And if you don’t prepare properly your first round, maybe be your last for awhile.
Here are a few pointers to help make sure your golf season lasts more than one shanked drive:
- Hit up a Driving Range – Start the season off slow, focus on technique, don’t worry about power or ball placement. Strike the ball, going through a full range. Slowly increase your club speed.
- Hydrate Properly – Even before you get in your car to go to the course drink a bottle of water and keep one on you the whole time you’re out there. Most golfers have no problem drinking during their round, but make sure you have some water too. Most injuries are related to dehydration.
- Drop the Spare Tire – Carrying even 5lbs extra around your waist adds a great deal of unneeded pressure to your muscles as it tried to develop power through your swing. Don’t let the John Daly approach fool you, that extra fat will not help your power as much as some strength training.
- Exercise with a ‘Twist’ – If you currently have a workout routine make sure to incorporate twisting with your regular exercises. Regular exercise take place in one ‘plane’ which is straight ahead; however, golf requires your power to be developed with rotation, which is in 3 planes.
Before any session at the course use these tips to help warm up and get prepared:
- Warm Up Your Muscles – High Knees on the Spot (2 Min) – Lunge Walk (30 ft) – Arm Circles (30 sec in each direction) – Neck Circles (15 secs each direction) – Torso Rotations (30 secs) – Wrist Rotations Holding Your Club (30 sec each direction)
- Get Functional – Lunge Walk and rotate opposite shoulder to front knee while holding your club behind your head - Bent Over Torso Rotations holding your club behind your head
- Take Some Practice Swings – Start with no club, but focus on your technique, even close your eyes and imagine striking the ball perfectly down the fairway – Then grab a club and practice perfect swings with no ball, again focus on each aspect of a perfect swing and use imagery to imagine hitting the ball and it going wherever you want it to.
Hope that helps with achieving your golfing goals whatever they may be;
Joey Garland, CAT(C)
Athletic Therapist - Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club
Owner/Trainer – Power Play Fitness