Pat McGowan’s Pre-Round Routine

Golfers often rush to the first tee and without a proper warm-up expect to play well.  It may happen occasionally, but most of the time you can expect a long day at the links.

If you want to perform well each time you play, you must take the time to warm-up.  I’m not talking about a long practice session.  So here’s a plan that will help you effectively prepare for your round when you only have 20-30 minutes before your tee time.

Get about 20 practice balls and head for the range.  Do a few long and slow stretches i.e. (club resting on neck and shoulders and do a full shoulder turn and hold).  Now, hit about a dozen wedge shots.  Some as short as 10 yards, all the way up to a full wedge.  All the while, swinging slowly (with good tempo) and taking a rhythmic practice swing between each shot.  Always have a target and use your pre-shot routine every time.  Now, hit a few mid-irons (6 or 7) and a couple of drives.  End this part of your warm-up by playing an imaginary 1st hole.  Select whatever club you’ll tee off with on your 1st hole, and then after playing this shot select the club you’ll play next and hit that “imaginary shot.”  This will help you with the transition from the driving range to the golf course.

Next, go to the putting green and (if possible) hit some chip shots.  Spend the last 5-10 minutes putting.  (After all, this is the most important club in your bag and it should get the bulk of your practice time.)  Practice your longer (lag putts) first and then end your session with several minutes on the short (2 to 4 foot) putts.  Make 3 short ones in a row before you’re done.  This way, you have a positive mind-set and you’re taking successful feed-back to the golf course.

Now as you head to the first tee you’re stretched-out, warmed-up, un-rushed and ready for an enjoyable round.

Follow this simple, yet effective routine and you’ll find yourself enjoying this great game more than you ever thought possible.

Make those putts!                  

All the best,                        

Pat McGowan


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