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Okay, so I get a chance to sneak out (as a single) for 18 before a large number of foursomes. Of course the Marshall says, "but you gotta' go off right now". Great, no warm up. So naturally I had a horrendous first five holes because I had no swing rhythm. Anyone with advice on how to start off (without a warm-up) and avoid the perils of latent swing rhythm?
Oh I know the feeling. I'm often going trunk to tee. My suggestion is (if you can)- take (3-5) easy rhythmic swings while visualizing your best tee shot, then two full practice swings at nearly 100%, and then just relax and try to hit one at 75%. It's no big deal if you lose a little distance to find the fairway.
I'd also suggest avoiding a club you struggle with. For instance, I absolutely stripe my hybrid, but my 3 and 1 wood can be a little shaky. I get my hybrid out there about 210, and honestly I'd rather hit that from the tee and then again from the fairway if I haven't had a time to warm up. It's better than having to dig a ball out of the rough for your second shot of the day, or even worse, having to dig a new ball out of the bag.
After you finish the 1st hole, you'll probably have some time to warm up a bit more. I roll a few putts on the green while the foursome behind me is catching up to their tee shots. Usually by the 2nd or third hole I'm in the groove.
Another cool thing is the birdie ball. It's like a whiffle ball but way better. It actually curves and flies like a golf ball, but it carries less distance. You could always crack a few of those out there, and then hit your tee shot. They don't go more than 40-50 yards with a full 7 iron, and you'll know when you hit them well.
A quick warm up I find to be helpful is to grab your driver, make a full backswing and hold it a second or two, then make a full follow through and hold it for a second or two ... it isn't perfect, but it does help a bit with stretching.
I find that if I can't warm up properly, I can take my 6 and 7 irons and make 8 or 9 75% swings. This gets me pretty loose fairly quickly.
Thanks Josh, I'll keep these tips in mind.
Hey Paul, thanks this is a good idea...will definitely give it a try.
I, too, have often gone straight from the trunk to the tee. Stretching usually helps, as does chipping around the 1st green or rolling a few extra putts, both if time permits without holding up other players. I use the cart--if using one--to stretch out my upper back and legs, rock from side to side, and stretch out my inner legs on both sides. Taking easier swings is also of prime importance. Your body is just not ready for all out moves through the ball if you haven't warmed up at all. I try to use amore club and swing easy, keep the ball in play, and avoid big numbers on the first couple of holes. Then you can pick up the pace and swing speed as you loosen over the next few holes.
Jumping onto the box ice cold is how I end up playing more than half the time, unfortunately. Even 1-2 minutes of dynamic stretching (swinging a club & getting my heart rate up) makes a world of difference. I always walk, and usually by the time I've walked through the first hole I'm pretty good to go.
FWIW....Swinging a weighted club throws me off and seems to do more harm than good.
On those occasions when I have to go straight to the first tee I do a few simple stretches (back, shoulders and forearms/wrists) and then a few easy swings with my 54 and 58 degree wedges (exaggerate backswing and follow through for stretching). Swinging my wedges together also produces a nice rhythmic swing (can't swing as fast with all the added weight). Overall, it takes about five minutes and it really helps me with loosing up and producing a fairly rhythmic swing to start.
What I do is go to the park near my house with a 58* wedge and do half and full swing pitches and then full golf swings. Takes about 10 minutes. Then I head to the course. What is nice about this is you can go out at 0 dark 30 if the park has floodlights on.
I found that hitting a bucket of balls before a round can sometimes do more harm than good.
I have a net in my garage and a huge hitting mat I picked up from an Edwin Watts store closing. I always try to hit a few balls in the garage in case I don't have time to warm up.
Play for par. Consider the fact that you probably wont birdie the first three and play irons/hybrids off the box. make conservative decisions. after about three you should be warmed up and can play the rest of the round normal. Josh had alot of great advice i cant really add much.
cheers greens and fairways to all
I have that happen a lot since I play as a single walk on. I avoid the driver off the first few tee's and use my hybrids a lot.