Showing up early (a half-hour to an hour before tee time) leaves golfers time to tune their swings and strokes before the game starts for real. In your golf-swing warm-up, you’re only going to hit some balls so you can build a feel and a rhythm for the upcoming round. You shouldn’t make any last-minute changes to your swing.


On the driving range, start with the wedge.

Focus on making contact with the ball. Nothing else. Try to turn your shoulders a little more with each shot. Hit about 20 balls without worrying about where they’re going. Just swing the club smoothly.


Move next to your midirons.

Consider using your 6-iron at this point. The 6-iron has just enough loft that you don’t have to work too hard at getting the ball flying forward. Again, hit about 20 balls.


Hit with the big stick (meaning your driver).

Hit no more than a dozen drives. Getting carried away with this club is easy. And when you go overboard, your swing can get a little quick.

You’re only warming up. Focus on your rhythm and timing — not on the ball.


Before you leave the range, hit a few more balls with your wedge.

You’re not looking for distance with this club, only smoothness. That’s a good thought to leave with.


On the practice putting green, hit a few short uphill putts of 2 to 3 feet, and then proceed to longer putts of 20 to 30 feet.

You need to get a feel for the pace of the greens.


Practice putting to opposite fringes to get the feeling of speed.

Focus on the pace rather than the direction.

You’re ready now — knock them all in!