How to Warm Up Your Golf Swing before a Game

By Gary McCord

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.

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1On 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.

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2Move 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.

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3Hit 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.

4Before 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.

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5On 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.

6Practice putting to opposite fringes to get the feeling of speed.

Focus on the pace rather than the direction.