Golf Digest editors picks
Lesson Tee

How To Warm Up Your Confidence

It's just as important as getting your body ready

May 2010

Pros play mind games with themselves, and I'm no exception. After I stretch and warm up my body, I start my pre-round practice with a long club rather than a wedge. The 3-iron is about the hardest club in the bag for me to hit, so I swing it first, at a moderate speed.

If I flub a shot or two, well, no big deal. It's supposed to be a more difficult club. But if I hit it dead flush right off the bat, my confidence is heightened. I think, I've got it today!

There's also a physical aspect. Swinging a longer club a few times creates my rhythm for the day. My swing is stretched out. Most people take a short club first and make abbreviated swings.

I use the same approach on the putting green. I like to hit long putts first and end with short ones. The long putts free up my stroke and give me a better sense for the pace of the greens that day.

Tom Watson is a Golf Digest Playing Editor and the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

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