How many times have you began a round of golf stumbling out of the blocks, making double bogeys or worse on the first few holes? "I can't find my swing," you say.
Trust me, your swing is there. You've been swinging the club the same way for a long time. The problem is sometimes, particularly at the start of a round, you can't get your body to do it. The golf swing is produced by a sophisticated and coordinated sequence of body movements. Unless you prime your muscles before the round starts to make those movements happen in a synchronized and fluid fashion, you're going to struggle to hit the good shots you're accustomed to hitting. Try as it might, the mind can't override a body's inadequacies.
If you want to avoid a bad start, try activating the key muscles needed to make a swing that is functional and in sync. That doesn't mean performing a series of long-hold stretches to get limber. I believe long-hold stretches actually hinder your muscles from contracting quickly during an athletic movement. Instead, warm-up your muscles with a series of golf-related exercises that keep them pliable, but primed for action.
To see some pre-round exercises that I think will help you sync your swing, click on the video below. Remember to do them in both directions, when applicable, and never hold a stretched position for more than a couple of seconds. Now go make some birdies.
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest.*
(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)