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warmup

This tour pro’s pre-round 'progression' will upgrade your warmups

March 05, 2024
2044759712

Yong Teck Lim

You’re probably comfortable with the concept of warming up: You don’t want your first swing of the day to be on the first tee box. Makes sense. But the actual execution of a proper warmup eludes many golfers. Instead of hitting a few random shots with whichever club happens to catch your eye, try following LPGA Tour player Lily He’s simple strategy.

1. Start small

“Beginning with my 54 degree wedge, I hit shots from 30 to 80 yards. Five shots per ten yard increments,” He said. She uses a Uneekor launch monitor to ensure she’s hitting each shot the correct distance. “From there, I hit a few pitching wedges, some mid and long-irons, followed by a few hybrids, 3 woods, and finally the driver.”

Erika Larkin, Top 50 Teacher in America, says that starting with the wedges is a great idea for amateurs, too.

“By starting with the wedges, people will be more inclined to take some shorter swings,” Larkin says. “This helps them find their rhythm and get some good turf interaction with some shorter swings which helps to build confidence.”

2. Beware the injury zone

After the wedges, He moves up through the bag in order, allowing the body to make longer and longer swings. Larkin says this sets up a natural progression for the body, increasing the range of motion slowly, which helps the body warm up more effectively.

If you were to start with a longer club, like a fairway wood, your body wouldn’t be ready for that big of a swing immediately. In a worst-case scenario, that could result in a pulled muscle. On a more nuanced level, Larkin says the weight of a fairway wood or driver can make your swing feel off and hurt your confidence during your warmup.

“Wedges tend to have a little bit more head weight -- swing weight we call it. It gives a good feel for swinging the weight of the club, rhythm, timing and feeling the club connection with the ball,” Larkin says. These are all things you want to feel during the first couple of swings of your warmup.

2. The 'overswing' issue

“As you get into longer clubs, especially woods, there's not as much of that head-weight feel and sometimes it's easier to just get into over swinging and muscle it,” Larkin says. Overswinging and muscling it are not the feelings you want at the beginning of your warmup.

"It’s nice to start with clubs that give you that sense of timing, rhythm and balanced turf interaction,” Larkin says.

Start your warmup with all of that, and you’ll go into the rest of your round with confidence.