OAKMONT, Pa. -- I've always been obsessed with pre-round practice routines, perhaps because I've yet to find one I can call my own. So I'm going to follow four top-ranked players each day this week and study their pre-round routines. I caught up with Paula Creamer this morning, and here's how she prepared for her 7:44 tee time:
6:30: Steps out onto the practice green with three balls. Starts with 10-foot putts, and works up to 25-foot putts. Ends with 40-foot lags to various holes.
6:48__: Leaves the practice green.
6:50: Chips and pitches from just off a different practice green, located next to the driving range. Also hits a few shots from a greenside bunker.
6:59: Heads to the range.
7:00: On the range, loosens up by stretching with a club and making swings without a ball. Then starts hitting balls with short, slow pitch shots. After a few minutes, works her way up to full swings with a high-lofted club.
7:06: Places her wedge on the grass for an alignment aid and starts hitting full shots with a mid-lofted iron.
7:14: Grabs a fairway wood and starts pounding balls down the range.
7:20: Back to mid-lofted irons. Hits a few of those before grabbing another wood.
7:24: Hits four drives (just four!), aiming at various targets.
7:28: Walks off the range.
7:32: Putts with one ball to various holes on the practice green, located right next to the tenth tee.
7:38: Walks over to No. 10.
So there you have it. It'll be interesting to compare Paula's pre-round routine with the next three players I follow. Perhaps I'll adopt one of them as my own.