So you’re ready for your weekly round of golf, let’s run through your check list before you tee off:

Hit the range
Complete some putting practice
Chip a few balls 
Clean your clubs
Turn your phone off so your boss doesn’t call

So what key ingredients of preparation are missing that could save you some strokes?

Research conducted by Dr. Ben Langdown and Wells (2008) together with Sean Graham and Dr Matt Bridge (2008) has shown that compared to just turning up to a range and hitting golf balls, a specific dynamic or even resistance based warm-up can significantly improve performance.

Participants: 24 players were tested under 3 different conditions and data was recorded using a launch monitor.

Control Group (no warm up): Participants were instructed to do 20 drives to warm up before being tested on 10 drives. No stretching was performed.

Experimental Group 1(dynamic warm up): Participants conducted 5 simple exercises to mobilise and activate the muscles used in the golf swing before being recorded on the launch monitor. This included movements such as Overhead Squats, Open and Close the Gate drills and Clock Lunges.


Experimental Group 2 (Resistance Band Warm-up):
Using a mini-band and a theraband, golfers performed 5 simple resistance exercises prior to hitting 10 drives to be assessed on performance. The stretches/activations included were Crab walks, speed skaters and shoulder blade retractions.

Results: The results speak volumes. All keen golfers are aware of the importance of club head speed. These numbers translate into carry distance. 

Results of Club Head Speed (mph)
20 drives – 102.39
Dynamic stretching – 103.83 (1.4% increase)
Resistance band – 104.02 (1.6% increase)

Results of Carry (meters)
20 drives – 222.72
Dynamic Stretching – 226.72 (1.8% increase)
Resistance band – 227.97 (2.4% increase)


Protocol:

The following 4 stretches/activations may just help you carry that bunker on the 4th, reach the green in two on the 11th or carry the water on the last. 

Not to mention how much better you will feel and recover from the game.


Crab walks

With a mini band around your legs, below or above your knees, walk side to side, keeping feet shoulder width distance apart. Move 5 steps to the left, then 5 steps to the right, repeat 2 times.

Glute bridges

Laying on the floor, keep band around bottom of your knees, feet flat on ground and knees up, try and have your feet as close to your body as possible, draw belly button down, squeeze glutes then lift your hips up and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat this 10 times, twice.

Scapular activation

With a theraband, hold band at eye level, and pull band apart, repeat 10 times, twice

Speed skaters / X walks

Similar to the crab walks, have the band just below knees, and have feet shoulder width apart. Walking forward, move foot to centre then smoothly out again, as if you are roller blading or ice skating. Take 5 steps each side forwards, then the same backwards.
Mark Gledhill
Golf Performance Manger
Strength and Conditioning Coach
TrainingwithMates_Golf.