What are your thoughts on hitting a bucket of balls before a round of golf? I have always hit range balls, but two of the guys in my regular foursome like to just show up and tee off. Is there any evidence that practicing before you golf helps you score better?
I’ve been all over the map on this one. I’ve teed off cold, hit two or three buckets of balls before a round, and everything in between. I have finally come to the conclusion that just hitting a few balls to loosen up before a round of golf is the best approach for me. I’m just trying to get loose and be relaxed enough to have a smooth and easy golf swing.
Any evidence? Guess what? Golf Digest tested 157 (July 2005) amateurs and found that a warm up session on the driving range did improve the chances of a good first tee shot, but it didn’t help golfers much as far as their 18 hole score.
So should you or shouldn’t you? Well, I don’t always agree with the experts, as my handicap will attest to. But my experience is that for most of us “rank amateurs”, if the first tee shot goes well, we have at least a 50/50 shot of having a decent round. I like those odds, so I start my golf round with a few warmup shots. Rather than hitting all the golf clubs in my bag, I usually hit 3-4 shots with a wedge, 2-3 with a 7 iron and then a couple each with the 3 wood and the Driver. I then pitch a few around the practice green and hit a 4-5 putts. This seems to work for me.
I always stretch thoroughly before I hit balls and swing a weighted golf club between practice swings. The entire process to loosen up takes about 15-20 minutes. My advice for each golfer is to find the amount of time it takes for you to get loose and relaxed, but my thought is this, less is more when it comes to warming up for golf.