This has been a particularly brutal winter, especially for golfers in the Pacific Northwest. That means most of us haven’t been out on the course and are likely NOT in golf shape. I’m here to issue a word of warning: get ready before heading out and trying to hit 300-yard drives.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’m writing this week’s feature after hurting myself on the course just last weekend. Actually, the thought of trying to swing a club right now is a little terrifying. How did I let this happen? Just like any weekend warrior.
With a break in the rainy weather forecast for Saturday, I spent a full week anticipating a chance to hit my new Cobra F7 driver and visualizing how I’d navigate my way around the course. After hitting half a dozen balls and a few quick putts, I last less than two holes. It was a drive on the second hole that left me immobilized with pain in my back.
Diagnosis: dislocated rib. Ouch.
Pathetic, right? The doctor chalked it up to being out of golf shape. He did, however, have some good advice for ANYONE looking to knock the dust and the rust off their golf game this spring.
1. Warmup your muscles before your practice or play. This could include doing some rows on a machine, pulling against an exercise band (pictured at right), or even taking the time to get in a few jumping jacks and pushups. Don’t worry, you don’t need to work up a sweat.
2. Stretch your upper and lower back and your hamstrings. Roll your neck, hang from a pullup bar, and reach down to touch your toes. Engage your muscles and get them ready to twist and pull.
3. Visit the range. Swinging the big stick on the first hole shouldn’t be the first time you’ve made a full swing that day. Start with a wedge and work your way up to the longer clubs.
Now here’s something I wouldn’t have thought of: stretch and warm down after your round. It sounds crazy, but working your muscles after a round of golf will get the ready for the next time you go out.
Finally, if you’re thinking about getting playing a round and it’s been a while since you last played, make sure you work your way up to going after the ball. Visit the range during the week, build your stretching routine, and practice your swing without a club.
That was a lot to think about, I know. I felt the same way. But starting next week, we’ll introduce our new strength and agility coach with a new set of videos to help you get your body ready for a LONG golf season!