10 ways to warm up like a Tour pro, according to a Top 100 Teacher

Tiger Woods warms up before the first round of the PNC Championship.

A well-planned out warm-up is essential to playing your best.

Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Having a plan for your pre-round warm-up is important to playing your best. Some warm-ups can be as quick as 15 minutes and others can be longer than an hour, but they all need to be efficient and work toward specific goals.

Here are 10 ways to warm up like a Tour pro.

1. Loosen up  

You want to make sure you are loose enough to swing and be able to move without creating injury. Some basic stretches and practice swings are a great idea to make sure you are ready to swing the club.

2. Start small

Grab one of your most lofted clubs, like your sand or gap wedge and start with some smaller swings to make solid contact and give your body a chance to get moving with a smaller motion. I like to do these initial smaller shots with a club that has bounce so the club glides when it hits the ground and does not dig or get stuck. 

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3. Solid Contact First

Your initial goal should be to have good solid contact as you warm up. If you need to stick with smaller swings for a bit longer to get good contact then you should.  Build confidence and success in your warm-up by beginning with achievable goals like smaller swings and shorter clubs.

4. Adjust for ball flight issues

Every day on the course is different. One of the most important things that you can do is to make adjustments to improve your ball flight. We all have our own mistakes and habits and if we learn how to adjust for the particular miss, you can correct it yourself in your warm-up. An example of this might be slight grip adjustments: If your ball tends to slice, it is often an incorrect grip position. If you know to turn one or both of your hands away from the target and then hold the club, this will minimize slice tendencies.   

5. Hit all families of clubs

Once you are hitting relatively good shots and taking a full swing, ideally you want to hit all of your families of clubs. Include a short-iron, mid-iron, long-iron — if you have one — a hybrid, a fairway wood and then your driver.  You do not need to hit all of your clubs but if you hit at least one in each family, you will have greater confidence when you are on the course.

6. Drivers

Hitting several drivers can help to build confidence for the first tee. Your driver also requires some swing speed so by the time you get to it, hopefully, you are loose and confident as you have worked your way through your bag.

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7. Short Game Shots

You can warm up your pitch and chip shots on the range by mixing them in as you go.  Be sure to hit both shots so that when you do have to hit them on the course you have the positive feedback that you have done it.

Once again, start with good solid contact as your initial goal and then you can work your way through your bag.

8. Read the Wind

Your range time can also give you a chance to gauge the wind and how much it impacts your ball flight.   

As you hit your more lofted clubs note the wind’s effect so you know how much to adjust alignment or club selection. The higher you hit the ball the more you need to react to the wind.

9. Putt

Putting before the course is really important to have a feel for the speed of the greens.  Roll medium to longer putts with the goal in mind to get your first putt close enough to tap in your next. Knowing the speed of the greens will take out the guesswork on the first green.

10. Be Prepared on the First Tee

Beyond your physical preparation for your round, you need to make sure you are arriving at the first tee with all the things you might need. Be stocked with balls, tees, gloves, ball markers and any food or drink you might need. Planning to arrive a bit early with all you need will help you to be calm and execute to the best of your ability.

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