We don’t always need to prepare like the pros but to make the most of our rounds, it’s important we feel comfortable standing over that all-important opening tee shot.
And after Golfmagic met Rhys Davies at Royal Porthcawl two weeks ago, it was apparent he dedicates as much time to his pre-round routine as he does his golf game. Then again, with a putting stroke like that, who could blame him?
Here’s some timely advice from the Welshman for those considering their own pre-round routine…
“Getting the body ready to perform is vital before I begin, so I make sure I’m at the course a full two hours before my tee time,” begins the 26-year-old.
“It’s extremely important I do specific exercises 15 to 20 minutes before my round. But there’s no point pushing myself over the limit.
“I carry a stretching pole with me and that helps with what I call explosive motions to fire the muscles. Remember, though you might be strong, if you’re only swinging at a slow pace then you’re not creating any club head speed.”
Two hours before tee time
Rhys: “I’ll have a leisurely breakfast, followed by half an hour or so of stretching and explosive exercises with my stretching pole.”
Golfmagic: Still in bed
Hour before tee time:
Rhys: “I then stroll to the practice range for 35 minutes, before moving on to the putting green for 20 minutes. This leaves me five minutes to calm down.”
Golfmagic: Just pouring corn flakes into the bowl
Five minutes before tee time:
Rhys: “I’ll arrive on the first tee, sort out fruit and water, meet playing partners and chat to the starter Ivor Robson before, hopefully, striping one down the middle!”
Golfmagic: Races into car park, ties shoes next to car boot, wrestles with clubs onto trolley, rushes into pro shop to grab chocolate and drinks, forgets pencil, and then runs to first tee.
Here are four dynamic stretches Rhys strongly recommends we try before our next round to increase our range of motion and ultimately lower our handicaps.
Supported squats: This exercise helps elevate your heart rate and increases blood flow to the major muscle groups. Hold an iron overhead with hands at either end. Arms should be fully stretched directly above you. Squat down until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground and stand up. Repeat ten times.
Side bends with golf club: Stand with a shoulder-width stance. Place a club on your shoulders and lean to one side, keeping your torso straight. Hold for a count of two and then repeat ten times on both sides.
Standing shoulder stretch: Stand with a shoulder-width stance and place both hands on the end of the club. Then lean forward keeping your back flat until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Hold for ten seconds and relax.
Full swing stretch: Try to complete two to three minutes of practice swings; working on any techniques or swing thoughts you may have been given. Don’t over compensate, just try and sharpen your swing and remind yourself of goals you’re trying to achieve. Avoid walking to the tee out of breath, as this will compromise your ability to control your swing.
Concludes Davies: “You could also try this stretch using a golf stretching pole, like the one I use, where you stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart and knees flexed. Hold your arms out in front and place bottom of the pole where the ball is teed up, before turning into your full swing position.”