If you’re a seasoned golfer, you probably have painful memories of that time you forgot the sunscreen or when you made those embarrassing putts.
We all make mistakes.
But what about the mistakes we make more than once…the ones we don’t even realize we’re making?
Some of the worst golf swing mistakes are the ones that no one is even talking about!
At our Fort Myers Florida Physical Therapy clinic, Sports physical therapist Dr. James Porco, has helped golfers of all levels (including PGA pros), shares a list of five common golf mistakes and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Skipping the Warmup
Just like any other sport, you need to warm up your muscles first if you want to have a perfect, pain-free golf swing.
Even if you’re just going out to practice, you should warm up your body for at least ten minutes by walking, stretching, and practicing swings.
The warmup will help increase your range of motion and prevent you from sustaining a golf injury such as lower back pain or rotator cuff irritation.
A proper warm up is especially important on game day. If you’re hoping to have your best performance to-date, follow this pre-game warmup routine:
Arrive to the course at least an hour before the game so that you are not rushing to warm up or use the bathroom before the game.
Practice Your Putts (But Don’t Use the Holes!)
The putts are the area where most golfers fumble under the pressure.
Gain pre-game confidence and fall into a smooth rhythm early by practicing your putts as soon as you arrive at the course.
Just don’t putt into the holes. Nobody wants to see their ball miss the hole before the game.
Instead, aim the ball at a small marker such as a tee or a coin. Not only will this get you focused, but it will make the larger holes feel like a breeze during the game.
Photo by Mick De Paola on Unsplash
Spend about ten minutes putting to the small marker from different angles. Start about 20-40 feet away and work your way down to about 3 feet away.
Then, spend a few minutes simply practicing 6-inch putts uphill. This will give you pre-game confidence as you visualize the ball going into the hole each time.
Test Out the Course
Getting a good feel for the course before the game will give you an idea of how the ball rolls on different parts of the course, such as the hard and soft greens.
Practice putting for about 10 minutes around the green, aiming to a small marker again rather than the hole.
This will save you the guesswork of finding the best greenside shots during the game.
If you had to only choose one part of the warmup routine, stretching would likely provide the greatest benefits.
When its time to swing, you want to have a full range of motion. Stretching will loosen and warm up your muscles to prepare you perfect swings.
Practice Short Wedge Shots
Practicing a few minutes of wedge shots will help you gain the coordination and balance for a smooth golf swing.
Perform a few minutes of both smooth, short wedge shots and full, slow motion swings.
Don’t Stand Around
Standing around for a long period of time before the game makes the warmup meaningless. You should not stand around for more than a few minutes before the game begins.
Continue to do dynamic stretches to keep your body loose and ready for a great swing.
Mistake #2: Not Lifting Weights
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
There’s a common fear among golfers that lifting weights will make them bulky/immobile.
Not only is this fear TOTALLY FALSE, but not lifting weights means you’re missing out on one of the best ways to improve your swing!
Take note from some of the best and most famous golfers in the world: Rory Mcllory, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods…all of them have a workout routine that includes aerobic fitness, stretching, mobility exercises, and WEIGHTLIFTING!
Some of the best weightlifting exercises for golf, as practiced by the world’s top golfers, include:
- Deadlifts: There’s no better way to strengthen all of the muscles involved in a golf swing than with a basic deadlift. Some of the best pro golfers perform deadlifts to improve the power of their swing, their grip, and their posture.
- Dumbbell or Bodyweight Lunges: If you’ve ever stepped out of a swing, this one’s for you. Dumbbell or bodyweight lunges work the stabilizing muscles in your ankles, calves, quads, glutes, core, and shoulders.