and generally warmed up with a bucket of balls nearly every day. Since that
time I find I can only play about once every 10-15 days, and often time is of
the essence. I warm up with the following routine, which is intended to both
preserve my aching back and my score. I generally try some side-to-side bends
and stretches, and definitely swing 2 long irons fairly easily. However, this
doesn't really do a good job of developing feel for a swing.
Rather than take a driver, or other wood, or even a long iron, I step up to the
1st tee with a 6 or 7 iron, take an easy, 3/4 swing and am usually rewarded
with 140-160 yards (depending on wind) down-the-middle. I then use the same
club and try to repeat the easy swing. At worst, on par fours, I'm left with a
short pitch or chip. On par 5s, I hit the 6 or 7, or shorter club if distance
dictates, a third time. On longer par 5s, again I'm left with a short pitch or
chip. Once on the green, with my playing group's permission (most of whom I've
just met since I always play as a single now), I take a few short practice
putts (away from the hole) of about 10 feet, and generally not anywhere near
the position of my marked ball. After everybody finishes the hole, and if
there is enough time and does not interfere with following groups, I might hit
one or two short chips and a few more putts just to enhance feel.
On the second hole, I repeat the short-stick routine. Usually by the time I
reach the third hole I'm usually ready to bring out longer irons or even woods.
I used to do this routine even when I could play more frequently and when I
carried a 10.5 index. Now I do this just to start the round in a good mood and
to try to avoid early-hole blow-ups. At the worst, I usually do no worse than
bogey this way. BTW, I know the putting routine is not legal (at least the
practice putts before I actually hole out), but I no longer post scores,
compete in tournaments, or play often enough to be really serious. I
definitely do not engage in betting.
I find that this routine makes sense to my fellow duffers and generally does
not offend anyone. I do it because I have a bad back and cannot take full cuts
until I am thoroughly warmed. The side benefit, of course, is that by taking
relaxed swings early, I set a nice tempo for all-out efforts later. At least
that's my theory *shrug*.
University of Alaska Anchorage