It took a while for Jordan Spieth to get things going at the John Deere Classic.
Spieth was even par through 22 holes and was on the wrong side of the cut line. He admitted that he struggled through a "rusty round" with his even-par 71 on Day 1, and made par on his first four holes on Friday. Of course, it's hard to keep a golfer of Spieth's caliber down for too long so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he then went to card a birdie on four of his next six holes, then followed that up with an eagle to move into the top 10.
The scary part of Spieth's start is that it shows just how powerful of an enemy that rust is. If it can happen to Spieth, it can happen to you. Maybe it already has.
In the case that you find yourself not touching your clubs for a while, what's your best shot at getting your game back up to speed as quickly as possible? We reached out to PGA Professional David P. Grier at Yinglings Golf Center to get some tips for your warm-up to help you knock off the rust quickly.
Of course, doing these won't guarantee instant success -- "It all depends on the student and on the situation," Grier said -- but following this advice should help get you primed for your next round after a layoff.
1. Start with pitch shots. These shots will help make the difference between having a short putt for birdie and having to double- or triple-putt for bogey or worse. Grier recommends hitting as many of these shots as possible before your round. "These shots will lengthen your backswing and build to your fulll swing," Grier said. "... If you can't pitch, you can't play."
2. Get in a lot of stretching. After taking some time off, your body will probably not be used to all the motions that are needed for a complete golf swing. Stretching will get you loose and limber for your round, regardless of how much time you've taken off. "You'll need to get your body in shape for more golf," Grier said.
3. Make sure your short game is ready to go. If you have your pitch shots working well, you'll need to make sure you are able to make the putts to keep your score low. Grier also recommended this since working on this area, as well as pitch shots, will help you transition into full swings. "This should be part of your standard warm-up as well," Grier said.