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The Best Pre-Round Stretching Routine is One Unique to You

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

Brad Marek stretches at the 2021 PGA Championship.

As much as we talk about golf being largely a mental game, it is obvious that your body plays the biggest role in the actual playing of the sport. With any sport comes the risk of injury. Golf is no different in that respect. The positions and movements we put our bodies through to find some sense of success while hitting a golf ball with a full swing, or even down to setting up to practice and groove our putting stroke, can lead to potential physical issues. Especially after years and years of playing the game.
With all that in mind, it is extremely important to incorporate fitness and stretching into your golf life. Building a strong body and one that is pliable enough to take on the necessary movements to hitting a golf ball well will not only lead to success with your game but will also extend the years you are able to play…and play without pain I might add.
In thinking about this topic, and others along these lines that we will touch on throughout February, I turned to my friend, two-time Golf Digest Top 50 Golf Fitness Instructor, Scott Shepard. Scott is the owner of Plane Performance, a golf specific fitness and rehabilitation company in Lake Mary, FL. Scott works closely as well with the Mike Bender Golf Academy, also in Lake Mary.
Scott pointed out early in our discussion, on what the make up of a good pre-round stretching routine would look like, that no routine should be seen as a cookie cutter one. “Its important to build your routine uniquely to you and your needs based on your body” Scott shared. That being said, Scott added that there are some basic things that all golfers should consider.
Scott's Suggestions…
  • Consider buying a Thera Gun. Before you even go to the course, use your Thera Gun to loosen up your quads, it bands, glutes, hamstring, low back, lateral hip, around your neck and through the chest wall. This is not necessarily stretching, but more body work for pre-round warm up. You are basically getting your body warmed up and the blood flowing. If you have a long ride to the golf course, you can do this again when you arrive.
  • Still while at home, use a foam roller to loosen up your mid back, shoulders, and open up your chest wall. Doing this will also help in getting some tension and rotation on your spine and get it loosened up prior to your round.
  • Continue to use the foam roller to help in getting your hips to get loose and opened up. The whole idea is to prep the body prior to the hours spent on the course moving these different areas of the body in ways you don’t normally.
  • While at the course, prior to the round and while on the range, start to think about the movements of the golf swing. Use a PVC pipe, a stretching pole, or even an alignment stick or club and begin to dynamically warm up, making movements as you would in the swing.
Before starting any stretching routine, or exercise program, consult with your doctor.