Many of our students don’t practice enough, but then again, that can apply to many of us as well.  An average golfer may rush from his car to the course.  They might take 20 minutes to warm up prior to teeing off; typically, they will hit some shots, maybe putt a few balls, then off to the tee.  It is important to teach our students how to properly warm up for a round of golf, especially when they are rushed for time. To me, it is more important to have a good feeling regarding your short game versus the long game.  Too many players think they need to hit a lot of drivers on the range, because that is the club they will most likely use off the first tee.  We all know that everyone misses greens and the importance of having a good short game, but too often, our students don’t spend the time getting their “feel” ready for the round. I recommend my students embrace a pre-round routine that takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and will help them score better.  To begin, I have them put four tees in a cross shape around a cup on the practice putting green from about three feet.  They putt from each tee.  This will give them a right-to-left putt, left-to-right putt, uphill putt and downhill putt.  I have them go through this drill five times.  They now have confidence to knock down the first three-footer of the day. Next, I have them move their balls back to approximately 30 feet from the hole, keeping the tees in the same position from the previous drill.  They will then putt from this distance, trying to get each ball within the three-foot circle, all the while working on pace.  Getting their speed down for the round will help eliminate three-putts and help lower their score.  After lag putting, they move just off the green and practice chip shots, again to the same cup with the tees, and all the while continuing to focus on feel and speed. The last portion of the warm-up is to move back far enough to hit some pitch shots, again to the same hole.  The student has now worked on short putts, lag putting, chip shots and pitch shots.  They should have a great feel for their short game and the pace of the greens. This quick pre-round routine will help your students to get into the “scoring” mindset versus the “mechanical” mindset.  They won’t worry as much about poorly struck golf shots, because they know their short game is sharp.  I hope your students will enjoy this pre-round routine as much as mine do.
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