18 Aug 2022

OPINION: Effective warm-up essential before your round of golf - David Clancy

Shane Lowry

2019 Open champion Shane Lowry

A spectator-less TPC Harding Park in San Francisco is hosting the PGA Championship this weekend.

This is the first golf major in an extraordinary year of cancellations and delays of other ‘major’ sporting events – no pun intended.

The Open, won last year by Clara-man Shane Lowry was cancelled. The Masters of Augusta was delayed. This is the first time this calendar year when the world’s best can add a major championship trophy to their collection  .  .  .  382 days in fact.

The absence of fans will give a different feel to play at TPC Harding Park, the first course on the west coast of the United States to host the PGA Championship since 1998. What effect that will have on players that feed of the energy of the crowd will be very intriguing to bear witness to.

Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship in back-to-back years, 2018-2019 - will he be able to defend his title against a strong list of competitors? Current world number one Justin Thomas is playing great golf now. The Spaniard Jon Rahm will challenge.

Can Rory win a major again after a long drought? Will the beefed-up Bryson DeChambeau stake a place to win? - Or the European Ryder Cup fan favourite Tommy Fleetwood? A certain Stanford alum will attract attention too - Tiger Woods is going after his record-setting 83rd PGA tour victory, and 16th major.

It will be interesting to see how Tigers’ back holds up. Tiger winning the green jacket in Augusta National last year was an amazing feat of physical and mental resiliency. Everyone has read about the surgeries and his back saga.

Rory McIlroy has spoken about how his personal gym regime focusing around strength development, mobility, prehab and activation is vital for him to avoid developing back pain - something that crept in when he was younger, starting on the professional circuit.

Most golfers will experience some form of back pain or stiffness at some point. The retaining of form, posture and mobility are essential ingredients to focus on to avoid having to spend time with a physiotherapist.

Robust prevention is the key - and incorporating specific practices of mobility in your warm-up and sessions off the course will really stand to your wellbeing, recovery, and performance.

An effective warm-up is essential to prepare the body for a round. The best players are rigorous in readying themselves before the first tee shot or on the practice range.

A warm-up should serve 4 purposes: physical readiness, mental setting, injury prevention and performance enhancement. The RAMP (raise, activate, mobilise and potentiate) method is ideal for a golf-specific warm-up.

Raise involves movements and drills specific to the activity - using a tool or golf aid like an orange whip, or a weighted club. The goals are to raise body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate and blood flow. Activate involves prepping the muscles that will need to be fired up for play.

Glute bands and therabands are used to target key parts around the hips and lower back. Mobilise involves pushing joints through the range of motion required for the game - for the swing, for walking, picking up a ball, etc. Potentiate involves increasing the intensity of the warm-up to a comparable level that the player is about to perform in; then it is about taking practice swings through all ranges.

The bay area’s public gem, a host of the World Golf Championships and Presidents Cup is hosting a grand slam event for our televisions this Thursday to Sunday. Bethpage Black and Torrey Pines have proven that municipal courses can host memorable majors. This week let us see what enfolds.

Written by David Clancy | Find out more about what David does at

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