5 Ways to Improve Your Performance on The Golf Course
When you go out to play golf you’re hoping for a good round. I know I do. How often does your outcome match what you hoped for? Do you usually shoot the scores you had envisioned before you teed off? If not, do you ever evaluate where and how you could have saved strokes and avoided those blow up holes?
Here are 5 easy tips for you to implement immediately that will shave 4-6, or even more strokes off your score the next time you play.
First, you’ve got to put the proper fuel in your body before you leave home. Most golfers don’t give it a second thought. They either don’t eat at all before they leave home or they eat something that is not going to give them the long-term energy they’re hoping for. Whether it’s lunch or breakfast before you leave, you need to consume a complex carbohydrate and a good protein source. This combination will warrant the best use of your energy for the entire round.
• An example for breakfast would be a bowl of quinoa or oatmeal, an egg, and a piece of fruit or a glass of juice. A suggestion for lunch would be a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a piece of fruit. Ensure there is a variety of vegetables on the sandwich and avoid mayonnaise or butter. Consider adding hummus as an alternative.
The second tip is to properly warm up your body before you hit your first ball. So many golfers show up 5 minutes before tee time, take a few putts, and then head to the first tee. Those golfers are potentially headed for a double bogey right off the bat… A better approach is to give yourself at least 30 minutes before your tee time. First, do some dynamic (movement oriented) stretches to prepare your body to perform. Exercises such as arm circles, partial squats, toe touches, etc. Next, take some half swings with a 7 iron. Now you’re ready to hit some wedges. With this approach, your hits on the range will be much better, which will build your confidence.
Drink lots of water even before you leave your house. However, only drink a maximum of 500ml of water per hour. Anything more than that and you’re quenching your thirst but not hydrating your tissues. Dehydration causes energy loss, lack of focus and concentration, fatigue, and possibly muscle cramps later in the round. Also, remember to bring a water bottle with you so you can continue to drink water during your round.
Don’t wait until you feel tension to initiate stretching. Constantly move your body and stretch your joints while you play. I often see and hear golfers complaining of tight lower backs or shoulders during the round, and especially after when they are in for an appointment. Think of your body as a machine; if the machine starts to break down – fix it. You’ll see a big difference in your swing mechanics late in the round.
Snack while you play. I don’t mean the hot dog at the turn with a beer chaser! Bring fruit, nuts, and nutrition bars to eat every 4-6 holes. When you supply your body with the proper nutrients, your energy levels stay balanced and you will avoid those mental lapses later in the round. How many times have you had a good score only to blow up late in the round? I’ll bet more than a couple of times; I know I have.
Now some of these tips you may have been aware of, and maybe a couple of them you haven’t given as much thought to. Do all of them and your score will show it. The above routine should become part of your golf experience every time you go out and play. This is called pre-game preparation and performance maintenance. You’re an athlete (believe it or not) so treat you body like one!
Have a great round,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic