The Importance of a Proper Warmup in Cold Weather

By: Tina Mickelson - Jan 16, 2023

For us delicate flowers *reluctantly raises hand* the weather in Southern California has turned rather cold. Naturally, that has an effect on both your golf swing and tempo. The cooler weather tightens your muscles, making it difficult to pair mechanics with a good, smooth tempo. You can have the best mechanics in the world but without tempo, consistency is nowhere to be found.

When playing golf in the cold, it is even more important to warm up, and I’m not talking hitting balls on the driving range. Nope. You need to warm up that body. Do a few jumping jacks, jog in place for a minute…you know, get that blood going. Cold weather causes the muscles in the body to constrict, which causes them to shorten, feel stiff, etc. The result is a more constricted swing which leads to a quicker tempo. By getting your blood moving through your body, your muscles tend to “warm up” a bit, allowing them to get a deeper stretch. Your golf swing will be more relaxed and flow more freely as a result.

So, start by taking some slow swings with two clubs instead of just one. The added weight of the second club in your hand while swinging will not only help loosen up those stiff muscles, but it puts the focus on a slower and more controlled rhythm.

Your body is being reminded of proper tempo in your golf swing … the one you enjoy under warmer conditions. You also want to make sure your back and shoulders are stretched before taking that first swing on the No. 1 tee box. Even the slightest pulled muscle can ruin your round. So why not play it safe, right?

Once you’ve taken a few swings with two clubs, take a few more swings with your feet together. This will ensure your swing isn’t too long or too fast because if it is, you will be completely off balance and have to take some steps to find your footing again. If you feel unbalanced in the slightest, slow the swing down even more. This is about stretching, not a long drive contest.

Once your muscles have woken up and your tempo is somewhat natural, take some regular full swings with just one club and see how you feel. If you are not comfortable yet, keep going with the two clubs and feet together, but not before doing a few jumping jacks to get the blood moving.

It would be a good idea to incorporate this on the golf course just before your shot if you are comfortable with that. I can see where it might feel a little “extra” or uncomfortable, especially depending on who you are playing with (you know what I’m talking about). But if it makes sense and doesn’t hold up play, anything you can do to get the blood moving will be helpful in warming up the muscles and preparing them for the next golf shot.

We are spoiled here in Southern California with a wonderful climate year-round and I know I sound like a weather wimp here. But that’s okay. I totally am. And I’m not alone. But it’s not going to stop me from playing the game I love. And it doesn’t have to stop you, either. Just remember that a proper warm up will go a long way. Happy New Year!

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