Much can already be found on this page around the topic of golf: It describes the different types of clubs that can be found in a golf bag, it discusses their proper use, it talks about the different ways to propel the ball and finally putt it in.
Actually, nothing should stand in the way of playing with this concentrated - excuse me for this weak pun - knowledge. Nevertheless, an important aspect is missing.
It's early morning. You're on your way to work, the front door has fallen into the lock, the car opens with the push of a button. Get in, start up and off you go.
You put your foot on the gas and drive from one traffic light to the next - after all, you've left the house at the last minute. The engine is running at full speed, shifting gears frequently is overrated.
No. Stop. Wait a minute. Is that what you do? Do you push the cold engine to the limit? Do you get everything out of it right after the start? The question is rhetorical. Of course not.
The motto is to warm up quickly. And only when the engine is at operating temperature can the material be subjected to more stress. That's logical. But why do you often do things differently with your own body on the golf course?
It can often be observed: The golfer gets out of his car, straps the bag onto the trolley, puts on his sports shoes, goes to the range, takes balls from the machine, grabs the driver and off he goes.
Admittedly, you haven't just gotten out of bed at this moment. You've been moving, you've been running, your body has already endured some exertion or other.
But to assume now that your muscles are at operating temperature for a powerful golf swing is highly negligent.
That's why it's important to spare your body what you don't want to happen to your car's engine. A cold start can have nasty consequences, which may be easy to repair in the case of a car, but it can be a different story for your own muscles. After all, a golf swing is a very explosive event for which the body urgently needs to be prepared.
A good warm-up with a few sensible exercises should therefore be the first motto on the range. A few minutes are enough to get yourself up to operating temperature and to be able to look after the first teed ball with a good feeling.
Otherwise, the first shot could also be the last shot of the day, because a cold muscle quickly takes too much strain very badly and reacts with a torn fiber or a strain. Surely no one wants that.
At this point, it is important to realize how extensively the body is stressed during a golf swing: Involved are the hands and wrists, the arms, the neck, the shoulders, the back, the hips, the legs and the feet. Besides the eyelids, there's not much left that isn't needed to make the ball fly.
So it's a matter of preparing the different parts of the body for what's to come with differentiated exercises. After all, a stretched body swings more loosely and successfully - that is certainly no truism. And last but not least, the warm-up also prepares the psyche for what is to come. It doesn't take much time for any of this to happen. Your body and scorecard will thank you.
In the various videos, golf professionals or personal trainers such as Patrick Emery, Florian Raggl and Jürgen Toppler, Martina Eberl or Karl Voillwock show some exercises that can be used to get fit and warm up quickly and effectively for a successful round of golf. Just try them out. It's important to warm up all muscle groups, so don't just prepare with squats or trunk twists or stretching exercises, but really do everything in succession.
If a light film of sweat forms on the forehead afterwards, this should not be a deterrent, rather the opposite: it is a good sign. You haven't just spun around a few times as an alibi, you haven't just wanted to show your fellow golfer on the teeing ground next door that you take golf seriously as a sport, but you really do it and are now warm to the touch.
By the way, it's no secret that it's not just older players who should warm up. Younger players also quickly put themselves at risk of injury if they neglect to warm up. Yes, they are younger, the body is still doing more without complaining. On the other hand, younger players are more likely to be hot-headed and push themselves harder than their older counterparts. And that puts the risk of injury back on the same level as with the seniors.
Of course, there is not just one way to get the body up to operating temperature. If you can't cope with the exercises shown by Patrick Emery, you will find other experts on the net who prefer and present other exercises with the same results.
The important thing in golf, as in any other physical sport, is to be able to move well in general. If you already have a strain in your leg before you go to the course, it is better to save yourself the trip and let the lesion heal first.
Even if you have back or shoulder problems, for example due to a sedentary job, you should first consult a doctor and talk to him about golf before taking up a club. But that should go without saying.
Next article in the series: How to Golf 1: Everything under control