Golf Tip With Coach Joey D: The Pre-Round Warmup

Golf Tip: The Pre-Round Warmup
By Coach Joey D
As told to Jeffrey Reed, Editor,

There are two kinds of people who frequent the links: those who golf; and those who are golfers. Yet no matter what your handicap index, you can greatly improve your scores if you’re physically fit. And whether you’re a senior golfer teeing it up with your morning foursome, a weekend warrior escaping the office or a junior golfer enjoying time with friends, jumping out of a vehicle, slamming the trunk and teeing off is a recipe for disaster.

Arriving at the course in time for stretching and a warmup at the range and practice green should be part of every golfer’s regime. But with lack of time restricting the number of rounds played by so many of us today, just-in-time golf has, unfortunately, crept into the game like a bad case of the yips. There’s no excuse for not stretching before your round – especially if there is no practice range at the club where you are golfing.

Joey Diovisalvi – Coach Joey D – is one of golf’s leading fitness experts, counting clients like World No. 1 Dustin Johnson amongst his stable of stars. His resume also includes work on the PGA Tour with the likes of fitness fanatics like Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh. Joey D has helped revolutionize the methods of improving the golf swing by teaching players how to work out and train specifically for the sport of golf.

Photo courtesy Coach Joey D.

“Pre-round warmups: I know many people consider their warmup simply driving their car and putting on their shoes in the parking lot, but that’s not it,” said Joey D. “There are three moves you can do that won’t take more than a minute apiece. But remember: what you do to the left (side), you should do to the right, too.”

The following moves offer “great activation” to engage “the entire body,” said Joey D. “You’ll take your three to five minutes, and tell me, ‘Coach, these are a really valuable three to five minutes.’ You’ll have a valuable warmup before the range.”

Lengthen Your Hamstrings

“Take one of your shorter irons, or your alignment stick, stabilize your body (with the club or stick held at your side) and swing your leg back and forth like a pendulum. One of the more important things to do here is keep your toe flexed, or pull it up towards you. Start the pendulum slowly, and then swing it further, back and forth, 15 to 20 times. Remember, what you do to the left, you must do to the right. Start slowly, keep your foot flexed. You should feel your hamstrings activate, and start getting longer. The hamstrings are a culprit. What they do in the golf swing is, they get shorter and tighter. When they get tight, they pull you out of a good setup and spine angle, and pull your pelvis into the wrong position. So, lengthening your hamstrings is a really good warmup before you hit balls on the range.”


“Swinging: stabilize, load and rotate. Take your alignment stick or a mid-iron, like a 5-iron, put it behind your shoulder blades. Be careful not to put it up near your T-spine and our neck. Feet together, knees flexed – you want to engage the lower body. Take a step to the right, and then rotate. Do it again: step to the right, and rotate. Remember: what you do to the right, you want to do to the left. If you are right-handed golfer, start to the right, finish to the left. Vice versa if you are a left-handed golfer. So, you step, load and rotate, all the way through. Think of the golf swing the whole time. Ask yourself, ‘What does the body feel like when I am swinging?’ It’s hard to feel that in 1.5 seconds, but if you slow down and do these movements, then you can start to feel so much more activation and awareness. That’s the key.”

Separation: Full Backswing

“Finally, now we are going to load and create some separation. (With alignment stick or club held against the chest, with hands crossed) this is a small step forward – it’s a knee flex. Make sure the knee doesn’t come up over the toe. The knee should never slide out over the toe. This is a quick step forward, flex the knee, and then rotate (shoulders): full backswing, full follow-through. You should feel this all the way down to your lower erector spinae – the muscles just above your tailbone. Do a couple of these, then switch sides and do it again for your finish.”

Watch Coach Joey D demonstrate this quick but effective stretching warmup in a video especially created for this article at

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office established 1989.

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