Golf stretching exercises, performed consistently (and properly) will increase your range of motion, your power and ultimately... help to reduce your handicap.
Perhaps just as importantly, stretching will help to reduce the occurrence of those niggling injuries that so many golfers must endure. However there are different types of golf stretching exercises and which ones you perform, and when, makes a significant difference...
The stretching exercises on this page are designed just prior to a game - as part of a warm up routine. The majority are dynamic stretches which will help to reduce muscle stiffness without compromising your power.
There are several other forms of stretching - the most common being static stretching and this is great for increasing your flexibility. But more and more research is showing that static stretching before a sport that involves powerful movements (such as the golf swing) can negatively affect performance. Simply put, this type of stretching reduces how powerfully you can contract your muscles and so potentially, how far you can hit the ball.
For this reason athletes in most sports are now advised to warm with dynamic stretches and increase their flexibility either on separate days, or after a game, with static stretches.
This article focuses on the warm up routine - golf stretching exercises that are dynamic in their nature. To improve your range of motion (which is also very important) please read the golf stretching article.
Complete this pre-game warm up and golf stretching exercises in the order set out. It should take no longer than 10-15 minutes and it's important you get to the course early to allow for this.
Start this routine about 15-20 minutes before you tee-off. It loses its effect if you spend 15-20 minutes afterwards getting your bag and clubs together. You should be changed and ready to play so that you tee-off within 5 minutes of finishing this warm up.
STEP 1 - Walking for 3-5 Minutes
Walk briskly for 3-5 minutes, either around the car park or a quiet area of the course. You might want to walk from your car to the locker room and back a few times.
STEP 2 - Supported Squats
This exercise will elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow to the major muscle groups.
For more advanced players you can do this supported, single leg squat instead...
STEP 3 - Golf Stretching Exercises
Complete the following stretches in order...
Side Bends with Club
Standing Shoulder Stretch
Alternate Toe Touches
Important: skip this stretch you are prone to low back pain or if it causes you any discomfort.
Using either a weighted club or 2 clubs held together perform 10 complete swings. However, rather than stopping between each swing, it should be one continuous motion. For example, start with a back swing into a full follow through and immediately from the finish position take the club into the back swing position (as though you are swinging in reverse).
STEP 4 - Practice Swings
Complete 2-3 minutes of practice swings working on any techniques, or swing thoughts you may have been given. It's important not to practice technique with a weighted club or two clubs at this stage. You are now warmed up physically and this time is about sharpening your swing and reminding yourself of any coaching points to work on during the round. It is also a good idea to rest completely for about 2 minutes before you tee-off. Avoid walking up to the tee out of breath as this will compromise your ability to control your swing.