I remember a couple of years ago my good friend Kai Fusser, (long time fitness trainer to Annika Sorenstam) described to my students how to perform a quality warm-up prior to hitting balls or heading to the course. It came (even to me) as a great surprise that stretching your muscles before teeing off is not the most efficient method. Why? Because your muscles are probably cold, therefore, increasing the risk of stress on the ligaments and tendons. So pulling against the golf cart a couple of times when you get to the tee is not going to maximize your true potential and it might just increase your risk of injury. Remember your golf swing is an extremely explosive movement and you spend 95% of your energy output within those 2 seconds of swinging the club.
So what Kai highly recommends is that you begin with a light Dynamic warm-up routine. This will get you heart rate up and raise your body temperature. It should consist of jumping with a rope, jumping jacks (side to front), jumping with side rotation, lunges or swinging your arms. Any movement that will loosen up the joints and encourage your body to move freely. These exercises will also have a positive effect on the nervous system as these movements simulate your coordination.
That said, there is a correct time and place for stretching and it does play an important role in your golf fitness. However, this should always be performed after practice or play. Stretching at this time basically allows your muscles to finally relax and prevent any stiffness.
For more information on specific golf fitness please visit Kai’s website: www.kaifitnessforgolf.com