Preparing for Competition
Anyone at the amateur level in this sport has experienced going to the tee to compete without feeling completely warmed up. Unfortunately, many of the venues we visit do not have enough space to allow all the competitors to stand on the range and pound balls endlessly. First….if that’s your M.O. (pounding balls endlessly), you need to attend one of Bobby Peterson’s workshops to learn about practicing with a purpose. There’s not a lot to gain by wearing yourself out looking for something you didn’t have when you arrived. Hugh Royer III (PGA Professional) tells that his father always said. “If you don’t have it when you arrive, you are not going to find it on competition day.”
The older competitors will quickly tell you how much tougher it is to warm-up with each year of aging. I can attest. I turn 65 this month (January 2020). Yes, old guys can do this too! We’re not as long as you younger limber-backs, but we approach things with the wisdom that comes with age…lol.
I have found a 3-step warm-up method that helps me prepare in just a few minutes. I also use this as part of my workout. The difference it has made in my flexibility and strength is amazing. So, I’m not sharing this with you on the premise of “expert advice”. I’m sharing with you what works for me, and hope you decide to find something that works for you that doesn’t require you to hit balls for an hour before you compete.
The SpeedBomber From Mach 3
I begin my warmup with the SpeedBomber from Mach 3. Michael Romatowski and Jeff Young travel around the country doing speed training clinics using their line of tools. Although I have not yet attended, it’s on my list of things to do this year. There’s a complete “JetStick / SpeedBomber Progression” set of tools that includes six pieces. These tools are designed to improve, Length, Strength, and Speed. I decided to begin with the heaviest of the set as part of my strength and speed training. I do plan to purchase the rest of the set eventually and suggest you check them out HERE. The SpeedBomber is my first step in my warm-up procedure. It is intended to be used at about 60% swing speed and does a great job getting me started with only a few reps.
Orange Whip Original
The original Orange Whip is the second step in my warm-up. I begin swinging it fairly slowly in (only) my left hand for a few reps, then switch to my right hand for a few reps. I follow that with both hands increasing speed as I go through about 12 reps. In addition to warming up my swing muscles from my grip to my feet, it also ensures that I’m on plane. Swinging this thing off-plane is readily noticeable and easily corrected. I like the muscle memory that comes from being forced to swing on plane.
Orange Whip LightSpeed
The Orange Whip LightSpeed is the last of my 3-step pre-competition warm-up. Swinging this tool gives you a specific feel of “swing speed” that transfers from warm-up to your first swing on the competition tee.
I should add that I use this 3-step method even when I have ample warm-up time on the tee. When that time is afforded, I loosen up with the Speedbomber and/or Orange Whip, then proceed with the method *Bobby Peterson outlines in his OSPS EMP6 training manual….that is all about practicing/warming up with a purpose. After I go through my “ball-hitting” warm-up, I rest my swing muscles for a bit and do 6 reps each with he SpeedBomber, Orange Wip, and Orang Whip LightSpeed just before walking to the tee.
I have also gone to the tee with just this 3-step warm-up and done well. In fact, my longest balls in competition were achieved with no range time. My take away….I didn’t wear my self out poinding balls endlessly. Many times when Brian and I are running events, we go from calling balls to hitting with zero time on the range.
This process works for me. I suggest you find a warm-up method for yourself that does not require endlessly pounding balls to feel ready. Part of the learning process associated with long drive is to conquer the nerves on the tee. Going there with confidence is a huge step in preparing to further your long drive quest.
I’ll update this article from time to time as I find new things that need to be shared. If you have a method that works for you, please share it. If you’re considering competition (at any age or ability), please read my article about How To Get Started In Long Drive.
*As of this writing, the only way to obtain Bobby Peterson’s training manual and advice is to attend one of his workshops or hire him to be your trainer.