When Do You Like To Arrive Before A Round Of Golf?

The tour pros have a set routine of how they like to prepare for a round so what are the rest of us like?

warm up
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We asked our online community how they like to give themselves the best chance to play well or just how they like to enjoy the post-round bits. There were four options ranging from an early arrival, taking the stress out of everything, to screaming into the car park and throwing your shoes on. Or just something in between…

Over an hour - 13% 

Usually arriving an hour before (more if I can). I find the time goes really quickly (but I love spending time at the course anyway & ‘a game’ is usually 7 hours+ from leaving home and getting back, the course is two mins away). Drop clubs off, pay in the shop, warm up/practise then onto putting green, all takes up most of the time and I’ll see several staff to pass pleasantries with doing those things. Then maybe a drink while catching up with other players. Pee (more people should do this, can’t remember how many years its been since I’ve been caught short on the course). Then hanging around near 1st tee 10 minutes before to see who’s going off Slab 

In the main the guys I play with like to get to the club more than hour before our first tee time. There is as much banter before the round as there is afterwards. We do a draw well before the first tee time so that guys who want to warm up on the range have time to do it. jim8flog

At least an hour. I do some stretching in the locker room, especially around my back. I'll hit the range, hit around 30-50 balls, do some pitching and chipping and then go to the putting green. HomerJSimpson

If the kitchen is good, home or away, and as I’m always a preferred morning tee time, before 10am, I’ll arrive 1hr+ before, book in, and then have a full breakfast, then 20-30 minutes before my tee, I’ll have a few putts, a few chips, and ‘sometimes’ a few swings in the net. If I don’t have as much time, then the warm up will give way to the breakfast, then it’s a couple of swishes on the tee and off I go…Fuel is more important to me than a rigorous warm-up. SandMan59

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Relax, get clubs out, have a chat to a few folk, find out what's going on, hit a few balls round our par 3 holes just to stretch, have 10 minutes on the putting green before ambling off to the 1st tee with my group to laugh at the guys teeing off in front of us if we know them. nickjdavis 

Pot of tea and a piece of toast, have a read of the paper, chat with the bar staff and members. A few putts then onto the tee box. I don’t like rushing around. HomecountiesJohn

I try and get to the course about an hour before teeing off as I need to warm up…..with a hearty breakfast. Dando

11.00 enough time to have a few beers before tee off at 12.00 AussieKB

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45-60 mins - 23%

Bit of a warm up, some chat with the others etc. The longer I can be at the club the better as I love the social side almost equal to the golf itself. Even though it’s none of my business I can’t help being annoyed with car park members. Lilyhawk

Casual game: 30 mins - loosen up, hit some balls into the net, a few putts and a gentle stretch.

Competitions: 45 mins - as above but a bit more of everything and get signed on etc.

Away games: 1 hour+ - As casual game but get a butty and a coffee before playing as well (if available). Always try to go in for a post round coffee and quite often something to eat as well. Always good to support our clubs. Boomy

30-45 mins - 22%

I’ve always been superstitious about using the range before a round, as I don’t want to use up all my good shots before I even reach the first tee, so never bother. Cup of coffee, chat with whoever is in the clubhouse, followed by some chipping and putting, half a dozen practice swings and away we go. Billysboots

Usually 30 minutes before tee off. Don't bother with practice, unless it's a knockout, then I have an hour’s knock round the par 3. Crazyface

I like to get there and actually warm up, hit a few clubs, 7i, PW, some chips, some shanks, fats, thins etc. Then putt for a bit so I have no excuse when I go out to the 1st tee. Reality is usually 0 - 5 but that’s life. Albo

Time to have a natter in the pro shop and in the bar; hit 12-20 balls on range; maybe grab 10 mins of pro/coach for a quick freebie lesson; have a coffee and if morning I'll often have have a breakfast roll; 5mins on the putting green prior to tee time. And having done all of that spend 25 mins whinging to the golf manager (the last bit is maybe not totally true). SwingsitlikeHogan

If I get there too early and see loads tee off I convince myself it'll be a slow round and I start with that in my mind. Bazzatron

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Fifteen or so balls in the net/practice ground, 10 minutes’ chipping and putting then off to the 1st. On a recent trip to Portugal the transport dropped us off just over 1.5 hours early. Had some food and a coffee, before spending an hour on the practice ground. Started great but by the end had developed a bad pull hook. Was the worst day of the three scoring wise by a long shot. Junior 

A few practice chips, putts and some swinging of the clubs. Do the card if it's a comp, maybe a few more putts and loads of looks at my watch to wonder if my regular playing partners are going to arrive more than two minutes before tee off. chrisd

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10-30 mins - 34%

I only ever do a few stretches and swings for a couple of minutes before teeing off, whether it’s a social round or a competition. If it’s a round at a different course, I might have a coffee/roll while having a look at the yardage book/scorecard/app before doing so. Canary Kid

Fifteen minutes. Few in the net, few putts and then a five-minute rest. richart

Book in, grab a hot chocolate, roll a fag, hit a couple of practice chips, touch my toes then tee off. RichA

Park car, walk to clubhouse to log in for comp, walk back to car, unpack car, walk over to 1st, a two-minute walk, as the group in front are walking down the 1st, swish club 2 or 3 times, tee off when the time is correct and it is clear to go. Lord Tyrion

I don’t have a warm-up, I just sit in the car. I’m one of those people who is early for everything. Our clubhouse doesn’t open until around 10ish and I’m always out early, I am just there to play golf. G1z1

When I was a member at my previous club there were free range balls and the driving range was pretty close to the 1st tee. I had convinced myself that I needed to hit 20-30 balls before I went out if I wanted to play well. When I joined my current club it was just before lockdown, The driving range is a bit of a pain in the neck to get to which makes it quite time-consuming. So now I warm up in the net, roll a few putts and get on my way. Surprisingly since then, my handicap has actually come down. J55TTC

0-10 mins - 8%

I'm usually logged on until half 12, then straight in the car, 20-25 mins to the course then change my shoes in the car park (sorry) and run to the tee for my 1pm tee time. HeftyHacker

I’ve got my current course timed to perfection. Arrive at the course five mins prior to tee off. Change shoes, get gear out. Quick walk/slight jog to the 1st tee, putting glove on as I go. Couple of loosening stretches, two practice swings, then go. If I’m playing elsewhere I might arrive 10 mins earlier to sign in etc. No interest or inclination to practise or strenuously warm up prior to a round. Fromtherough

Revealed: Bryson's warm-up routine

I always intended to get there 30-60 minutes before my tee time. What usually happens is I arrive 10 minutes before tee off time, rush the shoes on, run to the putting green and hit five putts, pay into comp, swing sticks on the 1st tee then tee off hoping for the best. Springveldt

Rock up, pay my dues, walk to the tee and whack it. If I turn up with more time, I just stand around chatting and dossing. I don't warm up before a round, don't find it makes any difference at my level. Bdill93

0-10 minutes. Any earlier and it will still be dark. SatchFan

Arrive, clubs out, get to tee, few swishes of club, hit ball, reload and hit again. DRW

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.