Neither of the two courses where I've played around 99% of my golf has a range but when I do go to a course that has one I start with a 4 iron.
I heard one of the pros say he did that so he would be sure to not start his day by hitting a bad wedge. He said if he hits a bad shot with a long iron his reaction is more like "So what? It's a long iron." If he did it with a wedge his reaction would be "Oh no. I've got a game to play and I can't hit a wedge."
I decided it would be a good thing for me to try because I hit long irons better than anything else and it gets me in a better ball striking groove from the start.
This is the kind of thing I was wondering as well. There is some metal aspect to warming up along with the physical. Maybe it's not just the actual muscles that need the warmup.