How to Discover Your Pre-Shot Routine In Golf?
So the beginning of the season will begin soon. And you have completed your due diligence in preparation to play your best. Perhaps you have improved the range, followed a lesson or worked on your short game and putting stroke. But have you spent any time to the mental aspect of your golf game or more specifically, to the pre-shot routine?
Do You Have a Pre-Shot Routine?
During the time of attempting to speed up their play and determine how long it will take to get through their round, a lot of people that I play with don’t have a pre-shot routine and thus, don’t know what they want to achieve with any given shots.
But a consistent and established routine is always an integral part of playing at your best on the golf, and making these shots will help lower your score.
Pace versus playing well
These days, teaching professionals need to balance the teaching of a good pre-shot routine with the pace of playing.
“The first thing that I often tell my golf students is that they do not need to wait till it is their turns to decide which golf club, yardage or sort of shot they are going to hit,” says a teaching professional in Texas. “If they try to get rid of all these factors before their turn, they could go right to the routine when their turn comes.” In addition, he also finds that a lot of golfers who are simply not attentive on the golf course, and therefore, slow down playing as they haven’t prepared for their shots while other players are hitting.
“I always believe that is where pace of playing truly becomes an important factor,” he says. “I have seen it with both professional and amateur partners that I played with, whether they aren’t not sitting in the cart, on the phone, or paying attention…”
The distraction takes away from time that golfers should prepare to go into the routine. Another professional coach in Maine teaches her students to be prepared while other people in the group are striking.
“You could calculate the yardage while you are getting to the shot,” She says. “When you are moving up, you could find the yardages and find out where you are.” Always ready to hit when it is your turn. That is is key to improve the pace of playing, she says. “Every second starts when you are standing out there for 4 hours. You have to understand when will be your turn and when other playing golfers are going to hit.”
“You could be thinking of several quiet practicing swings and measuring the wind as well as the yardage while anybody else is hitting,” she continues.
“I always believe that the greatest loss in pace of playing is not from striking shots, but it is the time between. This is the greatest part where foursomes or groups often lose their time on a golf course.”
While a lot of PGA professional golfers take some flack for playing slowly, all of them have some forms of pre-shot routine. I myself have also been blamed on the golf course several times for my routine, with people questioning in their mind what would take so long for me to strike a golf ball. However, my routine is basically an effort to achieve 3 main things.
First and foremost, I am attempting to make my mind calmer. Generally, most of us have anxiety over a golf ball, or worry about the bunkers left or water right, out of bounds, the trees, club selection, the effects of a wind on the golf ball, and many more. Even with some professional golfers, sometimes they could not make a shot during their actual swings. In other words, it is really hard to put your anxiety and concern behind you as well as your mind in a desired state of calm concentration. However, it is important to allow your body to do what wants by freely swinging the golf club with purpose.
Secondly, a pre-shot routine helps me ensure that I am properly aligned. From behind a golf ball, I often choose a spot 3 to 4 inches in front of a golf ball which is on the line for my aiming shot. Then I line up my clubface with this spot, and the feet parallel accordingly to the same line.
Finally, this routine offers me a moment to imagine the shot that I am going make. For a full swing, it might be a cut or fade shot, or probably a draw or a straight shot. For a chip shot around the green, I try to visualize the ball striking the spot that I want to land it which in turn allows it to move to the hole. In general, this step is really important, and I always credit it for most of the great shots that I have made in my whole life, including 2 holes-in-one. Even though they had happened a long time ago, I still recall both with perfect clarity. In these examples, I noticed the golf ball go into the hole before making the shot … and in turn the shot was a precise recreation of what I had imagined in my mind before, including the bounce number in the hole.
I am sure that you have also made perfect shots. And I hope that this effective pre-shot routine will help you hit more great shots this the coming golf season.