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How To Find Your Golf Pre-Shot Routine And Stick To It
The pre-shot routine is an underused and one of the best golf mental game tips, the pros and great golfers execute it so well. It’s one of the most acknowledged but rarely used techniques in golf and it can help you get off to a good start with your swing!
What makes great golfers so great is their ability to develop a consistent pre-shot routine. Golf can be a frustrating game, even the pros struggle from time to time. However, their ability to stick to a set pre-shot routine, even if the odds are stacked against them.
A pre-shot routine it’s a way to get your mind and body in the right frame of mind, and it can help you to consistently make good shots. There are no right or wrong motions for a pre-shot routine, it’s whatever works best for you. The most important thing is to be consistent with your routine each time you step up to play a shot.
You most properly already have a routine that you go through before each shot or part of it and don’t realize it. Developing a sound pre-shot routine will help you to focus, stay calm, and build tempo through your swing.
How Long Should A Pre-Shot Routine Take?
There is no set time frame for how long a pre-shot routine should take. It all depends on what works best for you. My advice is to keep your routine short and simple.
Whatever you do, make sure your routine is consistent with 3 stages – assess, prepare, and pull the trigger. This should take no longer than 30-40 seconds.
Stop, Assess, And Think
Approaching your ball is when you should be starting to assess your next shot. Questions you should be asking yourself, which way is the wind blowing? Are there any dangers up ahead, greenside bunkers, water hazards, or OB?
What’s the distance to the green? If you’re on the tee take note of any trees lining the fairway. Choose a club and think about the type of shot you want to play and pick a target to where you’re going to land the ball.
Prepare and Rehearse
This is when you start preparing yourself for the shot. Take your practice swing thinking about the shot you are wanting to play. Step back, look at your target line, and position your feet parallel to your intended target line.
Check your feet’s distance from the ball, adjust if needed, recheck and settle your feet. This should take only 15 or 20 seconds. Doing this consistently every time will help with your swing tempo, staying calm, and focused.
Have A Trigger
I see so many golfers walk up to the ball freezer over it. Then try to hit the skin off the ball and absolutely tank the shot then stand back and wonder what happened. Or get angry because they expected a positive outcome.
If you have a tendency to freezer over the ball before each shot having a trigger will help. So what is a trigger? It’s a way of giving yourself one last mental nudge before striking the ball.
This could be a forward pressing of the club or a slight knee flex. Or like Henrik Stenson moves back and down onto his heels. Finding a trigger before you pull the trigger is a great way to stop you from freezing over the ball.
Pull The Trigger Execute The Shot
Taking the shot, at this point there is no holding back, you’re committed to the shot, positive swing with n0 jerky motion or wild swinging. Remember the practice swing how did that feel? I see many golfers have a pure practice swing, only to have this jerky wild swing when there is a ball added to the equation.
Assess The OutCome
When you’ve completed your pre-shot routine and taken the shot. Start walking to the next shot and consider the outcome. Did you achieve the shot you intended?
When you reach your ball, the previous shot you’ve forgotten about. You start to focus on the next shot and repeat your pre-shot routine.
Building Your Golf Pre-Shot Routine
Your pre-shot routine is something you can build, it won’t happen overnight. This will give you a set of steps to follow every time you hit the ball, which can help ease any anxiety or tension you might feel.
Building a consistent and effective pre-shot routine can help take the guesswork out of your setup and lead to more successful shots. Look at the 3 steps I’ve talked about and incorporate them into your routine.
Think of what puts you into the right frame of mind to strike the ball. This could be a small waggle of the club or a small movement of some kind.
You can also build a pre-shot routine for when you’re on the putting green as well. This can be similar in nature, keep it simple and consistent.
Whatever it is make sure you are comfortable with it. Your routine doesn’t have to be a long complicated process. Keeping it simple is the key to building a good consistent pre-shot routine.