How To Develop A Pre-Shot Routine

By: Max Johnson

Everyday life, for many of us, contains strict routines. Sometimes we do not even how they start but they become part of our lives. Every Shot Must Have Its Purpose or having a golf pre-shot routine is something you must have and be consistent with in order to play your best golf.

Some simple routines that the US culture has, even date back prior to the United States becoming a country. For example, at social gatherings, Native Americans would sit in a circle by a fire and enjoy a good peace pipe. This would be followed in the evening by dancing for entertainment. Sounds like your last date with your spouse or significant other doesn't it. Eating dinner with some friends at a round table followed by a couple of drinks and then dancing.

This is just one example. Looking at our everyday life there are many examples from our morning routine to get ready for work, what we typically do for lunch as well as how we unwind for the night. As we go to the golf course we also have our routines as well. These routines may include how we warm up with certain clubs, making sure we get our favorite beverage before the start of play or that we go straight to the first tee upon arrival. Once we get on the golf course it is important to have a pre-shot routine that you can depend on when you are in the heat of the battle. Developing and consistently performing a pre-shot routine will improve your golf shots and this will allow you to be more comfortable come crunch time on the golf course.

The great part of golf is that everyone is different and there really is no one correct way to do a pre-shot routine. This is why everyone's pre-shot routine looks different from player to player. Even with the very same pre-shot routine two players can look different to someone else due to the pace. You see so many different pre-shot routines as well as putting strokes. Everyone is an individual. With this being said, there are some that should be in every pre-shot routine.

As stated earlier, your pre-shot routine should reflect your personality and regular pace. As you construct your pre-shot routine be sure to include:

1. Gather all the information that you are going to need prior to selecting the club that you are going to hit. Especially as we play a familiar course, make sure you gather the correct yardage, wind, recent temperature changes as well as the type of lie you have been left with.

2. What type of shot are you going to play? Playing a hook or a slice can change the yardage your golf ball will go and in turn change the club that you may need for that shot. Now select your club.

3. Now that you are convinced that you have the correct club in your hand, start from behind the golf ball and see the type of shot you are going to hit. These images that you send to your mind will help your body understand what you are trying to accomplish.

4. Now it is time to eliminate tension. You will see different players do different things to do this. Many players tip their cap or tap the club to their shoe. Fred Couples is famous for pulling on his left shoulder sleeve. Again, this is a very personal thing and is meant to be used to tell your body to relax and it is time to go.

5. Lastly you must, as funny as it sounds, practice your pre-shot routine. You will want it to become second nature to you. You will want it to be consistent so you are not trying to figure it out with the pressure on you. This will allow you will to be on auto pilot and just play the shot.

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