Golf Tips And Lessons

Pre-Shot Routine Tips

Did you know that developing a pre-shot routine can do more than help lower your scores? It can. In fact, golf psychologists have recommended pre-shot routines for many of the best golfers in the world.

There must be something going on there. Let's look into this.

A good place to start is with a definition. Generally, a pre-shot routine is a set of pre-determined movements, thoughts, and self-checks. As the name implies, these are done prior to making the shot.

Pre-shot routines depend on the individual. No two are exactly alike, and nor should they be. What works for one person may not work for the next person.

The goal behind using a pre-shot routine is to eliminate (or at least minimize) any mental or physical factor that may cause the player to seize up or lose concentration during the shot. An effective routine will focus only on the necessary tasks at hand and nothing else.

While it is true that each routine is unique to the player, it is also true that you can pick up some pointers by watching what the pros do on television. Of course, you will still need to develop your own pre-shot routine.

So, what constitutes a good routine? Here are some suggestions. Take what works for you and leave the rest, or develop your own individual set of tasks. Again, do what works for you.

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Controlled Breathing: Many professional golfers consciously begin to control their breathing as they walk up behind the ball. At some point, behind the ball, they may stop and take a few deep breaths to calm themselves.

Visualize the Shot: While working on their breathing they may also visualize the possible shots they have and decide on the one that best suits their circumstance.

Attentive Grip: You may want to add the task of concentrating on your grip as part of your routine. This means deliberately looking at your hands and grip to ensure that it is correct.

Practice Golf Swing: Most of us do this now, and it is worth continuing to do.

Alignment: Many pros will use a second or two to ensure that their body is properly aligned for the shot.

Waggles and Last Look: You may want to set a particular number of club waggles to your routine, and you may also want to limit the number of looks you take at the target.

Head Position: One of the most useful tasks you can perform during your routine is to deliberately set your head properly for the shot, just before taking the shot. For me, this helps to "ground" me mentally for the upcoming shot and serves as something of a trigger for the beginning of my backswing.

Mental preparation: You cannot overlook the important role your mind can play in making or breaking a golf game. Andrew Scott has developed a powerful mental technique that is modeled off what Tiger Woods and other top players use. It's called the AmazingGolfMind:

amazing golf mind

It is important to note that a pre-shot routine does not have to take more than a few seconds to complete. It is also important to note, that once you find the elements that work best for you that you keep them and perform them in order.

If you do not have a deliberate pre-shot routine now, start working on one. You will have to decide what elements need to go into it, and do not be afraid to change them up as you experiment with them. As noted above, this is a very individualized process.

Once you have your elements down, remember to perform your tasks in order, time after time. This is how you begin to get a rhythm that will serve you well for many years to come.

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