What is a Pre-shot Routine in Golf
In golf, a preshot routine refers to a process or system that a player follows to make sure they have the right mindset, approach, and club to the shot they want to hit. Every golfer that wants to be a great player must have a repeatable, clearly understood, and exact routine that they use whenever they attempt a golf shot. This is important because a good routine will impact the outcome of every swing and determine the end result.
Golf is a tough game and the conditions are continuously changing. This makes it challenging to swing your golf club right every time you are playing. For you to perform best when you hit the ball and work better under pressure, you need to develop a good pre-shot routine and ensure that you stick to it. In any case, every professional golfer has their own unique pre-shot routine. So, why should you not build a pre-shot routine? And, whether you are enjoying a great practice session or are on the course, ensure that every shot that you hit includes a great pre-shot routine.
The Advantages of a Pre-Shot Routine
Allows Players to Set The Pace For Their Shot
Just like in basketball, rushing your golf shot will result in inaccuracy. Furthermore, rushing is a sign of nervousness since the body is rushing to get over the moment. This is why you need to maintain a slow, steady, and consistent pre-shot routine as it will set a positive physical and mental tone for your golf shot. Essentially, this routine enables you to any work on any speediness or apprehensions you may be feeling. Therefore, it gives you the time to slow things down and many the necessary corrections before approaching the golf ball.
Enables You to Set Your Focus
Pre-shot routines usually incorporate some form of aiming. Unfortunately, this is commonly neglected by most amateur golfers who walk up to the golf ball and take their swing. A simple act like taking a minute to stand behind your ball and visualize what you want from the target or what you want to achieve will work wonders for your golf shot and guarantee excellent results.
Helps you Quiet or Soothe Your Mind
When taking a consistent and smooth golf swing, your nerves can become a major hindrance. This is why you should adhere to a pre-set routine as it will allow your muscle memory to take charge and execute the shot without allowing the mind to come in and wreck the whole process.
With a solid and consistent pre-shot routine, you can keep off the negative thoughts because of a bad hole or a previous bad shot. In most cases the mind tends to drift away instead of focusing on the process and this allows external factors to cloud the entire picture resulting in a poor outcome after the shot. With a pre-shot routine, you can eliminate these disruptions and focus on hitting your golf ball regardless of what happens around you.
When you have a solid process from the beginning to address, one thing you will enjoy is confidence. A good routine will create your ideal emotional, physical, and mental state. You can be sure that your routine is serving to the highest level if your feel positive, optimistic, and your mental state is clear. Additionally, your emotional state will be calm and your physical state open and relaxed.
Confidence is golf storms from consistency. When you have a solid pre-shot routine, you must ensure that it is strictly followed in all situations and at all times. If you want the best results in golf, you should not cut short your routine or speed it up whenever you feel frustrated or anxious.
Why are Pre-Shot Routines Important for Golfers?
Every player must strive to build his/her own unique golf pre-shot routine. Without a pre-shot routine, your overall consistency will be significantly affected. Furthermore, having a pre-shot routine can do wonders by keeping the golfer more confident and focused on the golf shot. In addition, it can help to eliminate indecisions or bad decisions on the golf course. This is because your mind is deeply focused on the routine, you can easily block out any negative thoughts and distractions.
With a good routine before the actual golf shot, your swing will be more repeatable and consistent. Many players have a pre-shot routine regardless of whether they are aware of it or not. The best pre-shot routine should be positive and reinforce whatever you want to achieve instead of what you wish to avoid. If your routine focuses on where you do not want the golf ball to go or the hazards, it will boost the chances of the poor shot happening.
How You Can Develop Your Pre-Shot Routine
The best place for players to run-through their pre-shot routine is at the driving range. Continuous practice will help golfers determine what makes them feel comfortable and what helps them attain tension-free golf swings. This is important because every round of golf whether in a tournament or a friendly match with friends usually has several high pressure moments. However, when you stick to a routine, the more your body and mind will be at ease and you will have everything under your control.
Every pre-shot routine can have an individual design to suit the needs of a specific golfer. However, there are fundamental things that every routine should address and accomplish. Here are a few steps that you can use when building a pre-shot routine to help you perform best on each golf shot.
Choose a Trigger.
A pre-shot routine should not begin when you get to the golf ball. They need to start while you are on your way to the green, tee box, or fairway, particularly when you are walking on the course. While walking, you are able to notice more contours on the green, and this can be helpful with your pitches.
To start your routine, a trigger is the first thing you require. This will signal your mind that it needs to focus and zone in on your shot. For example, a simple trigger can be when you Velcro your golf gloves, your mind will know that this is the time you need to assess your shot and determine the best way of playing it.
Pick a Target.
Golfers need to select their target while still standing behind the golf ball. You need to look down your target line and then choose a location that is just a few feet in front of your ball. Your eyes should be on the spot and you should approach the ball by setting the clubface pointing to the closest target. Ensure that the golf club is on the leading edge.
When you have your golf club already set, you need to align your body to ensure it is corresponding to your target line. Ensure that the butt of the golf club is pointing at the initial belt loop which is at the left of the navel.
With regards to the grip, you need to hold the golf club vertically and take the grip. Ensure that it is in your fingers and maintain the 45-degree angle. You should then push the rear end out and bend at the hips with your knees somewhat flexed. You should then place your golf club down behind the golf ball.
Take a Practice Swing.
You need to try hitting the turf at the front of your ball and towards the target. You need to feel the swing and step back up to your ball.
Look at your target for the last time
Take a last look at the target. You should then focus on the front of your golf ball and then take your swing as you strike through the ball and hit the turf at the front of the ball. You should then come to a complete finish and hold the finish until your golf ball lands.
In case your pre-shot routine is interrupted or you get distracted by a negative thought or something in the environment, you should just step away and then start the whole process from the very beginning, for example, standing behind the ball and getting the ball to the target line. With this, you can start your golf round in the right direction and you will also attain the low scores and results you desire.
How Long Should a Pre-Shot Routine Last
Everything that happens in a pre-shot routine is personal to some degree. Nevertheless, you need to time your routine to avoid spending along time standing over your ball as it could negatively impact your game. You need to try out various routines during the practice round or at the driving range to help you determine what works perfectly for your game.
Make sure that your entire golf pre-shot routine takes about 20 to 30 seconds from the beginning to the end. If your routine takes longer than this, you will end up slowing downplay and it will require tweaking.
You should always remember that every player has a duty to maintain the pace of the game at an ideal level. Your golf swing should be relaxed and solid to enable the body to make the full motion that is required to hit a quality shot. The strategy is to walk to the ball quickly, finish the assessment of the situation, and get to the shot.
Innovative Technology That Can Support Your Pre-Shot Routine
When practicing at a driving range, you must have someone filming your pre-shot routine. Golfers can set up their tablets or smartphones to record their whole pre-shot routine. This will help you to determine what works for you and you can then apply it when in an actual gaming situation.
If possible, you should get yourself a golf rangefinder that will give you an exact distance to your pin and a GPS watch. These technology devices can come in handy for golfers without an assistant by their side. The details of the back, front, middle, and the precise distance to the pin are quite helpful and it is valuable to have this data at your fingertips. When it comes to golf, there is nothing worse than having a well-struck golf shot that ends up too long or too shot because of an inaccurate distance.
When Should You Change Your Golf Pre-Shot Routine?
The truth is that your pre-shot routine should never change but should always be consistent. However, there is a reprimand because you definitely have a somewhat different pre-shot routine for every type of shot. For example, a routine for a driver will be different from that of an iron shot on the rough or fairway. This simply means that you will end up having a slightly different golf pre-shot routine for:
- Approach shots
However, golfers should try whatever possible to be consistent between all their pre-shot routines.
Tips For an effective Pre-Shot Routine in Golf
Stand behind your golf ball, stare at the target, and then count to 3+
This helps to keep the player calm and will eliminate or reduce any nerves or apprehension you have and keep you feeling relaxed throughout the golf swing. The main reason why this works is because it will force you to slow down and take a few full breaths. Proper breathing and breathing exercises are known to calm the nerves and boost performance. Furthermore, they bring the much needed oxygen to the muscles.
When starting your game, you should tell yourself positive things that will keep you focused consistently. You need to watch what you say during your pre-shot routine since it will have a significant impact on your golf shot. Most golfers tend to talk to themselves negatively and this can hurt their confidence and result in a poor swing. With positive encouragement, you will help to enhance your confidence, and increase the ability to execute your shot.
Visualize the Results You Want
Before you address the ball, you need to select your target and outcome. The best time to visualize your golf shot is when you are standing behind your golf ball. You should just take a minute to draw out the golf ball in flight in your mind and then watch the simulated shot all through to where you want the ball to land.
Most golfers usually get intimidated by the notion of visualization, however, it is not complicated. All you have to do is to use your imagination and envision the golf shot that you want and then see in amazement when your body listens and then recreates it.
Use Your Pre Shot Routine Whenever You Need It The Most
Golfers should take the time to get comfortable with their pre-shot routine in practice before they take it into any competition. This will help to make things much easier to use when you need your routine the most. Continuous practice ensures that your routine becomes engrained in your game and things will be much easier for you, especially when you need a pre-shot routine most.
Every golfer knows that there are some situations when following your routine can be quite challenging. However, these are the times when your routine is crucial. They include:
- When you are playing the game poorly and you feel inclined to allow your thoughts go to techniques, mechanics, and general concern regarding your poor play.
- Whenever you are playing quite well and you feel inclined to allow your thoughts to shift to pressure or excitement that comes with playing golf in contention or playing out of the comfort zone you are used to.
Regardless of the situation, you must always make your golf pre-shot routine a priority. This will ensure that you get the most from any round of golf. When you get your pre-shot routine right, it will do wonders for your game than just thinking about any possible negative outcomes or your score. Your pre-shot routine will require increased concentration and effort, but you will become more focused on the process rather than the outcome and this will significantly enhance the consistency of your execution.
Whether you are playing in tournaments or with friends, the main goal is to perform as best as possible. However, this means that you will be dealing with nerves and even forget about technical adjustments for some time. One of the best ways to achieve this is to develop a pre-shot golf routine. When you have a routine, you will become automatic when the right time comes to hit your ball.
In golf, an automatic process is great for performance because it prevents your mind from overthinking the golf shot at hand. However, just like everything else, being comfortable with your golf pre-shot routine takes lots of practice and time. You will need to experiment with the best routine for you since repetition is the key to achieving the best performance on the golf course. Be sure to develop and use your golf pre-shot routine to get in zone, soothe your mind, and you will notice a quick improvement when playing golf.