Create a Proper Pre-Shot Routine

You may be like me and enjoy watch­ing pro­fes­sion­al golf on tele­vi­sion. At the very least many of you watch at least part of the majors. Pro­fes­sion­als spend an incred­i­ble amount of time work­ing on their game. There are not many things you can watch pros doing on TV that can be direct­ly applied to your game. There are a few how­ev­er, and the pre-shot rou­tine is one of them.

Take an hour or two to watch a pro­fes­sion­al event on TV. Watch the play­ers’ pre-shot rou­tines. You’ll notice they dif­fer from the pre-shot rou­tines of many ama­teurs. Many ama­teurs take a few prac­tice swings along side the ball and then address the ball. Unless they need to test the lie by the ball, pro­fes­sion­als do very lit­tle along side the ball besides address­ing and hit­ting it. Most of the pro­fes­sion­al player’s pre-shot rou­tine is spent behind the ball fac­ing the hole. They are visu­al­iz­ing their per­fect shot and align­ing their tar­get.

After select­ing the right club, stand a few yards behind the ball fac­ing your tar­get and visu­al­ize the shot. Visu­al­iza­tion is imag­in­ing the ball flight of the shot you have planned. Pro­fes­sion­als know their con­fi­dence grows with the pos­i­tive affir­ma­tion of visu­al­iza­tion. With so much of the game of golf being men­tal, visu­al­iz­ing every shot is impor­tant to your suc­cess.

After visu­al­iz­ing your shot, take a prac­tice swing. One prac­tice swing, a few yards behind the ball, is plen­ty if you have a good lie. The only time you need to take a prac­tice swing next to the ball is when you have an unsure lie, which includes side­hill, uphill and down­hill lies.

Next, you need to line up your shot with a tar­get in the dis­tance. Depend­ing on the lie and the wind, the tar­get may be the flag, a tree, a sand trap or just about any­thing. Stand­ing a few yards behind the ball, draw an imag­i­nary line through the ball to your tar­get. Pick a spot on the imag­i­nary line three to five feet in front of the ball. Address the ball by plac­ing your club face behind the ball in line with the spot you just picked three to five feet in front of the ball. Line up your feet per­pen­dic­u­lar to the imag­i­nary line. Keep a relaxed grip and take the shot.

Devel­op­ing a repeat­able pre-shot rou­tine is an impor­tant step in con­sis­tent­ly hit­ting qual­i­ty shots. A con­sis­tent pre-shot rou­tine will improve your scores.

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