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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