Published on by Gordon McCallum

Do you have a Pre-Shot Routine?

Do you know it?

So many golfers have a Pre-Shot Routine for most golf shots but don't even know what their routine is when asked in a lesson.

Unfortunately, without a good Pre-Shot Routine it is very difficult to build a consistent game, allowing tension and anxiety to creep into our game.

Since golf is not a reaction sport, that golf ball is just going to sit there and sit there until the golfer addresses it and executes a shot. Finding a comfortable Pre-Shot Routine that you understand and can rely on when it is time to make the swing is vitally important. Understanding your Pre-Shot Routine will really help to keep the tension and anxiety levels way down.

Watch the professionals on Television and you will see that they all have a solid Pre-Shot Routine - they do the same thing every time before they hit a ball. Watch them very closely next time and you will see their Pre-Shot Routine's never changes. They are simple and consistent.

Here is my Pre-Shot Routine:

I start behind the ball, looking down the line of play to get a visual for the shot. I then stand parallel to the line of play, still well behind the ball and make 1 practice swing, looking to feel the swing that I want to make for that shot.

Now I am behind the ball, with arms hanging low and trying to get as loose and relaxed as possible.

I now look down the line of play and see a point (usually a piece of grass or dirt) about 1 metre in front of the ball. I stare at that spot 1 metre in front of the ball and approach the ball while still staring at that spot until I get my feet parallel to the spot and the line of play. It is easier to line up the clubhead with a point 1 metre in front of the ball than the target (e.g. the flag) which may be 100 or 200 metres away

Now that I am in a good set-up position and ready to make the swing I waggle and look, a 2nd waggle and a look and as soon as my club touches the ground after the 2nd waggle and look I swing.

Because I know that I will be swinging after the second waggle, tension and anxiety are kept at as low a level as possible giving me the opportunity to execute the best possible swing.

Study the professionals; watch for their Pre-Shot Routine and re-evaluate yours. Find a style that fits your game (it may be very different to mine) and practice it. Remember, it is important to know your Pre-Shot Routine so that you will be prepared to make the best possible swing for the shot at hand.

Have fun, Gordon