By Lou Guzzi, PGA
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.
We don’t want to be the golfer who makes a swing when it finally feels right. Unfortunately, without a good Pre-Shot Routine it may never feel right, opening the door for tension and anxiety to creep into our game, and as we all know, tension and anxiety are the killers of both your Golf game and life itself.
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. Let’s find a Pre-Shot Routine that we will understand and rely on when it is time to make the swing. 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.
At my Academy I have video of Tiger Woods going through his Pre-Shot Routine in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 & 2006 and in all the swings he made his Pre-Shot Routine never changed. It continues to be simple and consistent.
Some will tell you that Pre-Shot Routine involves selection of a club, checking the wind etc….and that is not wrong at all. For me, it is after those other decisions have been made, and now it is time to execute the shot.
Here is My Pre-Shot Routine:
- It starts 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 to 3 practice swings, 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 bring my line of play in, closer to the ball (about 3 feet). I am now staring at the spot 3 feet in front of the ball and approaching the ball while still staring at that spot until I get my feet parallel to the spot and the line of play.
- 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 and practiced it on the range. 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.
Personally, I love Tigers, Mark O’meara’s, Annika Sorenstam’s, and Phil Mickelson’s just to name a few.
Originally Posted on PGA.com