Remember those golf games where you could do no wrong? As if you were possessed with a magical energy that turned you into a god on the green? This state is called “the zone”. For some players this is pure luck, while others develop their golf pre shot routine to help them to consistently enter into this zone in a strategic and planned manner.
A pre shot routine can be thought of as a certain habit or ritual that many professional golfers use. Many greats incorporate this technique into their game. Amazing players like Arnold, Tiger, and Jack, all use a pre shot routine. Each routine will be precisely performed and follow specific steps that will be different for each player. Sometimes the player will run through a pre shot routine unconsciously and not even know they are doing it. While others will consciously design their golf pre shot routine.
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Players can use a pre shot routine to help them become mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared and ready to play a great shot. The important thing to remember is that you will not always be able to enter the magical state or zone, even if you have the best golf pre shot routine. But your chances of being able to play at your best will dramatically increase. So don’t be an average player and skip over doing a pre shot routine, otherwise you may not progress from being just that…average!
Before I show you what an example pre shot routine looks like, it’s important to note, each person will need to have their own routine. At first while you are still learning, you can copy or emulate another player, but after some time you will want to develop your own that works for you.
It is also imperative that you run through your pre game routine every time you take a shot. This will help to develop consistency and turn your routine into a ritual, which will be unconscious and run on autopilot.
The following is an example golf pre shot routine for you to learn from or maybe even adopt and then later tweak and change to your liking.
A Simple Golf Pre Shot Routine:
Step One – Stand in a position behind the ball and identify the exact target to aim for.
Step Two – Take a couple of deep breaths in and out to relax. Visualize or picture in your mind, yourself as you take the perfect shot. Use the three main senses to do this, hearing, sight, and feeling. Make sure you get a solid feeling for how the club feels in your hand, your posture and positioning, the swing, and the eventual contact and follow through. Then see the ball flying through the air at the correct trajectory towards the target and landing where you want it to land.
This visualization may seem like it could take a while but it should only take about ten seconds or so to run through from start to finish. Visualization is very powerful. There is a saying that “everything is created twice, once in the mind and once in reality.” So if you want to hit a great shot in reality, you first need to see it happen in your mind first.
Step Three – Choose an intermediate target that is in line with the target. This could be a spot on the ground roughly 6 – 12 inches in front of the ball or some other object. This will help you correctly to line up the clubface.
Step Four – Have a few practice swings, while you picture the perfect shot in your mind. Get a feel for the ideal swing that you will need to make. This will help you to translate the vision you have in your mind of the perfect shot, to actually feeling it physically.
Step Five – Move into the address position. As you are getting ready, run through a quick checklist to make sure your grip, body alignment, posture, and ball position is correct.
Step Six – Take another couple of deep breaths in and out to relax. You could even run through the mind visualization one more time to really program the shot you want to take into your whole being.
Step Seven – Start and complete the shot and finish in a balanced position.
There you go! Seven easy to follow steps to help you form a pre shot routine. Feel free to use this one or make a few changes to it so that it feels more in line with how you naturally play the game. To discover your best golf pre shot routine, you may have to experiment with a few different variations before you find one that helps you to perform at your best.