WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A PRE-SHOT ROUTINE.
Control the controllables. How often have you heard this in golf?
The only thing that you can truly control is yourself – your thoughts, your feelings, and therefore your behavior. Everything else is outside of your control – winning, results, how we play, who we’re playing with, the weather, etc. A good pre-shot routine will help you take full control of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior and will therefore also influence how you react to the uncontrollables like competition pressure, other players, etc. Simply having a good pre-shot routine can shave some shots of your rounds and help you stay consistent.
To explain how and why pre-shot routines work, I like to compare golf to baking a cake. Baking a cake with 5 ingredients will allow for more consistency over time than baking a cake with 20 ingredients. Now think of those ingredients in baking as variables in golf – the weather conditions, how you slept the night before, who you’re playing with, work stress, troubles at home with your family or partner, etc.
The pre-shot routine will mitigate many of these variables so that the chances of hitting a good shot will be significantly higher.
Think of the last time you played really well and everything felt easy – this is a state of flow or being in that golf zone – this is what we are trying to recreate with each shot and a pre-shot routine can help you get into this zone much easier.
You might be thinking – ‘I have a pre-shot routine but I don’t feel those benefits.’ The answer here is simple – you don’t have the right pre-shot routine. Simply doing a practice swing or choosing a specific target is not a full pre-shot routine – visualization, relaxation techniques, starting point and an ending point – these are all things that should be incorporated into your pre-shot routine.
So now let’s say you have a good pre-shot routine but it still isn’t helping you. This could be due to not being meticulous with it. The only way you will feel the benefit is if you do it before each and every shot, no matter how hard or easy it is, as well as practicing it on the driving range. Instead of hitting ball after ball, take your time, pick your shot and make sure to include your full pre-shot routine into each shot. Drill this in the same way that you would when working on your swing.
Every professional golfer has a pre-shot routine and so should you.
Summary: Brett’s Bottom Line:
In the modern approach to player development, there are six categories. Most amateurs are only making use of three of them. These categories are:
- Basic Instruction
- Shot Making Skills
- Course Management
- Physical Conditioning
- Mental/Emotion Support
The TPI Team approach teaches us that to become the best golfer you can be you need to have support for all six of these categories. My role as a golf performance specialist is to help golfers overcome the physical restrictions that prevent them from playing their best golf. While Sanne’s role is to make sure your own stinkin’ thinkin’ doesn’t get in the way of you playing your best golf. It is her mission to help golfers just like you improve their golf game and become better athletes.