What is a pre-shot routine?
It is a process you go through when you are getting ready to hit a golf shot.
Why is it important?
It is important to train your brain so it knows what to do during a round of golf.
There are many ways you can create your own pre-shot routine. Some routines are very distinguishable. When my husband and I competed on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour I would be able to recognize players two or three holes away just by the way they walked into a golf shot.
Here are six steps to assist you in developing your own pre-shot routine:
- Inspect Your Options
Where do you want to hit the ball? What is your best play from where you are? (Sometimes going for the green is not possible, as you cannot carry the water or trouble).
Once you decide where you want to hit the golf ball, you need to calculate your yardage. If you own a laser device, you will laser the distance. If you don’t own a laser, you must search for sprinkler heads to find the yardage. What is written on the sprinkler head is typically the distance from that point to the center of the green. You will need to walk off the yardage to/from the sprinkler head to your golf ball and add or subtract the difference. Once you have the raw yardage, you will inspect your lie. (Is it good or bad?) Next comes the wind. If there is some, is it with you or against? Now you calculate your playable yardage. Let’s say you are at the 100-yard marker. There is a bunker in front of the green. The carry distance over the bunker is 95 yards. You are going uphill and against the wind. You add a few yards to give yourself room to miss the shot and still carry the bunker. Your starting yardage was 100 yards, but with the wind, slope, and bunker, you are now playing this shot as a 115-yard shot.
- Picking Your Club
One you know your yardage and have chosen your shot, you need to pick the right club to pull it off. It is imperative that you learn how far you fly your clubs. Most clubs travel between 8-10 yards different in distance.
You have chosen your shot, calculated the yardage, and picked your club. You will walk behind the ball to visualize the line you want the ball to start on. As you walk into the ball, you can either set the face down with your back hand, front hand, or both hands. I suggest you always set your clubhead down first, as that is what is pointed at the target. Never align your shoulders to the target. They should be pointed parallel left.
- Final Look Once your set up is complete, be sure to take one more look at your target to be sure you are comfortable.
Now, let it rip! Swing the club and watch your beautiful shot go right to the hole!