Pre-shot routine tips for golf

The decision making needs to happen in the first part of your pre-shot routine. Nearly all golfers should know, that good shots rarely happen if you aren’t 100% focused on the shot. This is when you need to build up an image in your head, exactly what a good shot would look like to you. Things that you would think about would be how the ball would fly, where it would land and how far it would roll out.

As you start to build up an image in your head, look at the shot facing you, think about the weather conditions, how the ball is lying on the ground, the ground conditions of your landing zone and what the wind is doing. You need to try and take in as much information as you can, in the short time you have for this phase. Because when this phase finishes, I want you to have a clear visualisation of what you are trying to do. This will help you a lot when it comes to executing the golf shot.

Know your yardages

If you want to improve your scores, it makes sense to do some checks to find out exactly how far you hit the ball with every club in your bag (except your putter). Your yardages are personal to you and have no relation to how far anyone else hits the ball. This will form a good base for your strategy. When working out which club to hit into the green, always work out the number to the back.

Very few amateurs miss long of the green, however, many fall short into the bunkers and trouble that lie short of the green. Knowing the distance to the back of the green in your mind and picking a club that will get you as close to that spot without going past it, will allow you a little room for poor strike or misjudgement.

Dress Rehearsal

Before you move into the shot itself, make a good full practice swing.  Try to replicate exactly what you are trying to do in your main swing, during your practice swing. Your practice swing is your dress rehearsal, it’s the last swing you make before it matters so it makes sense to make it as realistic as possible. Too many players waste energy on a pitiful practice swing. Use yours to your advantage and help set yourself into a more confident mindset by developing a good feeling for the shot and the swing you are trying to make.

I feel this area of the pre-shot routine is rather important as your last shot is more than likely going to be different to the current shot. Whether it’s a different club, different position or even a completely different swing. So it’s key to make sure that you are ready to play the current shot to the best of your ability

Picking your target

Aligning yourself correctly to the target is something we can all successfully do before every shot but you have to be precise, the target you pick has to be as small as possible. If you need to check to make sure you are aligning to the target properly, then during practice lay a club down along the line of your feet and check to make sure everything is in line. Try to make sure that you are parallel to your target for a straight shot, however, if you draw or fade the ball then allow some room either way for the golf ball to move.

As soon as you start to get lazy with your routine or trying to speed it up because your playing with someone slow and your rushing things, small mistakes can quickly ingrain themselves into your routine. So try to remember to take your time to complete your normal routine.

Trying to align your clubface to a target that is way in distance can be quite difficult and can lead to poor accuracy. So try standing behind your ball and draw an imaginary line from your target back to your ball, then pick out a spot that is about 6 inches ahead of your ball along the imaginary line. Try to then pick out something that stands out like a leaf, weed or anything that is on the line you’re aiming down. As you get yourself into your address position, this is your target to aim the clubface directly at. Once you have this target line, you are in a much better position to take your stance. You will then gain a huge amount of confidence from knowing that you have taken all these things into consideration, chosen the right club and aimed correctly. These pre-shot routine tips will not only help you get yourself into a better address position but they will help create a confident and focused mindset.

Thank you very much for reading my blog, my next one will be along shortly.

Have a great week golfing.

Daniel West