Updated: Dec 4, 2020
To have control over the golf ball and our golf game we must be able to control our emotions; it's that simple. There are a number of powerful ways to strengthen your mental game on the golf course. The best and simplest place to start is behind the golf ball, that being your pre shot approach. The pre shot routine is not just a swing warm up, it's an effective mental tool to train our body and mind to perform.
When implemented correctly, the ultimate purpose of the pre shot routine is to block out the background noise, the fears and doubts, and become completely focused on the task at hand.
As we implement a consistent pre shot routine, we transition our focus away from negative thoughts and emotions and toward THE PROCESS. When we focus on the process of the golf swing, we leave little room for worry and fear as we become completely engrossed in the task at hand. Our body and mind is given a specific task, eliminating any confusion on what actions are needed to perform.
The pre shot routine might seem arbitrary, but it is a set of very specific actions. Watch a PGA Tour or LPGA Tour Player's pre shot routine. You will see a consistent approach to every shot. This allows them to take control of their emotions, focus on the process, and train their brain on what specific movements to make.
So let's answer a few questions to bring more clarity to the importance of our pre shot routine.
How does the pre shot routine strengthen your mental game?
It channels our focus on the process instead of worrying about the results, gives our mind a specific task to perform which improves focus. Through commitment, consistency and repetition it creates confidence as we begin to feel more comfortable and prepared for our shot. Preparation builds confidence, which in turn leads to more accurate golf shots.
How does the pre shot routine help your golf game?
It creates consistency through a repetitive task; it trains our brain to perform; it aligns us towards our target; helps train our muscles to perform a certain movement; it gives us a chance to double check our aim, setup and posture.
What is involved in the pre shot process?
Everyone’s pre shot routine is different but it should include, aim and alignment, visualization, a practice swing of some sort, commitment, and possibly a trigger. This process should take 10-15 seconds once it is perfected.
Be patient with yourself while you implement this new process. Practice it on the driving range. Once you determine your pre shot routine commit to it with resilience. It's like flossing your teeth. We just commit to doing it everyday, regardless of how we feel. We might not see the benefits but we know it's helping. Only with commitment will we reap the rewards and integrate it as a natural part of our swing process.
The pre shot routine is a simple task that yields powerful results. It is a path to mental strength, focus, precision and confidence. As we focus on our pre shot routine and the process, we learn to trust the process. When we trust the process, we start trusting ourselves. This trust turns into confidence. As our confidence grows, our golf performance improves as well as our approach and outlook on life. And isn't that the ultimate goal?
Mental Game Improvement Starts Here. The Ultimate Pre Shot Routine Video
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