What is a pre-shot routine? What purpose does it serve? How to create one that “works”? Have you tried using one but can’t seem to stick to it?
Simply put, the pre-shot routine is an organized way of getting ready to hit your shot. It is also used to help manage one's internal stress before, during (and even after) a shot. Champion golfers spend much time on developing an effective routine, and so should you.
A good routine will have elements that have to do with the body and elements that have to do with the mind.
The physical part of the pre-shot routine will ensure that you have proper aim and alignment. I suggest that you start with the grip. Then set the club-face at your intended target. Finish by setting your body parallel to your target line. Note: it helps to pick a spot about 50 cm. In front of your ball to which you can aim the clubface. Use the imaginary line between your ball and this spot as a line to which you can set your feet parallel.
The mental aspects of the pre-shot routine guarantee mental preparedness to hit the shot. Positive visualization of the desired shot and its success will help build confidence. At this time, you may also take a second to relax if there is some pressure on the shot.
“Feel” the shot that you want to hit before hitting it. Even though feel is physical, the capacity to concentrate on feel is mental. This point illustrates the importance of having your body and mind working together when you play golf. Your practice swing should be used to feel the particular shot you want to play
Some of the major components of any good pre-shot routine are the following: Finding proper distances, deciding upon a strategy for the shot, visualization of the shot, club selection, practice swings to feel the shot, gripping the club, aiming, alignment of body, and relaxation.
Note: you should never remain still for more than 2 seconds during the pre-shot routine!
Make it Personal
Everybody’s pre-shot routine is different. Your pre-shot routine must correspond to your personality and rhythm. For example, if you like to pay attention to a lot of details at work, you should probably pay attention to details in your routine. If you walk and play quickly, your routine should not be slow and deliberate.