Having your own pre-shot routine in place is a very effective way of returning your thoughts to the task at hand – in this case, the golf shot. It helps ground you, it helps put your mind at ease, and it also develops your rhythm.
What is a Pre-shot Routine and How Can I benefit?
A pre-shot routine is a consistent and systematic technique that’s used before every golf shot. It can be a sequence of thoughts, movements, and checkpoints, or all of the above. The exact method golfers use pre-shot is unique to each.
My advice to you is to keep it as simple as possible. Aim and alignment are two major consistencies in every golfers’ swing, and whichever pre-shot routine you feel comfortable with, aim and alignment are the two elements you should include.
What Pre-Shot Routine Can I use?
Step 1 – Establish a target line
Start behind the ball, you’re going to look at the general area you want your ball to land in. Then with your club, hold it vertically in front of you aiming it in the center of the area you want to hit. I call this the plumb bob technique. Using the line created by holding the shaft of the club vertical and aiming at the target area, pick out a marker 3ft in front of the ball that’s on that target line. It could be a broken tee or a divot or darker patch of grass, anything to help you align your clubface with your chosen target will do.
Step 2 – Align your clubface
Now that you’ve established your target line, you can now step up to address the golf ball with the confidence that your aim is spot on. From this moment on, the process is quite repetitive. Firstly, place your hands on the club, keeping the clubface square. Then aim the clubface to the target line you created before you stepped up.
Step 3 – Align your body
The next step is to align your body so that your hips, feet, legs, and shoulders are all parallel to the target line.
Step 4 – Last check, now swing!
Now you have your target line, your clubface is lined up, and your body is setup correctly it’s time for a quick check. Take one or two glances at your intended target and let her rip! If you don’t hit it perfectly, don’t worry, your alignment work earlier should stand you in good stead – a great miss!
This pre-shot routine is what I teach all my students as it’s simple and easily implemented. If you want to increase your consistency then I urge you to implement this right away if you haven’t already.
Do you have a pre-shot routine already? If so, do you feel it has improved your game, and if so, in what way? Leave your comments or questions in the comments section below.