Pre-shot routine tips for golf

The first part of your pre-shot routine is where the decision-making needs to happen. As every golfer knows, good shots rarely happen if you aren’t 100% focussed. This is when you need to build up a picture in your mind for exactly what a good shot would look like – how it would fly, where it would land and how far it would roll. As you look at the shot facing you, think about the weather conditions, how the ball is lying, the terrain of your landing zone and what the wind is doing. Take in as much information as you can because when this phase finishes, I want you to have a vivid visualisation of what you are trying to do. This will help you hugely when it comes to the execution.

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Your Yardages

If you want to improve your scores, it makes sense to do some homework, finding out exactly how far you hit the ball. Your yardages are exactly that – yours. They have no relation to how far anyone else hits the ball and they will form the foundation of your strategy. When working out which club to hit into the green, always calculate the number to the back. Few amateurs miss long but they often fall foul of the bunkers and trouble that lie short of the green. Having the distance to the back 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 leeway on the strike as well. As you can see here, there is a 34-yard gap between the front and the back of the green – for most of us, that’s a three club difference. When it comes to pre-shot routine tips for golf, figuring this part out is essential.

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Dress Rehearsal

Before you move into the shot itself, make a proper practice swing. I’ve placed a wooden block on the ground here to divide the ‘practice’ area and the ‘performance’ area. Try to replicate exactly what you are trying to do. Your practice swing is your dress rehearsal, 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 meaningless practice swings. Use yours to help set a more confident mindset by developing a genuine feeling for the shot and the swing you are trying to make.

Picking your target

Aligning yourself correctly 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. As soon as you start to get lazy or sloppy, small mistakes can quickly ingrain themselves into your routine. Trying to align your clubface to a target that is in the distance is incredibly difficult and can lead to mistakes. Stand behind your ball and draw an imaginary line from your target back to your ball, then pick out a spot that is no more than 6 inches ahead of your ball along this imaginary line. Try to see an imperfection or an object on the grass on that line to aim at. As you stand over the ball in the 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 build your stance. The confidence you’ll gain from aiming correctly is huge. These pre-shot routine tips for golf will not only help you set better address positions but they will help create a positive, focused mindset