March 2017 Newsletter – – 07958785326

What’s Your Pre-Shot Routine?

Do you have a Pre-Shot Routine?   
Do you know what your routine is?

There are so many club golfers that actually do have a routine, but have no idea what it is when I ask them in a lesson. Its a bit like if I asked you to make a cup of tea you would naturally just do it your way without thinking.
Its not good to be a golfer making several swings until one feels right but without a Pre-Shot routine there is a chance it may never feel right. This can make tension, anxiety and lots of other thoughts enter into our game, tension and anxiety are not just detrimental to your health but also your game.
Unlike most sports the ball is not moving in golf so there is no automatic reaction, the ball will just stay motionless until you address it and make a swing. Everyone has there own personal routine, although some are very similar, and we need to understand and rely on ours when committing to the shot we have decided on. If you watch any golf on TV you will see all the golfers have a Pre-Shot routine, its solid and exactly the same on every shot. If you can take this into your game then you are almost on auto-pilot and that tension and anxiety will be minimal.
Every golfers Pre-Shot routine differs in some way, some will start as soon as they have  a yardage, then selecting a club and allowing for wind / rain etc, nothing wrong with that but personally mine only starts after all that information has been gathered and I’m ready to pull the trigger.

3 Golfers

Below is my Pre-Shot Routine, feel free to copy it if you want to:
I don’t always have a practise swing but if I do its always before my routine starts,
From behind the ball I’m looking down the line of my intended play and visualising the shot, trying to focus on some sort of mark, dent or anything in the ground approximately 9-18 inches in front of the ball and aim my clubface squarely at that mark.
In my mind I draw a line between the clubface and that mark, then I take my set-up with my feet parallel to that line and everything aimed squarely at my target.
I am now addressing the ball, with arms hanging low and trying to get as loose and relaxed as possible.(no tension or anxiety)
I turn my head towards the target for one more visual enhancement of the intended shot and pull the trigger, my trigger is  a very slight weight shift to the right and swing through to a full and balanced finish.
Watch all the Professionals on TV, study their Pre-Shot routines and compare them to yours (if you have one) find something you like and adopt it into your game.
Lastly, you must practise your Pre-Shot routine, I see so many golfers at ranges just hitting ball after ball and thinking they are helping their swings, when in fact they are not practising what they do on the course? Take your time when hitting balls, treat every shot as though it was a shot in the medal, go through your routine with every ball and soon your swing will be as easy as making a cup of tea!!
Good luck with this tip and good golfing to you all.

Martin Rathbone PGA - Head Teaching Professional - Surbiton Golf Club