Having a good pre-shot routine is essential to doing well in the game. All the great players have one with some of them more distinctive than others.
Did you notice how this year’s US PGA Championship winner Jason Day closes his eyes and visualises the shot before he plays one or how Tiger Woods has used the same simple pre-shot routine since the 1990s?
While a pre-shot routine isn’t helping the latter at the moment, perhaps due to too having too much on his mind, a lot about Jason Day’s game seems to revolve around an almost mystical pre-shot routine.
What is actually happening before he plays the shot however is common among most accomplished golfers. They have perfected the art and this puts them in a relaxed position to play the shot rather than let any negative thoughts or outside interference get in the way.
Without having a pre-shot routine you just end up filling the gap in time between approaching and hitting the ball with all sorts of rubbish like the last time you missed a 3 foot putt, or how you seem to have a jinx on a particular golf course.
What happens when your mind visualises something is a powerful thing. Day admits that he even visualises himself lifting the trophy – something which certainly seems to have helped him win his first Major after coming close several times.
Above all however having a good pre-shot routine will keep you in the moment whether it’s going through a simple checklist in your head about how you’re setting up or if you are more imaginative, visualising the most perfect conditions when conditions are the opposite.
A pre-shot routine shouldn’t be confined to the golf course either. Too many golfer just keep striking the ball while out on the driving range without giving too much thought to what they do before the shot. If this is the case then how can they expect to perfect pre-shot routine when the time comes to re-create the perfect drive out on the golf course?
Having that well-practiced pre-shot routine will release all that tension and stop anxiety creeping into your game. It might even help you improve your score.