Now is your chance to take revenge on the game of golf. During a round of golf, there are many things that are entirely out of your control, a spike mark, weather conditions, and a lousy bounce just to name a few. So let’s focus on what we can control and beat the game.
If you don’t already have a pre-shot routine, you’re going to by the end of reading this. In fact, this is the only aspect of golf we can control and 100% of it. If you want, next time you are at a tour event or just watching golf on television pay close attention to any player before hitting their shot. Most Likely it’s the same with every shot, 1 second too long or short will result in a poor shot.
Developing a pre-shot routine is a creative process. Ben Cranes pre-shot routine differs from Tiger Woods, just as yours will from mine. (no two players are the same) Finding the right routine shouldn’t be hard assuming it matches your personality. A slow, meticulous player’s routine will play out differently than a fast player. Find what matches your needs and personality through trial and error but ultimately what feels most comfortable and find what can be repeatable for you.
Your goal is to get the sensation of playing one shot at a time. Events that took place in the past or future expectations cannot affect your current decision making. The pre-shot routine is the key to playing one shot at a time, along with making golf more reactionary. If your reading this without a pre-shot routine, I’m excited for you because it’s the easiest way to knock stocks off your score.
In simple terms, we can split the process of hitting a golf shot into two parts. There is the preparation box(thinking box) and what I’m going to call the go box. The primary reason for unsatisfactory golf shots is the mixing of the two. Too often golfers are quick to blame some swing flaw after they hit a poor shot. Usually it has nothing to do with your swing; instead, it’s your preparation and ability to get confident about your game plan. So do yourself a favor and stop downgrading yourself and your swing. Just before your about to swing, if you have any thoughts of doubt or indecision, or anything for that matter, your chances of pulling off the shot are slim. Remember, your thinking stops before you even step towards the golf ball. Get in-tuned with this process.
During the preparation box, its time to get all the necessary information in order to pull the shot off correctly. This begins with assessing and understanding how our lie is going to affect the shot. Then getting a precise yardage to not just the flag but any force carries, front edge and back edge of the green. Trying to get a complete picture of area through yardage will help make the proper club selection. Hopefully, you are also taking wind speed/direction into account before drawing up the shot in your mind’s eye all behind the ball. See and feel this shot simultaneously with smooth practice swings until you know the ball is going to obey you. Now you’re ready to go!
There is no more necessity for thinking, as soon as you take your first step towards the ball, your in go mode. Get proficient at learning how to back off the shot if your mind begins to wander. Remember golf is all about what you can control. At first, you might find yourself having to step away from numerous shots. Hopefully, it won’t be all of them, but if it is, it’s better than making a mental error. Overtime you will get better at being more precise, finding you only have to focus for a short amount of time. Regardless of whether the shot turns out perfect or a complete disaster adopt an attitude indifference.