You're a serious golfer. We are certain that you are, and our articles are deliberately written to show you how you can be the best golfer you can be.
You know and understand the importance of a good pre-shot routine that helps and supports you to produce good quality golf shots under pressure in training, and then transfer it into tournaments.
Now I am not talking about the physical pre shot routine (which is important) but the mental pre-shot routine which is absolutely critical to get into the "flow zone" to execute consistent golf shots.
If you're working on breaking a scoring barrier like 80, 75 or 70 you better be working on having this part of your game in place. Otherwise you will end up being able to execute good shots on the driving range but when it counts on the golf course you will struggle to produce the shot that you want.
You're not alone, and I will help you get an understanding of how to go about establishing a good mental pre-shot routine.
All successful golfers have a mental pre-shot routine that has been practiced over many years and the have full trust in it - no matter what the situation is and when.
The more simple you keep it, the better the chance you have of repeating it. In my experience you only have to do three things consistently to develop a world class mental pre-shot routine. That's right just three things!
THE SEE IT - FEEL IT - DO IT STRATEGY
You have probably read and heard that using your preferred learning style (visual, kinesthetic, auditory) is essential for learning effectively and whilst this is true from my experience working with hundreds of elite golfers over more than thirty years I have found that using all your senses together works best in developing an effective mental pre-shot routine that works.
1. SEE IT
The start of your mental pre-shot routine begins after you have completed the planning of the golf shot and selected the club for the shot and you are standing behind the ball looking toward the target.
You have done the planning stage, now visualize the trajectory and shape your're intending.
Program and see what you want to achieve as opposed to what most people do and focus on the shot they don't want to see.
Is this you?
If you have selected a shot that you are not confident with you will be thinking only of the technique required to execute the shot rather than seeing the shot and removing analytical thoughts that interfere with the successful execution of your golf shot.
2. FEEL IT
If you take practice swings, just before you walk in is the place to do this. If your preference is not to have a practice swing then that's not an issue as long as you have clarity and can see the shot you want to execute.
As you walk in and take your address posture internalize the feel through out the body and where your balance is by focusing on being able to "center" yourself.
You will have observed athletes especially martial arts experts getting into a centered posture before they execute a movement, or a set shot like in tennis (serve), basketball (free throw), soccer (penalty).
By learning how to breathe properly this will help you center yourself as you address the ball and also reduce the negative self talk that tends to surface at this point.
3. DO IT
Once you have centered yourself one last look at the target and as you eyes track back to the ball the clubhead is starting the backswing and you're in the "Flow Zone" and on your way to improved ball striking under pressure when it counts.
Use this information to design your own simple 3 step mental pre-shot routine, and you will be well on your way to lowering your competitive score average in no time.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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