Junior Golf Alliance of NY

Jul 142009

Perfecting your pre-shot routine – By: Dave Mahoney  www.davemahoneygolf.com 

A consistent pre shot routine is something that the world’s greatest golfers all have in common.  A good pre shot routine that is practiced consistently on the driving range as well as on the course, will provide you the opportunity to find comfort in challenging times on the course.   If done properly it will give you greater access to your best swing that is presently available.  Here are some excellent pointers you can follow to create your best pre shot routine.   

Part 1.  Mind and Body Preparation

1. Take some long and even diaphragmatic breaths.  For every state of mind there is a state of breath.  You may have noticed that when anxiety hits your awareness on the course your breath begins to become shallow, short, and mainly from the chest.  The beautiful thing here is that there is a direct link between your state of mind and your breathing patterns.  So if you are feeling anxiety or frustration, conscious diaphragmatic breathing will slow down the racing mind and bring you back to the present moment.

2. Let go of any excess tension from the body.  When you bring attention to your body on the course, you may be surprised by how tense certain muscles in your body get in different situations. Make it a habit to bring awareness to various muscles through your body.  Without attention, emotions in the mind get stored in the body and prevent the golfer from making a free flowing swing.  Begin by bringing your awareness to the muscles in your face, scan through your neck, shoulders, back, stomach, arms, legs, ext and any excess muscle tension will diffuse with your attention. 

Part 2.  Shot preparation and execution

3. Visualize the shot you are trying to hit.  Jack Nicklaus once described how he liked to visualize his shot.  He said that it was like a movie, he saw everything.  He saw how the ball was going to land, and react upon hitting it the ground.  He even saw the flight and curve of the ball, and then finally he visualized the swing that was going to make those images a reality.  This brings us to the fourth step. 
4. Feel the shot during your practice swings.  In the 2005 Masters, Tiger Woods found himself in a very difficult position on the 16th hole.  Click on this…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1I55z-x6zc 

He was long and left of the hole for his second shot.  As you watch the re-run pay attention to how he prepares for the shot.  He is visualizing exactly where he wants the ball to land; he then takes multiple practice strokes until he finds the perfect feel for how he wants to hit the shot.  Whether the shot is a long one or a short chip, this is a must for preparing for your shot.

5. Commit to the shot.  This has to do with trusting what your body felt and the vision that your mind saw.  At this point no more thought is necessary; in fact it is the only thing that can interfere with finding your best available shot.   So just get up and hit it, and let go of the results.

If you can go through your round with a consistent routine, I promise you that you will play better and feel better once the round is over.  So much energy is lost when you are not focused.  In fact, it’s amazing how you can actually feel more relaxed after a round of golf if you stick to the process, and let go of the results.  As always have fun and I look forward to hearing how this works for you!

  One Response to “Perfecting your pre-shot routine: by Dave Mahoney”

  1. If you practice the proper things.