The pre-shot routine is often perceived as something you do just before you swing but which does not have much relation to the
golf swing. But it is part and parcel of the swing and, however personalized it might be, no good player is without one.
A good routine calms you down because you are doing the same thing in the same order for every shot. This protects you against the
tendency of loosing your rhythm under stress. A solid pre-shot routine also helps you to keep your concentration before every shot.
Good golf shots are a combination of correct distance and direction. It is very difficult to think about both while you swing.
This is why you need a pre-shot routine that will separate the two. Take care of direction by aiming your club face and aligning your body correctly at address. Once this is done, forget about the direction of your
golf shot and let your golf swing produce the correct distance. Design your routine so that you fix the direction first, then the distance.
Stand behind your ball and plan your shot. Make sure that your practice swing is a true rehearsal of the up-coming shot by
taking it in the direction of the target and with the same speed as the swing you are about to make. Once you have pictured the shot in your mind and made a practice swing, take a deep breath to relax.
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Now step into your address position with your right foot leading the way. Before you bring your left foot into position,
sole your club face behind the ball, so that it points at the target. Then, keeping your club head in the same position, bring your left
foot into position so that your body is perpendicular to your club face. You have now locked in your direction.
From this position, take one look at the target to finalize your distance calculation by rotating your head without lifting it,
waggle and pull the trigger, allowing the speed of your swing to produce the correct distance.
This procedure will take only about 30 to 45 seconds and if you make it a habit, then your priorities will be correct for every shot:
direction through address, distance through swing speed. You should practice the routine on the driving range and I am sure it will improve your game.