How to Develop a Pre-Shot Routine You Can Trust

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Many golfers address the ball on the tee and make a swing without considering where the ball is going to go. Others stand at address and think--indeed, obsess--about their shot. Over-thinking breeds insecurity and tension, since there are far too many things going on inside your head to produce a good, dependable golf shot. Follow these pointers on how to develop a trustworthy pre-shot routine and you'll have a better chance of executing a solid, straight drive every time.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Stand behind your teed-up ball and check your ultimate target (the flag) and your intermediate target (perhaps a spot in the middle of the fairway, like an old divot mark), where you want your ball to land, and envision your line of flight.
Step 2
Clear your mind and take one or two practice swings, getting the feel of the driver.
Step 3
Step into the shot with your right foot. Aim your club face toward the intermediate target.
Step 4
Make sure your stance is parallel with the aim of your club face, with your feet, hips and shoulders square to the target line.
Step 5
Check out your target one more time and make your swing.

Tips & Warnings

During your pre-shot routine, take into consideration the direction and severity of the wind, as this will influence your shot. Release any tension or indecision in your mind and commit to the shot. Many golfers tee up their ball in the middle of the tee box, without taking advantage of the entire teeing surface. A good rule to follow is to tee up your ball on the same side of the troubled area (water, bunker, hazard, etc.) you want to avoid.
Indecision, fear and tension are a recipe for disaster on the tee box. An incorrect address position will result in an errant shot. Rehearse the pre-shot routine listed above during your practice on the driving range and it will become a repeatable procedure every time you stand up to the tee.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.

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