Top Pre-Shot Routines

By Herm Otto

The pre-shot routine is intended to put your mind and body into the mental and physical zones to have the best chance of executing the shot successfully. This article will describe some tried and proven pre-shot routine components that you can use to get yourself in the zone for shot making.

Plan Your Shot

Step up to the tee box or lie and view the target. Determine the distance and any obstacles between the tee or lie and the target. Determine the ball flight (trajectory) needed to get the ball to the target. Consider the wind speed and direction. Examine the lie if your ball is in or along the fairway, in greenside rough or in a hazard.

Select the Right Club

Select the club that is right for the distance and trajectory, and for the lie condition. Remember to adjust the club selection based on flagstick placement on the green, wind conditions and elevation change between your shot and the target.

Loosen Up

Do a few stretches and full swings to prepare your muscles for the golf swing needed for the shot.


Stand behind your ball and envision the shot. Select an intermediate target between your ball and the actual target. Use this for your alignment when you address the ball.

Take Two Practice Swings

Step up to a location at your ball that is a pace back from where you will address the ball. Take two practice swings to prepare your muscle memory to take the swing with the proper stance and swing-speed.

Address the Ball and Take the Shot

Re-establish your intermediate target if necessary. Step up to your ball and assume the address position. Take the shot.

About The Author

Herm Otto is an architect and was a university instructor for over 25 years. He is also an avid golfer who began golfing 10 years ago. As a Demand Studios writer, Otto writes golf and travel articles for GolfLink. He now resides in Arizona.


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