3 Elements of a Great Pre-Shot Routine

By Dr. Richard Coop

Set Up Your Routine

Every golf shot should start with a good pre-shot routine. There are a number of things that go into a pre-shot routine, for example, how you step into the ball. Kim will demonstrate a couple of different ways [her] swing teacher have taught her. I do not have any particular preference for either one of these; they both work well for some people. You can put both feet together and then step into position, or you can put your right foot closer into the ball and then step in with your left foot so you are aligned. The important thing is to do it consistently so that you are aligned every time.

Sports Psychology and Your Swing

The things that I am interested in come from a psychological perspective. There are three:

  1. Have a good intermediate target so that you have a good clear spot to aim over in front of your ball.
  2. A trigger or some kind of signal or mechanism to come into focus so that you totally lock into concentration before you start into your golf shot. A number of different players use different mechanisms and we will cover that when we deal specifically with this step.
  3. And a cleansing breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth breathing from your diaphragm.

Summary

So the three things that you must have are an intermediate target, a trigger or signal mechanism to come totally into focus on each shot and a cleansing breath to relax your body and oxygenate your blood. If you do those three things consistently you will set yourself up every time for the best swing you have that day.


Category: Pre-Shot Routine
Sub Categories: Address/Set-Up, Psychology

About the Instructor

Dr. Richard Coop
Dr. Richard Coop
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Education
CB 3500 Peabody Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500
Dr. Richard Coop is a mental instructor to countless PGA Tour professionals, including Payne Stewart, Ben Crenshaw, Mark O'Meara, and Nick Faldo. He is also the author of The New Golf Mind and Mind Over Golf.