The importance of a good pre shot routine
I’m sure most of you watched the masters this year and saw Jordan Spieth have a collapse on the famous par 3 12th, all but ending his chances of a second green jacket. We have all faced similar situations ourselves at some point in our golfing career- the difference between a top player like Jordan and a regular golfer is that Spieth will learn and be unlikely to repeat that mistake. This is simply because he knows the cause was not down to a swing fault that he has to go and work at for several hours, but purely down to getting out of his usual pre shot routine and having the wrong mental approach to the shot. Leading up to the meltdown, Jordan had just bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes, so felt like he needed to attack the flag on the 12th, which had it’s tricky Sunday front right pin position. If he had taken a step back and thought about the situation, he would have realised he still held the lead and didn’t need to be so aggressive.
This was mistake one and the start of his downfall.
The second mistake, and you can hear him discussing this with his caddy- Spieth was asking his caddy if the club they had selected was not going to go through the green. Long of the 12th isn’t a great spot to hit it, but short is even worse as it will more likely end up in the water, leaving you to have to play your 3rd shot back over the water again. Spieth should have been more concerned about going anywhere but short.
The final mistake he made was as he completed his pre shot routine and stepped in to hit the shot. Jordan had decided he was going to play a draw (his most comfortable shot), but as he stepped in he changed his mind and decided to try a gentle fade. This ultimately led to one out come and that was an uncommitted swing caused by indecision, poor thinking and routine. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind on the type of shot you want to hit, but you can’t do it as your stood over your ball. He should have stepped back off the shot and started his routine again.
As golfers, we always blame swing mechanics on our bad shots and fail to realise our mental approach and routine influence the shot. Pre shot routines don’t have to be long and slow, they just need to get you in the correct set up and thinking clearly what you are trying to do, to stop you applying the hit and hope method.
In the following video, I demonstrate my own pre shot routine and how doing something like this allows me to lessen the variables within a shot. I have practiced exactly the same setup for years and this also helps me to have the correct mental approach when preparing for each shot. Unlike most amateurs, the first thing a tour pro checks when they are a little off is their basics (alignment, ball position), which even after years of practicing always need attention. Get yourself into a disciplined pre shot routine and I guarantee you will shoot lower scores.
Did you find this blog helpful? Start incorporating a solid routine into your practice and let us know how you get on, you can leave a comment below, join in the conversation over in our Facebook group or tweet us