What an amazing week of golf we experienced here in Wisconsin at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. I was fortunate enough to be at the course on Friday watching all of the great players.
When I go to tour events, my favorite place to be is on the range watching the players go through their warm-up routines. This time I was able to see most all of the top players including the eventual winner Jason Day. Not only did he play the best golf of the week but I believe he has the best pre-shot routine in the game.
If you have a chance to watch him play in the next few weeks, study his routine and apply some of it to your game.
Many of my golf lessons are about much more than how to swing a club. Learning golf and enjoying the game more requires some time, motivation, purpose, knowledge, and also relevant feedback. Having these factors will give you your best opportunity to improve.
Within these factors is a major component to building a repeating swing and more consistent golf game: a pre-shot routine.
I never teach an exact pre-shot routine to a player but rather explain different routines that great players use and then help build a specific routine for the player I’m coaching.
A pre-shot routine is often reflective of one’s personality. Fred Couples, for example, moves through his routine quite nonchalantly and unhurried; he flows right along. Keegan Bradley, on the other hand, is fidgety, fast and bouncy. Both are very successful at what they do even though they are very different.
What is the same about both players is that their routine is almost always the same. Jason Day’s pre-shot routine is a work of art. He uses imagery, visualization and breathing techniques to give himself the best opportunity to be successful.
Take a few minutes the next time you are at the practice range and build a pre-shot routine. Try standing behind the ball, take a deep breath, visualize your shot, and slowly move in to the ball. At that point, try taking your grip, aiming the club face, taking your stance and posture, and then hitting a beautiful shot. Then start the entire process over again.
It is much more worthwhile to hit half as many balls going through your routine than it is to hit twice as many balls one after another. Try this and you will improve your score and enjoyment of the game.