Make Pressure Packed Shots Seem Routine
Accomplished players separate themselves from the pack by having a strong mental game. The most important tool in the mental game of golf is the pre-shot routine. A sound pre-shot routine is of paramount importance, since every shot is different. Yet golfers try to execute the shot with the same repeated swing.
Swinging a club should be a subconscious repetition of a previously-learned move. Similarly, the pre-shot routine should be a series of mental and physical steps repeated in the exact same order, with the same cadence or timing for each shot.
Unfortunately, the address position is where golfers often deviate from or fail to repeat their routine. They omit steps, lengthen others and introduce totally new ones spur of the moment. For many golfers, the address position is often an ever-changing hodge-podge of "whatever works." This can only allow unfamiliarity and discomfort to create doubt during the swing, leading to a conscious effort to "steer" the swing, which is the opposite of what golfers should be trying to do.
A sound pre-shot routine is extremely important. Under pressure, the most difficult shot can be reduced to a simple series of pre-programmed steps. The little voice saying, “If I make this putt I am going to win" or "If I don't make a good shot I am going to shoot a 101" can be quieted by the pre-shot routine.
Chris Carpenter is an assistant golf professional at Hayfields Country Club in Hunt Valley, Md.
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Pink on the Green Invitational
The Club at Patriot's Glen
Rally For The Cure 9-Hole Tournament
The Golf Club at South River
Fourth Annual Harford County Deputy Sheriff's Union Golf Tournament
Men's Amateur Championship
Congressional Country Club - Gold
Ninth Annual FOP No. 91 Golf Tournament
Maryland National Golf Club
Issue 149: May 2010