Golf tip: Some pre-shot routines to help your game
In our day-to-day lives, we perform a number of tasks with little thought as to how we do them. The common thread is a series of actions that happen leading up to the task.
I volunteer brushing our teeth as an example. There are a number of tasks that are performed prior to the actual brushing involving the toothbrush, toothpaste, the tap, etc. These tasks are performed routinely with limited thought other than preparation for the big task, the actual brushing of the teeth.
But once they are all performed, does anyone think where the toothbrush goes? Do you stop and think, "I'll start on the lower right side of my mouth this time?" Probably not. I start lower left side without thinking every time.
Hitting a golf shot should be similar in that I believe our goal should be to have an empty mind standing over the ball. Hence the pre-shot routine.
Work on performing a series of movements that are deliberate and sequential: aim club, take stance, check grip feel and balance, etc. This is the preparation stage.
The plan being that when you are standing in the address position, you will not be thinking about what to do next. Your brain will be conditioned to hitting the shot.
Like every other aspect of your golf game, you should practice this sequence to make it consistent and comfortable. It may take hundreds of attempts, but the goal is to be calm and "brain dead" when it comes to swinging the club.
You should also work on a swing "trigger" that starts the motion. I usually breathe out, then start my backswing.
After all, you have swung a club thousands of times before -- almost as many times as you have brushed your teeth.
• Ian Grant is a PGA teaching professional at Oak Brook Golf Club. Contact him at (708) 917-8951 or at Iansgolf@aol.com.