Setting Up Your Shot Before Your Pre-Shot Routine

The title seems odd, but before you start your pre-shot routine all your actions affect your shot. I believe that all my actions on the golf course have a direct impact on my game. There is a laundry list of things that will help, but the last thing I want to do is fill your head with white noise. However, there are a few actions I consistently perform to ensure that I am in proper frame of mind to make any shot.

I am sure you have things you do automatically without thinking, yet focused intent is very important on the golf course. I think random acts can detract from your game; they can take your focus from the moment into areas that are not related to what you are doing. It does seem strange, but knowing what you are doing 15 seconds before your pre-shot routine could make the difference between success and that other thing!

The first positive action I perform is to visualize my shot. This is different from what happens during my pre-shot routine, it is more holistic. I weigh the benefits and potential hazards of a shot, but as I walk towards my ball, I notice the lay of the land, the wind, the trees, potential hazards, real hazards, and my stance. Then I think about making the perfect golf shot; I am not be successful, but I am setting the foundation for success.

Is club placement important before your shot?

Next is the placement of my clubs. In the fairway, my clubs are to the right of the ball, two paces behind and two paces to the right. The location of my clubs is important because they are out of my sight line and generally do not cast any shadows that will affect my concentration. This might seem like a superstition, but when I do not place my clubs in this position and they are closer than described; I can feel the clubs, they are in my space and it bothers me.

Talking too much to my playing partners. If I start chatting too much, it throws my game off. I am focusing too much on what they say, than on my game. This usually happens during friendly matches, but not during competition. Unfortunately, golf is a contact sport, but during a competition I am friendly, but more focused on game. I find talking excessively is a challenge to lower golf scores.

There are many more things I like to do before my pre-shot routine. Many are situation dependent and likely unique to my game. I think you get the point that all actions on the golf course have an impact on your game. You just have to figure out what they are and use them to your advantage.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Setting Up Your Shot Before Your Pre-Shot Routine

  1. Jim, if there was a scale for chatter between shots (let’s call it the Faldo – Trevino scale), where do you fall? I’d be maybe 70% leaning towards the Faldo side. Most idle chatter for me is on the tee box when our group is waiting to hit. But sometimes when I’m concentrating between shots, as you mention, and someone wants to chat me up, I can find that a little irritating. How about you?



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      During a friendly, I lean towards the Trevino side. During a match, I am all Faldo. I prefer not to talk and just walk. It does not always happen, but I usually give very short answers. I amlways polite, but prefer the quiet of the round.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Guys,
        the chatter is a problem, I have noticed people talking, it seems to me to deliberately get into someones head, and confuse the issue, and put them off. The big issue with myself is looking for someones ball in the rough, when I would really like to be up to my ball and assessing the next shot.I find by the time I get to my ball the group behind have caught up and I am then under pressure to hit a quick shot.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that’s interesting about pre-shot bag placement. Although I am not as precise as you are, I too can feel the presence of my bag if it’s too close, even if out of sight. And I think we all agree that visualising the desired shot is important, even if we can’t guarantee its success! Every little helps.. Cheers, Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

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