Talk to any serious golfer and they will tell you that routine is a large component of their game. Routine establishes a rhythm conducive to low scores. As a single digit player, I am in complete agreement with routine is a benefit to my game. However, routine for the sake of routine is not good for my game and actually hurts my ability to score low. Therefore, routine is a double-edged sword that is good and bad for my game. How can this be?
There is nothing I hate more than hearing the words “but, that is the way we have always done it”! This statement is a manager’s worse nightmare when trying to improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of any process. I will accept that in specific instances, maintaining the same process is the correct course of action, but not at the expense of thought. Blindly following any process leads to apathy and acceptance of unavoidable errors. Unfortunately, routine helps reinforce any resistance to change because it is easier and less challenging.
Routine also has the same effect on our golf game. We routinely grab the same club from a specific distance without assessing other factors. We always chip the same way regardless of the lie of the ball. We hit a 3 wood from 270 yards to the green regardless of the hazards we face. I think you see my point that routine, with respect to course management, in golf is not always a helpful tool.
Routine on how we swing can be hurtful to our score. Some players ‘grip it and rip it’ regardless of the club in their hands. They swing hard and swing often without regard for why or when to adjust their swing. They have always swung hard and feel that is how they should play. Little do they realize that most of the time that ‘less is more’ looking for the their most effective swing.
To be fair, routine has a benefit. I am a strong believer in a pre-shot routine. For me, it helps set my and body in the proper state to make a shot. If I use this routine properly, it helps lower my golf score, keep me mentally in the game, and allows for strong course management. Routine in this case is a contributor to lower golf scores.
Depending on what aspect of routine we are discussing, your golf score will go up or down. In many cases, routine is not helpful because is prevents golfers from making changes to will help their game. They use it a s crutch and as a result wonder why their game never improves. If this time of routine sounds like something that affects your game, I recommend you see your local Pro and have a discussion on how to effectively make changes to lower your golf score.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!