Remembering A Small Swing Thing Pays of Big Dividends

With the plethora of things to remember on the golf course, it is not unusual to forget a swing ‘thing’ or two. While focusing on healing my back, I overlooked a basic pre-shot routine process that had a tremendous impact on my ability to lower my scores and increase my greens in regulation (GIR). Last Monday I remembered this small thing and the difference between the front and back nine was amazing!

After making this important find, I was able to easily and effortlessly re-incorporate this minor change. On a side note, I am really surprised that I stopped doing it in the first place. I guess, there were too many other things needing my attention and this one slipped right by. Oh well, I am back on track now and all I can say is thank goodness!

My challenge was all in my set up. After standing behind my ball and picking my line, I would select a mark about 3 feet in front of my ball. I would use this mark to square my club face. As I was aligning the grooves with the mark, I would adjust the club accordingly. Then I would set my feet to match my chosen direction. Lastly, I would grip the club in its perfect position.

And the easier it is to forget a simple thing in your swing! 😉

This is where things fell off the rail. For some reason I was gripping the club before alignment and the tried to adjust my body accordingly. Regardless of how I gripped, I would not change. It was like I had a Vulcan Death Grip on the club and my life depended on not letting go. I am not really sure how I stumbled on my pre-shot routine error, but I am sure glad I did.

So, between the front and back nine was 5 strokes. More importantly, my front nine I had 4 GIRs and 7 GIRs on the back. This minor re-alignment in my pre-shot routine paid off huge dividends. Even the shots I missed were close and I was able to get up and down on one and chipped in for birdie on the other (with my 7 iron).

Sometimes, taking the time to go through my entire shot routine is beneficial. I find that if our group is playing quickly, I seem to truncate my shot processes and that is were trouble arises. Regardless, this is all part of being an amateur and I am back on track now. I plan to carry on with my renewed success moving forward.

Do you ever practice your pre-shot routine?

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


4 thoughts on “Remembering A Small Swing Thing Pays of Big Dividends

  1. Jim, you should practice your pre-shot routine with every ball. I do on the range but not at the short game area. Sometimes I’ll dump my balls and rake them with the same chip shot. But other times I’ll throw an individual ball into different lies and always use my pre-shot routine. Didn’t Nicklaus say something about giving every shot (practice or play) your undivided attention? Or something like that. . .Probably a good approach.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seeing my ball go astray and then remembering I hadn’t gone through my pre-shot routine is one of the few things that will get me mad at myself on the course. That’s a preventable mental failure I let slide and the game is hard enough without making stupid mistakes and adding further to the mayhem.

    That wasn’t my problem today. By my problems today were mental in origin. Thankfully, there were only a very few. And they were individual, not strung together. Though two were the exact same issue and came on consecutive tees. Both times I let hitting into the wind get into my head and I didn’t execute as I planned. Another mistake was a small distance error on a short downwind shot. I needed one more club or a harder swing. But that was pretty minor. The worst mistake though was pulling my 60 instead of my 50 once. A total failure to pay attention. A few of the mistakes cost me a stroke, one cost me two, but I had enough birdies to erase all but one of the strokes I lost in the end, so I walked off happy enough. And I’ll be back out there tomorrow evening to give it another go.


    • Kevin

      Everything you described is so easy to do. I once grabbed my 6 iron instead of my 9 and guess where my ball went… the parking lot…haha. Mental errors, in most cases, are preventable and it is a matter of playing in the moment and focusing on the shot at hand. Glad to hear you still had a good game.

      Cheers Jim


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