Having a routine on and off the golf course is a process that allows any player to focus on their golf game. Routine is the cornerstone of great golf because it encourages players to improve on their strengths and step out of their comfort zone. Yet, I wonder if rigidly following any routine will drive players towards developing a rut and just going through the motions. This can be a challenge on and off the course and something that all players should be cognizant about as they travel down their own path to lower golf scores.
Of course the most renown aspect great golf is having a solid pre-shot routine. I have one and follow it most of the time (sometimes I get lazy when playing a friendly match) and it looks very similar to the one in the video below. I will suggest that the think/play line is a new thought concept that I really like; so, I plan to adopt it moving forward. This minor change in my pre-shot routine will be simple and should glean greater success in my shot making.
I think we can all agree that having a pre-shot routine is very important. But, what about off the golf course. Do you have a practice routine? Do you have a set plan to improve your game that you follow when you hit the practice area? I have to sadly admit, that I do not have a set routine for practice. I generally practice what I feel or my stats indicate is the best area to focus my time. However, I do spend more time on my short game than anything else. I found this interesting video that I like and thought it was worth sharing. It is a practice routine that focuses on the all the important elements of our game. Have a look:
What I like about this video is the majority of the practice time is dedicated to the short game. I believe that it is the key to being a scratch golfer and will continue to focus my time in this area. Now that I have established that routine is a positive thing, what about routines that are not working for your golf game?
Repetitive routines, in my case, are not all that helpful. I remember a few years back when I went to the range and burned through a bucket making sure I hit every club. I did not really focus on my shot making, but was concerned of getting through the 70 or so golf balls in record time. Everything was precise and precision driven. Then I would head over to chipping and putting area and hit 12 balls each with a varied to clubs. Then I would putt for awhile. After patting myself on the back for “working my game” I would either head home or out for a quick round. I was faithful about following this routine until I realized that all this practice was not making much impact on my scores. I had plateaued and felt like my practice time was a bit boring; however, I kept it up and actually developed a practice rut. Until…..
I realized I was not thrilled about practicing because it was boring. So, I made the decision to change my practice routine. After a short time, something magical happened; I was enjoying practicing again. I started developing my own drills and focusing on my short game more. This center of attention realignment produced results that continues to influence my game today. I realized that having a routine is very important; having the proper and varied practice routine is critical. I no longer feel I am in a golf rut and as a result I am playing some of my best golf ever.
Before I forget, here is one of my favourite putting drills; it works amazingly to develop confidence and precision while putting:
I know I am repeating myself a bit, but having a pre-shot and flexible, focused practice routine are two dominant principles that help me on my journey to scratch. Do you have any golf routines? Do they work?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!