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!
4 thoughts on “Does A Routine Help Or Hinder Your Golf Game?”
Jim, there’s a lot of content here and you’ve arrived at a key finding: You need to change things to stay fresh and motivated, especially when it comes to practice. The short game obviously provides that opportunity because of the plethora of available shots. Also, I love that star drill because it’s portable. When you use it during warm-ups on a strange course, you can learn a lot in a quick period of time.
On the course, I never vary my full swing pre-shot routine. Don’t even have to think about it. From time to time, I’ll modify my routine on or around the green, but never without trying it on the practice area.
Thanks for the positive feedback. I agree that I never change anything on the course without working on it first. When I did, and I did in the past, it resulted in a huge success that made me want to do more….haha…as if; it was the quick ride to the disaster zone!
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I routinely practice my putting. Almost every night in fact. And I know that’s helped quite a bit. And the routines I use for taking my grip and setting the distance to the ball when I take my stance are crucial to my success I’d say. I’d guess that last knocked at least 3 strokes a round off my score after adding it to my setup routine. I found that less than an inch too far or too close can spell your doom. And last, the routine of taking twenty practice swings before teeing off on the 1st hole when warming up on a range isn’t possible has surely saved me a few strokes over the years. It’s been a confidence builder for sure.
Both are great points. Personally, I like the practice the putting routine to cement you position is a great tip of all players.