Think, Decide, Visualize Your Shot In Golf

The process of making a great (actually any) shot in golf is very simple. Before you start yelling at your screen, I said the process is simple, not the actual execution. My forward approach to this topic is based on many years of playing, watching, asking questions, and experimenting on the plethora of shot making possibilities. After a long litany of approaches to making the right golf shot at the right time, I have pared down my shot process to three simple pre-steps that work every time.

The experienced golfer will look at the my ‘think, decide, and visualize’ your golf shot as akin to a pre-shot routine. In the basic premise of activities that happens before stepping up to the ball, they could easily be clumped into one category. However, I have found that by separating these three critical steps in my processes, I am more successful because each forces me to account for their important input to any shot. The steps are fast, but each is equally important to my game.

Think. This step starts the moment I start walking towards my ball after my previous shot. During a friendly match, I may not be as focused, but thinking does start before my arrival. I look at anything that could potentially affect my ball during flight such as wind, course conditions, ball position, how I am swinging that day, obstacles, where I want the ball to stop in relation to the pin (yes, in the cup is ideal 😉 ) air temperature, and anything else I can think of at the time. All the stressors that could affect my golf shot are considered as I think about my upcoming shot.

Decide. This step might seem silly to some, but deciding on what shot I am going to make is very important. I encorporate all the factors from the Think step before deciding. However, there is a decision point that forces me to mentally accept how my shot will happen, what club I am using, and my aim point to achieve my intent. Deciding also eliminates the can’ts and mental doubts that could creep in to my mind be making my shot. Deciding forces me to commit to the shot.

Visualize. I am playing my best golf when I can visualize my shot prior to execution. If I am on my game, the actual shot is very easy because I visualized exact sound of contact, ball flight, where it lands, and the final result. In the words of Sir Nick Faldo: “See it, Feel it, Believe it.”

The steps above are important to any golf shot. I use them all the time in order to the achieve positive results. Think, decide, visualize lowers my golf score and I believe that it can lowers yours as well when employed in a focused and consistent manner. Next time you are on the links, take the time to use these three steps prior to hitting your ball, you might be pleasantly surprised.

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


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