HOW BOUT THOSE CHIEFS! Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on winning the Super Bowl. I’m sure many of us saw how Patrick Mahomes remained poised the entire game. You could really see how focused he was and into his process out there. No matter what happened during the game, he just kept focused on the next play, the next drive… sounds a little similar to what we want to do in golf.
One of the most important aspects in golf is the mental game. That can be a very broad term, and in this specific article, I wanted to talk about the pre-shot routine. Our routine allows us to control what we can control and clear out distractions to be our best. We can see disciplined routines every week on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods is the gold standard for a disciplined routine. This allows us to be in the same clear frame of mind for every shot we hit and will allow us to play our best golf. It also allows us to recognize when we aren’t in a clear frame of mind. Without it, we don’t have a game plan and are just at the mercy of “hoping” we hit a great shot.
Ok, it’s the first tee shot of the day. You have been to the range and hit a small bucket of balls to get loose, some shots were good and others not so much. You are standing on the first tee with your buddies and are wondering “well I hit my driver with a fade on the range but I normally hit it with a draw…I don’t know what’s going to happen…just step up and hit it and hope it goes where I want…” Does this sound like you? The solution will be your pre-shot routine!
Mental Aspects of Great Routines:
- We focus only on the shot we are about to hit. Our past shots on the range or yesterday or another day do not matter. We focus only on this shot.
- We visualize our best shots and ingrain them into our minds. We visualize clearly the shot we want to hit in this moment.
- We have clarity on what we want to accomplish with the shot.
Physical Aspects of Great Routines:
- We walk into the shot the same way each time. Find a cadence that feels great to you.
- Our body is loose and alive to hit the shot the way we want. This is where a practice swing would work.
- We feel a sense of joy to be out playing golf. We have to remember we love to be out here and that helps clear out the fear of the shot.
Decision Aspects of Great Routines:
- We have a clear distance we want to hit the ball.
- We know which direction the wind is blowing and have factored that into our shot.
- We have picked a clear target line that we want to start the ball at and a clear finishing target where we want the ball to finish.
Now that you know the components that go into a great routine, it’s time to practice building your routine. The important part of a routine is that YOU have to own it. There is no one right answer. These components listed above will help guide you to build your best routine for success.
I’m excited to share more tips from the TOUR to help you with your game this year. As always please reach out to your PGA Professional for lessons to help your game with this. They are prepared and equipped to help you become the best player you can be. Have fun and good luck!
See you on TOUR,
Joseph Winslow is a contributing writer for Central Links Golf. He is native to Kansas City and is a professional golfer. He has played around the world on the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR China, and PGA TOUR Americas. He was an NCAA Honorable Mention All American at the University of Iowa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Joseph brings insight and advice from a competitive playing perspective to help you in your practice. Follow along with Joseph’s career as he continues to work to win around the world.