The pre shot routine, or PSR as we’ll refer to it, is a huge part of any accomplished golfer’s armoury. You may often wonder why Golfers take the time behind the ball before they hit so here is a typical PSR that a golfer would go through along with their processes. Firstly, they will take the time to assess all information before selecting their club. They will factor in the lie, wind direction, slopes, flag position and establish a clear picture of how their intended shot will look. Once they have chosen their club, they will then often pick out an intermediate target that sits on their chosen start line, this will probably be something on the floor approximately 5 -10 feet in front of them. Players may use the side of the shaft to ensure this is on the correct line. Now it's about the mental aspect of the shot, a clear visualisation of how the shot will look, and all thoughts at this point in time are positive. Any self-doubt at this stage can often end in disaster.
Now it becomes very personal for a player, some will start their walk to the ball in exactly the same manor to ensure a clear process, others may take their grip, spin the club, or just go with their own flow on the day. Some will then make a small swing to feel the club interact with the grass or refer to a technical aspect of their swing that helps them function at their best. Usually, players will have a constant amount of looks at the target and then a trigger to take the club away, very rare will they be perfectly still and some small motion will usually start the takeaway. You will see this PSR in all great performers, from Ronaldo’s free kick to Michael Jordans free throw and definitely in Rafa Nadals' constant repetitive pre-shot habits (or lining up his water bottles!) It helps them get into a constant state of focus that they can relate to rehearsal in practice and allows them to execute under pressure. Do you have a Pre-Shot Routine? Do you use it in your practice sessions also? Do you find it changes every round and dramatically speeds up or slows down under pressure? Let me know, and why it works for you. Here’s a nice little video of Tiger talking about his PSR…..until next week, happy golfing!