Routine. Routine. Routine.
Today is the day.
You’re feeling good…you’ve been striping the ball on the range and now it’s your time. You’re about to have the round of your life.
You step onto the tee, place the ball at the ideal height and execute your pre-shot routine perfectly.
With your playing partners watching you swing the club as you have been and…
you get something slightly off and watch your tee shot slice into the woods.
You know you’ll find it, but with golf being a game where the next shot is the most important, you know that no matter what has come before it the only shot that truly matters is the one you’re about to hit…
With that in mind this blog covers the best post-shot routines as well as between shot routines to help you forget the past and focus on the shot at hand.
In the immediate aftermath of your shot, there is a natural tendency to dwell on the result whether it be good or bad. This is human nature and not something you should criticise yourself for, but it can also be an unnecessary distraction, and can be beneficial for you to learn to control.
These high levels of overthinking are particularly evident within poor performances when players too often get caught up over analysing individual shots distracting them from the next, and hindering their round further.
As a result it is important that your post-shot routine should revolve around clearing the mind, saving the critical analysis for after the round and for your time at the range. Focus only on the next shot, and use positive self-talk to remind yourself you’re a good striker of the ball and you know you can hit the next shot.
Beyond The Shot
Beyond the immediate aftermath, it is important that these thoughts don’t consume you whilst walking to your next shot. You want your mind to be as clear as possible, giving it relief between your shots allowing you to give your full focus when it matters most.
Take time between shots, don’t rush yourself. Take care of yourself and your clubs, take a sip of your drink, and use a towel to clean the club you’ve just used and distract yourself. If you’re playing with others, have a chat, distract yourself through conversation. If you’re playing on your own, take in your surroundings, or begin to think through your next shot, for example the distance to the green and the club you might need to hit.
By giving your mind the relief from the negative thoughts you will not only enjoy the round more, but also maintain confidence in your own game and ensure you’re fully focused on the task at hand.
Despite the importance of these skills they are something you must teach yourself, and make a conscious effort to implement into your game. When used together a pre-shot, post-shot and between shot routine can help you ease the mental burden of the round and, as aforementioned, allow you to enjoy the game more, which is the most important thing!
It won’t be easy, and may mean your round takes a little longer as you give yourself more of a break between shots, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it!