Pre-Shot Routine

By Dr. Patrick Cohn

Is your preshot routine inconsistent? Are you overcome with
doubt, indecision, or distraction during your routine? If so,
read on…

As you know, I’m a huge advocate of preshot routines in golf.

As a matter of fact, I did my Ph.D. dissertation on preshot
routines in golf when I was studying at The University of
Virginia in the late 80s.

Why are routines so important? How you THINK during your preshot
routine is critical to the success of every golf shot.

Most golfers assume a preshot routine is about the physical
behaviors they do… A practice swing and how many looks and
waggles you take prior to the shot.

But what you think during your preshot routine (mental routine)
is the most critical aspect of your routines.

What are the objectives of a good preshot routine? I tell my
golf students that a good preshot routine helps you stay focused
in the present, make solid decisions, and harness a healthy dose
of confidence when it’s time to execute the shot.

The 2009 US Open champion, Lucas Glover, discussed another role
of your preshot routine – to deflect pressure or help you focus
well when trying to finish off a good round.

When his nerves kicked in during the Open, what did he do to
stay calm? He took comfort in his preshot routine…

“It was just deep breaths and just fall back on my routine.
Preshot and pick a good target and just hit it. No swing
thoughts under pressure, because there’s too much going on. You
just pick a target, lock in on it and go. If you hit it there,
fine. If you don’t, run up there and hit it again,” said Glover.

I love this quote from Glover because he talks about three
critical components of a solid mental game:

1. Use your routine to focus when under pressure.

2. Don’t over think the shot with too many swing thoughts.

3. Don’t get bent over the results of one marginal shot.

Many golfers I know would play a lot better if they would head
these three messages.

If you want to learn my top secrets to a focused and
pressure-deflecting preshot routine, I suggest you grab your
copy of “The Golfer’s Mental Edge: An 8-Week Plan for Ultimate
Golf Confidence” CD program–


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