What is your pre shot routine

Trying to determine if my routine should be changed. Should the routine change from tee to fairway? What is your putting routine?

Here is the routine I try to use but not always successful! 10 hcp.

  1. Assess the lie
  2. Pick the target
  3. Determine the yardage to the target
  4. Pick the club
  5. From behind the ball hold the club up from ball to target
  6. Pick short target a yard or so in front of the ball
  7. Address the ball using short target
  8. Two practice swings - first with any technical thoughts and the second with as clear a mind as possible!
  9. Take a deep breath and exhale
  10. Swing

I noticed that you didn’t include “visualizing the desired flight path”, ie., seeing the properly executed shot in your mind before proceeding down the list. Jack Nicklaus suggests not to bother taking the shot if you haven’t pictured the shot you want to make. He says this is true even on the driving range.

One of the things that picturing the shot would encapsulate, that you don’t appear to have in your checklist, is the shape of the shot you’re planning. If you intend to execute a draw or fade, it probably needs to show up somewhere between 3 and 4 on your list, especially if you’re better at executing the desired shape with one club over another.

Just my $.02…

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Thanks great suggestion!

A lot of mine is similar to yours. I go through all the assessing yardage and other factors, pick a club, visualize and then pick an interim target. Then the bit that I really focus on making the same every time. I watched one of @ScottFawcettDECADE’s videos about Tiger’s routine at the 2000 US Open. He timed Tiger from when he stepped forward towards the ball to impact on about 15-20 different shots. The variation in time was around 13.3 seconds to 13.7 seconds. Basically as near as makes no difference identical every time. I practised that for a while. I have two - one I use for putting and one for full shots. Short game shots I do similar to my putting.

The putting routine is:

Stand three paces behind the ball
Step forwards left foot first, right foot, left foot into position for practice stroke
Right foot into position
Putter down to the left of the ball
Track the line with my eyes
Practice stroke
Practice stroke - both trying to feel the speed I need
Step left forward forwards into final position and at the same time, put putter behind the ball
Right foot into position
Track the line with my eyes
Eyes back to the ball

Full shots I do the practice swings before I step forwards, but once I step forwards it’s similar to the putting one in many ways

Three steps behind it again
Left foot, right foot, left foot into position
Club behind the ball facing my interim target
Right foot into position
Check target (aim point rather than final target)
Look at target one more time
Eyes back to ball


Hey guys, can I get some feedback on my pre-shot routine? I used this once last season and it really helped me get in the zone, but am looking to refine it for this season as I used it for only a short-period of time.

Pre-Shot Analysis
A. Looking at the lie
-Looking at your swing path, any obstacles?
B. Visualizing where you want to hit it (and flight path)
-What are threats? What are opportunities? (safe play)
-Pick a specific target
C. Choosing the right distance and club
D. Choosing the aim/alignment
-Lining up behind the ball
-Pointing club where you would hit it
E. Adjusting the aim for any wind or lie

Pre-Shot Preparation/Routine
A. Practice Swing (behind the ball)
-After lining up behind the ball and pointing club at path line/target, do one practice swing
B. Alignment
-Visualize the practice swing, adjust to your practice swing
-One deep breath (regulating emotions), walk up, line up, look at target, look at ball, then swing
C. Thoughts
One technical thought at most, likely a fix from the practice swing. One look, really focus, then swing. Often thinking about where you want to hit the ball on the club face instead of a technical thought or end result (landing spot).


I have my routine and I never break from it. There really is no Right or Wrong PS Routine. It’s what works for you to assist you in focus. Once you learn to focus on THE SHOT you are going to play and nothing else, not the last shot, not the next shot…THE SHOT… you will find a few strokes are there to be shaved. The PS routine is what many good and great golfers use to get into a comfortable place to pull the trigger. The one thing I am getting back to is not rushing or feel like I’m rushing. Once I’m at address, I am really focusing on staying still before I pull the trigger. I really noticed taking a few extra seconds to “be the ball” is helping with my ball striking. Watch any good player. They usually take those couple extra seconds to make sure they are still.


Let’s be honest…
Most of us include

  • Looking around on the sly to see who all’s actually looking at us.
    as part of our PS Routine.

It’s a hideous practice but alas, it’s there.

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So I was at a Chasing Scratch event last week, and Dr J was there… One of the things that came up was a POST SHOT routine, and I really like the concept for a number of reasons, but mostly because it tells you when the shot is over.

To me, it allows the shot to have an firm ending.

My routine (with added post shot) is as follows:

  1. Assess the shot, and pick a club. 80% of the time this is a quick pass and just “I hit this club 180 and it’s 175 to the pin, so let’s go” 20% of the time I might take a little more time to look at the lie and factor in the wind and everything else…
  2. Take a deep breath behind the ball… this is basically me stepping into the batters box.
  3. Pick a target, visualize the shot I’m hitting
  4. Take a practice swing with the target in mind
  5. Confirm I’m confident and committed to the shot I’m about to hit
  6. Execute
  7. Accept result, and put the club away. Once the club is away, that shot is over and any anger or frustration I had is hopefully behind me (Simple, not easy)
  1. Go find club, or swim for it if it got tossed in the drink…

7a, Look for ball. Watch where it went out of sight, and try to commit nearby landmarks to memory. My losing sight of balls has gotten a bit better, but it’s still not something I can blow off.

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My 7a is a quick (5-10 sec) assessment. How close to my visualization was the result? The smaller the delta, the better, because I always visualize a good shot :wink:

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Did you all watch the Masters? What do you think went through Cams mind on #12 right after #11 birdie. I’m 100% certain he did not replay that shot and think too long about about it. His job, after he probably mumbled. Something horrible under his breath was what to do about the third shot. I am assuming most of the players here fall into the 0-25 hdcp spread. Know this, we are supposed to get 35 to 36 full shots a round, maybe a couple more or less. The rest is chip, pitch and putt. If you are very fortunate 7-10 hdcp might hit 8-10 of those really good, the rest meh! Hopefully not too many UGHs. You are going to hit poor shots, You gotta move on quickly from the shot you just hit. PreShot routine is to get you to “clear the mechanism” I know my PS routine is like 15 seconds. You can set a watch by it it’s so ingrained. I am just trying to frame the current play. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s enough out there to confuse you, The PS routine is supposed to be your woobie. Wrap yourself up in it. Assess your mistakes after the round and hit the drawing board after the round to try and improve. Worst part for me, my struggles really stem from poor chipping and pitching. I always go over to the practice area to hit a few that I knew I flubbed. When I’m on the practice area I don’t flub too many… and I always leave with this thought in mind. “Boy that Yuengling is really gonna taste good with my Burger! See ya next week!

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