What is a Pre-shot Routine?

pre-shot routine
Some of the best, and worst, golfers in the world have rituals they follow before every single shot they hit.

This is called the pre-shot routine. The basic premise of the routine is to get yourself into the mindset to hit the ball as you want.

It is just as much mental as physical, so it’s an important concept to just about everyone from tee to green.

As in most other sports, it’s important to build good habits for success.

This pre-shot routine is one of the most valuable habits that anyone can get into.

Once mastered, golfers can block out the distractions and give themselves the best opportunity to hit a great shot.
There are three basic parts of this routine. They are:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Downtime


The game of golf is one of the most taxing mental sports that can be played.

With this in mind, it’s easier to understand how essential a good routine is.

A proper mental routine will provide you with a habitual response before hitting any shots.

You’ll be able to clear your mind and focus on the task at hand.

Your routine should be extremely positive because you want to set yourself up for a good shot.

Negative images must be disregarded during this phase of the game to play the best possible golf.

Before you get into your routine, you should have a good idea of what you want to do with the shot.

You should take some time to imagine a great result from the shot you’re going to hit.

Once you know you’re expected results, you simply need to focus on the actual physical swing.


As soon as you’re mentally stable in the routine, it’s time to get to the swing.

It is absolutely essential to have the same exact pre-shot routine each time you pick up a club.
Again, during the routine, you’re building a positive swing habit.

You just have to find something you’re comfortable with doing before every shot and stick to it. A PGA professional can help you with this if needed.

The routine doesn’t have to be the same for each shot you face.

Your pre-shot routine in the bunker may be different from the one you use before letting the big dog eat.

The point is that you must embrace the same pre-shot routine as much as possible with the variety of shots you’ll face on the course.

Your putting routine will be different than your other routines because these shots are the ones that are typically the most important, and the swing is entirely different.

Putting usually has many things that must be considered before getting into the routine, so the mental stability is crucial.


As soon as the shot is hit and the results are tallied, it’s time to take a mental and physical break.

During this downtime, you should take a few seconds to think about what you did right or wrong during the last swing.

This is also the time that you can remove any negative thoughts before your next shot.

You must enter your pre-shot routine with a positive attitude.

Any minor swing changes you want to make should be addressed prior to the beginning of your next pre-shot routine and not practiced during it.

Take some practice swings on the side if you want to change things, but do your routine the same way.


Your pre-shot routine is essential to your enjoyment and success in the game.

You will have to find what works best for you.

Once you know what you’re comfortable doing before the shot, you must commit to it at all times.

Even during your worst rounds, keep the routine the same.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.

That’s why the routine is so important.

The swing thoughts and actions will build a long-lasting stability to your game and help you to achieve some amazing golf shots and scores.

Don’t get out of your routine unless you truly feel that you need something different.

If that does happen, you must embrace the new routine to build permanence.

Every basketball player follows the same routine when shooting a foul shot.

Every swing of the club is like a free throw.

Clear your head, get into your game, and hit the shot you want to hit.

If you are interested in shoring up your pre-shot routine, work with the PGA staff at Keiser University’s College of Golf and start on a path to a golf career you’ll love.

Contact us today at 888-355-4465.

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