Ask the Top 100: Pre-shot routine
By T.J. Tomasi
Top 100 Teacher
A reader wrote in that he was having problems staying consistent through the entire round. A few years ago, someone timed Tiger's putting routine and found that it took the same amount of time, within .08 of a second, each time. His father, Earl, said that "when he gets over the ball and starts his procedure, watch him after he sets his putter. He checks his alignment. He adjusts his feet. He takes one look, another look and then strokes the ball." I timed his full swing in several tournaments, and unless the shot required extra analysis, Tiger didn't vary.
So what's the takeaway? If you're consistent in your preparation, you'll be consistent in your execution.
Good players have a routine that doesn't vary. The step-by-step pre-shot process should actually be more than a routine. It should be a ritual, which is more powerful then a routine because it focuses your attention and gives you the focus of a snake charmer for the 30 seconds it takes to hit a golf shot. Your pre-shot ritual is a golfing amulet that protects you at every turn.
Read more from Tomasi on the pre-shot ritual here.
Here's my suggestion for a pre-shot ritual that will help you acheive consistency.
1. Start off with the planning of your shot. Check your lie, choose a club, factor in the wind and other conditions and visualize the shot you are going to hit. Then, pick your target.