On course instruction focuses primarily on the decisions a player makes under any given set of circumstances. It is also a time for the student to inquire, “what do I do in this situation?” Dealing with uneven lies, specialty shot such as punch or lob shots, and when and where to be aggressive are all subjects that are covered on the golf course.
On the golf course you can really on rely on one thing… your pre-shot routine. In this routine you should visualize the perfect shot, sending the ball exactly where you intend it to go. Doing a routine leads to consistency which we will refer to later in this segment.
During the session on the golf course, swing mechanics are not the focal point. Getting the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes and sending the ball in that direction should be the only thing in a player’s mind at this time. When you focus on swing mechanics, it can really turn disastrous and each shot involved tension and manipulation. Analysis / paralysis takes over, this is when golf becomes frustrating and not fun.
If you have a routine and stick to it, you will enjoy each and every shot that you encounter. Here is more information about the power of having visualization in your routine.
The Power of Visualization
Do you ever wonder how the professionals on television hit the ball so well? How the ball seems to do whatever they want? The reason why they are so consistent is because they all have an impeccable pre-shot routine. The routine is rehearsed a tremendous amount in practice sessions. At this time they primarily focus on the fundamentals (grip, posture, alignment and ball position). PGA and LPGA players work on perfecting not only their golf swings but also a pre-shot routine that they can count on in a pressure situation. This routine includes visualizing exactly what they want the ball to do. This process is very powerful and allows them to hit these amazing shots week after week.
While they practice they take their time to rehearse their routine. Stepping behind the ball before each and every shot. While standing about 10-15 feet behind the ball professionals visualize the flight of the ball, where it is going to land and take a practice swing. They may repeat this process 2-3 times before they address the ball. All of the preparation for the shot takes place during their routine. Once they step up to the ball they have already hit this shot in their mind a number of times. They simply look at the target and attempt to produce the setup and swing they have just rehearsed.
Most of the thinking is done behind the ball in the routine. This routine and process of visualizing the perfect shot is what makes them so great. Once they take to the golf course, players will bring this pre-shot routine with them. It is what helps them deal with the pressure situations that often occur in tournament play, or any match that the weekend golfer may find for that matter.
When you visualize the flight of your golf ball in your pre-shot routine it will give your shots more purpose. That way when you miss shot, it will be a more acceptable miss. After all if you do the same routine for every shot, isn’t that being consistent? Consistency starts with your routine in your practice sessions, then you can practice with a purpose and prepare for the golf course.