Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shot Routine

About a year or two ago, when I was still 'retired' from the game, I was watching the Golf Channel and I thought Frank Nobilo did a great job of explaining the pre-shot routine of the Tour pros versus the average amateur. The one thing he mentioned was how many Tour pros have the same type of pre-shot routine as an amateur, but they are executing that pre-shot routine dynamically vs. statically.

For instance, I have a pre-shot routine where I will take 2 practice swings right by the ball, then move back behind the ball and pick a target. Then I will step up to the ball, aim, and hit my shot. The average amateur will do everything in pieces. They'll take a practice swing and stop. Then take another practice swing and stop. Then get behind the ball and pick out the target and stop. And then line up to the ball and stop. Then finally take the swing. The Tour pro will do the same type of routine, but keep moving throughout and this releases tension, curbs fear and over-thinking. I kind of like to compare it to one big 'slur' of the pre-shot routine. Sort of like a sober person telling the bartender 'I will have a shot of whiskey' versus the drunk person saying 'Illhaveashotawhiskey.' Believe it or not, I think you want to 'slur' your pre-shot routine.

Watch this video on the footwork of Billy Casper and Gay Brewer again and notice how they are not using 'static' pre-shot routines and that they feet are moving while they are aiming and getting into their address position.

I also think this Shawn Clement video on pre-shot routine is very good as well.

Although the one thing I sort of disagree with Shawn on to a level is about the body parts. I don't think you should not think about them all together. Mainly because feel and body parts often go hand in hand. But I don't think of it as 'position golf' where one would think exactly what position they want a certain body part in. But rather a 'sensing' of a certain body part or two. For me, I have to sense the right forearm and elbow. I'm not thinking about them being in a certain position, but getting it on plane at address and having that right elbow 'nearby' the right rib cage at the top of the swing is sufficient enough for me.

However, I found it interesting that Shawn mentioned 'pictures' as one pretty good golfer who happens to be a pretty good golfer talks about 'pictures' in their putting routine. You may want to follow this as well.

Happy Fathers Day to all you Dad's out there.



Jim said...


I can't give you props for this blog of yours. I have read TGM
over and over and have had a few TGM lessons but the one thing that has been missing is practical information from someone who has chronacled their progress with TGM. Your comments about the difference for you between "Hitting and Swinging" is spot on to my experience. I still haven't made a definitive choice as of yet.
Your comments on "feel" (instead of mechanics) with pressure points has made a huge difference when "hitting".
Your comments about the right shoulder getting on plane (down and through) have made my swinging motion much more effective.
Keep up the good work.
At some future time I would like to hear you discuss the backswing mechanics of a hitter vs swinger.

Rich H. said...

Thanks. I'm still learning a bit on right forearm takeaway for the swinger and other backswing mechanics for the swinger.

Anonymous said...

Of course I meant to write that "I can't give you enough props". Should have proof read it.

Anonymous said...

I second those comments. Can't give you enough props and would love to see you do a video explaining step by step your swing. Also, would love to know how exactly the Tally has helped you in your swing. I saw your post on the Tally, but would love to see a video where you explain your full swing and how you utilize the Tally to get those extra yards you have been getting. I have learned a lot from your blog. Keep up the good work.

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