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Better Focus for the Amateur Golfer

Let's be fair, at the end of the day, golf is a game! Unless you are a professional (or aspiring professional), the likelihood is that you're playing and aiming to improve in the sport for the purpose of enjoyment. One common question I'm asked by amateurs is, "How can I improve my concentration while still being sociable with my playing partners?"

There are so many ways to look at this, but in this article we're going to focus on what is, arguably, the most effective one... the Pre-Shot routine. I write about this one because this skill can be practiced at home, on the range or on the course, so getting good at it it can be slotted into the busy lifestyle that most of us have away from the course.

The pre-shot routine serves as a cornerstone in achieving the switch between sociable you, and serious golfer you! By building and developing a routine fit for purpose, then consistently practicing it, you can gradually embed the process into your subconscious.

So why is this important? The pre-shot routine can allow us to seamlessly slip into a focused mindset without conscious effort. Think about when you learnt to drive, that phrase that you probably repeated over and over again.... "mirror, signal, manoeuvre." When was the last time you thought about that phrase consciously when driving? I've had many conversations with people who declare that they sometimes drive somewhere and have no conscious memory of the actual journey. Driving has become an automated process of focus through repetition. This would be a great place to get to with your pre-shot routine, and one that can serve as a tool to bring your concentration onto the right things at the right time. Like any skill, it requires repetition through practice.

The basic components of a sound pre-shot routine are as follows:

  1. Decide: Assess the situation, including factors like distance, wind, and lie.

  2. Imagine: Create the sensations of the shot; the look, the sound, the feel.

  3. Commit: Make a firm decision on the shot selection and commit to it wholeheartedly.

  4. Execute: Make the shot, simply and efficiently.

This process doesn't need to take long! The beauty of it is that, if you practice it, you can reduce the total time from stopping at your ball, to hitting it, to somewhere between 30-60 seconds. And remember, some of that decision making time is usually performed while a playing partner is hitting their shot.

Repetition is key to embedding the pre-shot routine into our subconscious. By integrating it into our game as often as possible, we not only enhance our approach to each shot but also bolster our confidence over the ball. With the necessary steps performed, we can then concentrate solely on making a solid strike on the back of the ball, knowing that we have adequately prepared for success.

If you'd like to explore how to get the most out of your pre-shot routine, how to model or re-model it, then I can help. To discovery how mental game coaching with me works book your free discovery call here:

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Golf player | Golf Coaching & Lessons | Coaching Fore Success | Sheffield, UK
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