How to Develop a Pre-Shot Routine that Works for your Golf Game


What is the most influential part of your golf game? The deciding factor for how well you’ll play on any given day? Some would say it’s a mix of things – the course conditions, how often you’ve practiced in the lead up to your round, how much sleep you got the night before, how drunk you currently are (lol) and so on. But, what I have been focused on most recently and what I believe to be an absolute truth is that a solid Pre-Shot Routine (PSR) is THE deciding factor of how well you will play. 

I did a lot of research for this blog post because I decided that finally I would develop my own PSR as journey through writing. I know – crazy that I’ve broken 100, even 90 once without one, since it is so crucial to performing well. I’ve only been playing for a few years, so without one, it’s a wonder how I’ve kept my cool. But alas, the time has come because I intend on breaking 85 consistently after July. Plus, the next time I compete in a tournament, I want to do even better (more on that another time). 

So, I started by venturing out onto the web to search for other people talking about their PSR, how they developed it and what exactly it consists of. I wanted to find not only what PGA pros do, but why they do it. I also sought the advice of other real golfers out there who have had an experience with developing their PSR over many years. Along the way, I’ve found some interesting stuff. 

Obviously, I found a lot of laughable comments. Things like sacrificing a lamb to Odin and making sure shoes are tied before swinging out of them are a couple of examples of some clearly great goofballs online. My favorite had something to do with inserting ear plugs due to breaking the sound barrier. I also found a lot of awesome, practical advice for developing a PSR.  

A few tips I learned included keeping the routine short and simple. As Monte explains in this video, a popular coach on and someone I’ve had a lesson with in the past, having too many thoughts can be more of a hindrance on your game.  

Another top says, “it’s simple, concise and easily ingrained with focus, drive and practice.” All it takes is getting the routine down, implementing it and consistently doing it each time you approach a shot. I’m starting to really understand the importance of making this part of a sound mental game when it comes to golf. Even the best in the PGA keep this consistent across tournaments and even through their bag. It can be the difference between playing your best and having a very frustrating round. 

Just the other day I got into a debate with my husband over the importance of the mental part of golf. Ok, it wasn’t so much as a debate as a revelation from me and ten minutes of probably way too much talking on my part, but it was an interesting conversation nonetheless. In essence, my argument was that going into a round of golf with the mind completely focused and clear to examine everything is really essential to being a great golfer. As a creative, I struggle with the technical side of golf – lie, distance, etc. But, if I were to focus more and challenge myself to give it more thought when practicing and when out golfing, then who knows how much I could improve. 

Ok, so in hindsight, maybe there wasn’t a debate. But, it definitely encouraged me to pursue developing my PSR. So, here it is. The moment you’ve been waiting for… 

My PSR: 

Stand behind the ball, point club head at target and visualize ball to target
Move to position with club face aimed at target, keeping my eyes on the target as I move
Move back a few steps to take a practice swing and visualize my swing
Practice full swing with my rhythm 
Step back up to align club face with ball and take one last look at target
Adjust shoulders because I tend to open them too much
Find my balance and think rhythm as I swing 

PS. Apparently there does come a point when reading about other peoples’ PSR just becomes as dull as reading a 100-page thesis on the development of mathematics. After getting a feel for what other people do, you just have to jump into what works for you and do it for EVERY shot. 

Good luck! Please let me know what your PSR includes. Leave a comment for shoot me an email at

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