Old Palm News

“On the Mark”

March 28, 2012

Screen shot 2012 03 28 at 6.58.00 pm

by Mark Hackett, Director of Instruction, Old Palm Golf Club  One of the secrets to hitting quality shots when feeling pressure on the golf course is to rely on your pre-shot routine. You’ll notice that even the pros do it, especially when playing the back nine on Sundays, when so much is on the line. A consistent pre-shot routine will help you relax, improve your aim and swing tempo, and increase the probability of hitting a quality shot. If you don’t have a reliable pre-shot routine, try this one: • Stand behind the ball and choose a target to aim at. The smaller the target, the smaller the miss, so choose a small target. • To help with alignment, choose an intermediate target such as a divot or even a leaf 3-5 feet in front of the ball. Try to fly the ball over that target. • Grip the club and address the ball, aiming the clubface at your target, and then take your stance. The key is to align your body in relation to the clubface instead of aligning the clubface to your body. • Once you’re over the ball and ready to swing the club, take one or two waggles with one or two looks at the target and then swing.                 Choose your target…              …aim the clubface…          …make a waggle and swing. Notice there is no practice swing in this pre-shot routine.  I firmly believe the longer you wait before swinging the club, the higher probability you will hit a poor shot.  Pre-shot routines should not increase your pace of play.  Conversely, implementing a solid pre-shot routine will help you shoot lower scores, requiring fewer swings and faster pace of play. Repetition and experience will lead to a consistent pre-shot routine that will enable you to play better golf.  Practice this on the driving range and the course, and it will become second nature.


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