A pre-shot routine is something that should come naturally due to repetitive practice. It's what starts the path to consistent golf. Steve McGee sent in his question via the blog. He wanted to know what I do for my pre-shot routine and when I think of all the different aspects of the setup.
Things such as "preloaded heavy right (PLHR)" or the "accordion effect" are elements of the setup that I often talk about, but the real key is that these are automatically programmed into my routine subconsciously because of years of practice.
I go to an inside sports dome almost 5 times a week and take 4 to 5 clubs; 9 iron (all the time, reason it's my 90 yard club, the distance to the back wall of the dome), a long iron, short iron, hybrid, 3 wood or driver. My two problems are distance (I am working on that and will probably get an online lesson from Dave Seeman). The other is chunking - I noticed on Surge's videos that he grounds his club before he swings for all clubs. I haven't seen or heard him talk about where he grounds it - i.e. distance from ball. On trying this (keep in mind he changes the distance on all clubs), keeping them square and keeping still has improved the chunking. However, the sequence of what you should do from walk in to finishing the T is still a mystery. I know they are all in separate videos and in detail, but nowhere is there a simple list (without all the detail) and this is what I am interested in.
Example: where does he do the PLHR at walk in, at accordion, on the way down in the accordion, just before back swing? Each time the weight change effects the swing and chunks happen or don't or go away (you top the ball).
I hope you or someone can help me.
The goal is to practice your routine to the point where it comes as natural as signing your name. We want to get into an automatic system. Sometimes in my mind, I may have a different swing thought on whatever I'm working on for that day, but my routine will stay relatively consistent regardless of what's going through my head.
First, I start behind the ball and I find my spot. After I've got my target picked out, I walk from directly behind the ball to in front of the ball where I begin to imagine my aiming lines on the ground. The first thing I do from there is lift my club up in the air. I always take it with my right hand and lift it straight up in front of me. I do this to be sure the face is inline with the club. Also, you want to make sure the clubface is perpendicular to the ground.
Once I get the club setup properly in my hands, I put it down perpendicular to the aiming line. The leading edge of the face will tell me where the ball position will be. Steve wanted to know when I sit in to my preloaded heavy right position. I do it when I get my feet down in the right spot for the shot. I normally stand up a little bit, then I get PLHR after I go back down using the accordion effect.
Now I'm ready to begin the swing. I don't like a lot of waggles, but most of the time I do one or two to make sure I'm working on the proper rotation in the mitt and up the tree. Now, Steve mentioned that I ground the club behind the ball. That's true, but I'm never pushing the club into the ground. It doesn't even press the grass down. Once I get everything set, I go!
Your routine is yours. You are the one that must decide what you want emphasized in it and what may need extra attention. For instance, if you're worried about alignment you may need to dedicate time in your routine to that. At some point, it should just flow and become natural. From starting behind the ball into the shot, I'm not counting each step I've listed because it just happens within 5 seconds or so. If you visualize your swing before the shot or "feel the swing", you should hit the ball within 10 seconds because it will most likely already begin to fade out of your mind if you wait much longer.
Make your routine any way you want, but it needs to be established at some point in time because it will only help with the concept of consistency. Routine is great because it takes you out of the conscious and into the subconscious, which is where you can maintain the feel of the swing much more naturally.
Keep it vertical!
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