Building Your Pre-Shot Routine on the Golf Course

Symetra Tour player Gabrielle Shipley shares her pre-shot routine and explains the importance of having one, too.

Here it is: the final hole. You are playing the round of your life as you are several strokes below your average. All you need to do is finish strong. As you head to the tee, you feel the pressure mounting.

This is when a pre-shot routine can be crucial.

Repetition is key with a pre-shot routine. By going through the same process with every shot, it can help keep you steady throughout an 18-hole game.

“Having a consistent pre-shot routine that you can repeat will help you get through pressure situations,” says Symetra Tour player Gabrielle Shipley. “Even if it is the first tee of a tournament or even playing with your friends at your club, it’s important to always do the same thing every single time.”

A pre-shot routine can consist of whatever makes you feel more at ease on the course. Some golfers check the wind or the terrain of the course ahead of them. Others will want to take a few practice swings while trying to establish a swing tempo. You can also make sure you have the proper feet alignment for your shot, check the ball position to make sure it is in the right spot for your stance or simply focus on your breathing.

Shipley’s pre-shot routine consists of:

  • Picking out a target while standing behind the ball
  • Finding a blade of grass two feet in front of the ball with which to align her clubhead and parallel her feet
  • Looking back at the target followed by looking down at the ball
  • Breathing in and starting her backswing halfway through breathing out

There are no wrong routines. Every golfer has their own unique process, so it just comes down to figuring out what keeps you feeling comfortable before every shot.