5 tips to improve your pre-shot routine

By Frank Mantua
Published on
5 tips to improve your pre-shot routine

Many junior golfers are very good at ball-striking, but not able to score as well as they should. It’s what they do before hitting the ball that can make the difference. The recommendations below are vital components to being able to achieve lower scores.
On Course Pre-Shot Thoughts
  • Know your strengths – Be honest with yourself. What are the percentages of making the shot you are about to attempt? What is your normal ball flight? Where is your average miss? Is this part of the game you are most confident with or not? Is this shot in your “wheelhouse”?
  • Aggressive vs. Safe - Knowing when to attack or retreat is a big difference between professionals and amateurs. You can be safe aggressive as well, but a good player knows the difference.
  • Know the conditions – What is the golf course like that day? What is the wind doing? How will the conditions affect your shot? Are the greens hard to hold? Are the Fairways wet?
  • Know and use your routine – Under pressure this routine will become more important. Rely on this routine to increase the chance of a good shot. Take your time! The pressure that comes with competitive golf usually makes player go faster and get sloppy.
  • Know your alignment – Probably the most important part of your set-up. Bad alignment causes more bad shots than any other pre-shot factor.

Practice Confidence

  • Use Visualization
  • Paint a Picture
  • Remember Good Shots
  • Tell Yourself Good Things – Self Talk
  • Monitor Your Breathing (Stay Calm)
  • Develop Routines
  • Use Your Experience
Maintain A Positive Attitude
Good “positive attitude” examples:
  • “I’ve hit this shot 1,000 times on the course and the range before” - “I’ve left myself in the perfect position to go at this green”
  • “I’m due to make some putts today”
Keys to Remember:
  • “If you have negative thoughts, you will be surprised with a positive outcome.”
  • “If you have a positive thought, you have a better than 50% chance of a positive outcome. Plus, over time positive results will happen more and more often.”
  • “So what if you don’t pull off the shot. It doesn’t matter. Missing is part of the game. Who cares what people think or who is watching!”
  • No Gimmes! “Try to embrace pressure. Putt every short putt. Act like every shot you play matters. You’ll be more ready when the time comes and it really does matter”
  • Stay in the Moment! “Stop thinking about the 3 putt or worrying about the tee shot on Hole No. 18. Play the shot in front of you.”
  • “I don’t care what the course throws at me today, I’m going to love the challenge”
  • “Most people want to be good, only a few want to be great”
  • “Don’t let your play dictate your attitude”
Playing golf is much more than hitting the ball. Incorporate these suggestions into your golf preparations and you will be rewarded with lower scores.
Article prepared by Frank Mantua PGA Professional & Director of Golf US Golf Camps - The Ultimate Junior Golf Camp Experience |