Start in a position 5-10ft directly behind the ball and target. Whether your shot shape is a draw or a fade, we want to visualise the shape and how we see the ball finishing on the target.
Lose the practice swing at the side of the ball!
Once shot shape is selected we will then proceed onto practice swings from the same position behind the ball. Our swings do not want to be strike specific, this could be a practice swing which we are consciously swinging above the ground, a swing feeling that you could be working on with your coach or swings in how you want to move the club around your body to achieve the desired shape for the shot. Whatever you decide, be consistent in how many swings this is – whether it is one or two. Find what works best for you, it’s important we stick to doing the same thing every time as this will help us on the golf course, especially if we are feeling under pressure.
The most common thing I see is practice swings at the side of the ball. Firstly, we shouldn’t need to do this as we would have done thousands of swings on the driving range and have the muscle memory developed over this time. Furthermore, they are different as we are swinging fresh air, there is no ball in the way and no result outcome from this so we tend to move the golf club easier/freer. How many times have you done a practice swing at the side of the ball and the first swing is a poor one? We then proceed to have three or four more swings to try and correct it, this is what leads us to feeling tense and anxious about the shot which most times leads to more poor shots than good ones.
Lining clubface and body
At this stage we would have developed some positive feelings from our practice swings and we are ready to line the shot up to our intended target from the same position behind the ball if we lift the club in the air. Tilt the club in a way where the ball is covered by the top of the grip and the top of the shaft is aligned with our target, this forms a straight line between the ball and the target. From here slowly lower the club down to a point two or three feet in front of the ball, this could be anything that catches your eye from an old divot, leaf or blade of grass, this forms an intermediate point between the ball and the target. Lining the clubface to a point that is two or three feet away is much easier than something that is 100 yards plus away. Once selected we then walk into the shot focusing on this point so we don’t lose it. Address the clubface to the ball, lining the clubface to our intermediate point. Then align our body parallel to this. Finally, we want to look along that line a couple times, clubface pointed towards target before proceeding to hit the shot.
I would suggest watching some of the best players in the world and what they do in there pre-shot routines. They will all have slightly different routines but will all be doing these things above, just in different ways over every single shot. Find out what you like and then practice this on the range. If you can develop a routine that is consistent and apply the above, you will be stepping into your shots with more confidence and hitting better golf shots.
To book your lesson with Matthew or one of the other talented PGA Professionals at The Track, Meydan Golf visit meydangolf.com, call +971 4 381 3733 or email: [email protected]