Tofino Golf: Pre-Shot Routine
by Keith "Gibby" Gibson, Tofino
One thing that differentiates the good golfer from the poor golfer
is a repetitive pre-shot routine. But the fact that one repeats movements
precisely before hitting is only part of the overall process. Few golfers—other
than highly skilled amateurs and pro's—use the power of
visualisation and positive self talk. It is estimated that in order
to alter a motor skill (such as the golf swing) requires 10,000 repetitions,
but your thoughts can change immediately. So it is key that you only
allow thoughts that are completely in the moment.
Every golfer faces shots that they have had difficulty with and they
tend to dwell on those difficulties prior to hitting their shot. Usually
the results are predictable—after all the golfer had pre-ordained
catastrophe and his execution was self-fulfilling. He had seen in his
mind a poor shot and his body had faithfully followed orders! If you
are dubious about visualisation and self-talk effectiveness, try it
out on the putting green. Try 5 or 6 three footers and tell yourself
that you are a lousy putter and that you always miss three footers.
Now try these putts again, imagining that you can see the ball drop
in the centre of the hole, you can hear it plunk when it hits the bottom
of the cup. Tell yourself you are an excellent putter and that you
never miss 3 footers. You will find that you sink a lot more putts
using this simple method, and it's quite easy once you get yourself
into the habit over all your shots.On the course you look at the shot
you are confronted with, and imagine yourself executing the shot with
skill. If a negative thought intrudes start over. Instead of nervously
approaching the ball filled with a sense of impeding doom, feel confident
and alert and totally in the moment. Almost miraculously, you will
find yourself taking less wild and impetuous lunges and swipes at the
ball. Focus on the process, and the results will follow.
Keith Gibby Gibson is a CPGA Professional
and manages the Long Beach Golf Course in Tofino
Tofino golf professional Keith Gibby Gibson of the Long Beach Golf Course writes about improving your pre-shot routine.