tofino golf - pre-shot routine

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

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Tofino golf professional Keith Gibby Gibson of the Long Beach Golf Course writes about improving your pre-shot routine.

tofino time july 2002

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