HOT! Golf Instructions and Tips to take your game to a new level...
Please join our mailer and get a 7 day free email course.
...and get our FREE
7 part series
7 simple things you can do right now to take take 10 shots of your game.
Click here to get this amazing give away now and also pick up your FREE Demo of "From the ground up how to shoot in the 70'S".

Click Here to to get your FREE info.
Please check out our advertisers.
Click Here to shop at
How You Can Play Bettter Golf Using Self Hypnosis
Home Golf Articles Golf Ebay Golf Books Golf Tips
Golf Article - It's all in the mind, part 1

by Dr Aidan Moran, Professor of Psychology

It's all in the mind

Preparing to play:

Using "pre-shot routines" and "practising with a purpose in

Here is the second in a series of articles by Dr Aidan
Moran, Professor of Psychology Research at University
College, Dublin. Dr Moran is adviser to many of Ireland~s
top Golfers including Padraig Harrington

Although top golfers have distinctive styles, they tend to
prepare for every shot in the same way. In other words,
they use consistent ~pre-shot routines~. Psychologically,
routines are essential in golf because they take you
from ~thinking~ to ~playing~ or from conscious control to
automatic pilot. Indeed, research shows that they are
helpful in three ways.

Firstly, they ensure that your set-up and swing are as
consistent as possible ~ even when practising on the
driving range.

Secondly, they improve concentration because they force you
to stay in the ~here and now~ as you go from step to step
in the preparatory sequence.

Finally, they encourage you to develop a steady rhythm and
to play at your own pace ~ not to rush because you feel
that you~re holding up someone behind you.

So what are the steps in an effective pre-shot routine?

1 Assess the situation
First you have to assess the situation by standing behind
the ball and gathering ~target information~ such as the
lie, the direction of any wind blowing, the distance
between your ball and your target, and the existence of any
special hazards.

2 Prepare to play
Next, try to ~see~ and ~feel~ the type of shot you want to
play in your mind~s eye. Then check your grip, get into
the ~ready~ position, make sure the club head is behind the
ball and align your club and body to the target. If
necessary, adjust your stance again until you feel

3 Let it flow
Finally, relax your shoulders, take your preferred number
of practice swings, clear your mind, glance at the target
again, and let your shot flow.

Your pre-shot routine may vary slightly with the type of
shot you play (e.g. bunker shot versus putt) but it should
be consistent. Furthermore, you will find that with
practice, your pre-shot routine will become a vital part of
your swing. Remember ~ consistent preparation is the
platform for consistent performance.

Practising with a purpose in mind
In my last article, I explained that golfers tend to play
their best when they concentrate on one shot at a time ~
directing the ball at a specific target. Unfortunately,
most golfers set themselves a different kind of target,
such as achieving a certain score or obtaining a particular
number of points at the end of the round. The problem with
these targets is that they are too far ahead and hence
distract us from the task in hand. So, how can you practise
becoming more ~target focused~? Well. Research shows that
only quality practice makes perfect. So, you need to have a
specific purpose in mind when you go to the practice ground
or driving range.

Remember, winners are workers. As Jack Nicklaus said: ~I
try to have a clear purpose in mind on every swing. I
always practice as I intend to play~

Practice as you intend to play
Try to vary the clubs you use in practice because during a
game you rarely get a chance to play the same club twice in

Always have a target
You can improve your target awareness on the range by
aiming towards distance markers or other such targets.

Maintain your set-up routines
When practising, make sure to maintain your normal set-up
and routines between shots. Otherwise you are not
practising as you intend to play.

It's best to practise with only one ball when putting
because you never get a second chance in a game.

Keep it interesting and reward yourself
A good way to maintain interest in your practice drills is
to challenge yourself to achieve a certain target (e.g., to
sink 6 consecutive putts from a metre away) and then to
reawrd yourself accordingly (e.g., with a cup of coffee
afterwards). Psychologically, activities that are followed
by rewards tend to become rewarding in themselves.

If you follow these "quality drills" you will learn to
practise properly.

This article courtesy of
You may freely reprint this article on your website or in
your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author
name and URL remain intact.


In Focus
Dalton McCrary's Straight Shootin Golf
Dalton McCrary's Straight Shootin Golf.

Read more about the golfcard

How this for a way to save on green fees and get some Free extras.

Click here to read more

From The Ground Up: How To Shoot In The 70's
From The Ground Up: How To Shoot In The 70's
Click Here
to read more.
Best odds on Aus Open
Comments or suggestions? | About us | Privacy Statement
© Copyright Bluebell Data, Inc. 2003 - 2010 All Rights Reserved other.
Other Bluebell Data Sites. | |