A little gem of a golf lesson
The following lesson is a gem to help you control nerves and maximise your chances of hitting a great shot. It is also a beauty when facing an important shot like from the first tee or that winning putt.
I call it Pre Setting
Pre setting allows you to get comfortable and confident prior to having to hit the ball. Here’s how it works.
Prior to the actual shot get into your set up position over the ball (be careful not to hit (or touch) the ball), get comfortable, look at the target and generally become familiar with the situation. It may take a moment to ensure everything feels right – take your time because getting comfortable is the goal of the exercise.
Once you’re confident and feeling good about the shot back off and go through your routine as you normally would. When you get to the ball it won’t feel different or strange because you’ve already experienced the situation moments earlier. If you do happen to feel a difference from before back off and try again.
This is a brilliant strategy that can work for all shots but I’ve found it particularly helpful with the following;
- Opening tee shot
- Difficult lie or stance
- Anytime I feel it’s an important or “must make” shot
- Those tricky little putts
- Over the last few holes when I’m getting nervous
- Anytime I’m unsure or in doubt
I wouldn’t recommend doing it on every shot you have, it would take too much time and you’d get tired. Save it for when you feel you really need it and I’m sure it will help you perform better.
Something extra:Pre setting works particularly well out of bunkers. You’re able to move into the sand, shuffle your feet about and get comfortable. Then, step away and check your footprints and ensure your ball position and alignment is spot on. When you’re ready to play the shot you can jump straight back into the footprints you left behind and hit the shot. Easy!
Before I go I’d like to credit US based author Carey Mumford for this technique. I first read about this strategy in 2006 and have used it ever since with great results.