Do you follow up a lousy golf shot with a string of excuses, remarks, angry antics, frustrated curses? Maybe an embarrassed laugh or turning away from the sight of that sad trajectory is your personal MO. Call me guilty. A post-shot routine is a way to maintain focus, reduce tension, and keep positive as we move to the next shot. It builds consistency throughout our round.
This season I’ve committed to working on my own end-of-shot routine, and here’s what I’ve discovered and humbly share.
A post-shot routine is a consistent procedure – a sequence of thoughts and movements – that a golfer performs after hitting a shot. Watch the pros, and you’ll see it again and again. It is personal to each golfer. Build your own sequence – and then repeat it shot to shot.
Here’s how a post-shot routine might go after a less-than-stellar shot:
- Watch it, and take a moment to feel fully disappointed, annoyed, etc.
- Take a deep breath and release those thoughts.
- Release the tension. Gently tap your club on your shoe, the ground. Or create your own tension-release move.
- Take a mental mulligan. Visualize the shot with a good result (enjoy!) and make a note of what you will do differently next time.
- Move on, that poor shot is history. Snap all attention to the present and get on with it. Try the 10-step rule – be DONE with that shot after walking 10 steps away.
Good shots are way more fun than bad ones.
- Congratulate yourself and enjoy the feeling.
- Maybe add a specific action – a little fist pump – to fasten the feeling and take ownership.
- Mentally replay the shot – swing, contact, trajectory, etc. Make a mental note of what went right.
- Give yourself a cue to end the mental play – “Good shot,” or a nod of the head.
The whole point of a post-shot routine is managing the mental – out with the bad, in with the awesome. That’s a golf attitude we all seek!