Improve Your Golf: The Post Shot Routine

Post-Shot Routine

A what? I hear you ask…

We all know what a Pre-shot routine is but what the hell is a post-shot routine?

Well think about it? If the Pre-shot routine’s role is to ensure that consistent shot preparation leads to consistent shot execution*, what could the post-shot routine be used for?

Answer: To either anchor good results or to ensure poor results are not negatively reinforced in your mind.

However, there aren’t many players who have a post-shot routine. So once again, you will be incorporating a technique into your game that will move you further ahead of the field. Most players simply shove their club back into the bag and move on – when their shot comes off the way they wanted it to – or they SLAM the club back into the bag and reinforce the negative anchor*, when the shot doesn’t come off the way they wanted it to.

Let’s look at the “positive” side of Post-Shot Routines first.

Instead of just watching the ball travel and landing with no real enthusiasm, watch the actual ball flight; notice its shape and how it reacted when it landed. Then congratulate yourself, calmly, if the shot shape matched what you planned and the ball ended up in your desired location. Anchor* the good feeling of success. Stop and reflect quickly on your setup and the feelings you had prior to making the shot. It’s a good strategy to reinforce what you do well. A constructive review with a post-shot routine will do just that.

What about if the shot did not come off the way you intended?

If the shot did not come off the way you intended – don’t blow up! “Play” the shot again while other players are actually taking theirs (as long as you’re not in their line of sight!). Get a feeling for what went wrong; make a note to correct this on your next shot and once more “play” the shot, successfully this time, and let your mind register what should have happened. See the ball doing what you intended it to – in your mind’s eye. This way you still re-enforce a positive from your mistake rather than anchoring the mistake (as would happen if you blew up and slammed the club into the bag or threw it away.)

Very often it’s our thinking prior to our swing, not the swing itself that “caused” the poor result. It will become an extremely useful habit to consciously use a post-shot routine. You will become a much more focused player through its repetition and adoption.

A well run and practiced post-shot routine is a practical way to manage your emotional resources. There is nothing much to it yet don’t discount its simplicity. Add it to your game and reap the rewards.

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Enjoy your Round!


*These concepts are explained in the Inner Golf Coach Audio Programme