Journey to the Worlds 2012: Pre-Shot Routines, Deliberate Practice, Tournament Prep

Journey to the Worlds 2012

In this video I talk about driver configurations and how to prepare for a golf tournament. My objective in this training session is to work on my pre-shot routine so that I have a comfortable rhythm to my 6-ball set, and so I don’t have to think when I’m on the tee.

Take a look at the video, and read more below.

With about 2-1/2 weeks left until my competition date, I’m basically done with all of my club testing. We’ve experimented with various shaft configurations, like trimming 1/2-inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/2-inches off the shaft tip to change the flex. If you didn’t know, most shafts come long so that custom club fitters can make these kinds of adjustments. That’s one of the reasons you might want to consider taking even a stock driver off the shelf to a club fitter.

We also tried adding counter-weights to the back end of the shaft to change the swing weight, but didn’t see any gains with this particular head/shaft combination.

We tested the results on a launch monitor and then settled in on one configuration as the best. Then John Greenwood built a couple more drivers – one with a lower loft at 5 degrees, and one with a higher loft at 7 degrees. That gives me options, and the ability to handle different conditions on the tee. Having those options means I won’t have to make any swing changes on the tee, and that gives me confidence.

So now with my clubs dialed my practice shifts to preparing for the competition.

The first thing I start working on is my pre-shot routine. I have 2 minutes 45 seconds to hit six balls. I want to time my routine so that I finish my last ball with 15 to 20 seconds to spare, just “in case” something happens. And “something” has happened often enough for this to be a necessity.

When I work on my routine this way, two things happen.

First, my whole 6-ball set has a nice rhythm to it. I never feel rushed or pressured for time.

Second – and the really important lesson for all golfers – is that the pre-shot routine allows me to quiet my mind and keep my focus on the only two things that matter: the ball, and the target.

I want to make everything as automatic as possible. So I practice the same steps, in the same order, at the same tempo, for every swing.

This is called “deliberate practice,” where I methodically practice the same exact steps each time.

Using deliberate practice methodologies, focusing on your pre-shot routine, is just as important as working on swing mechanics. Perhaps more so. I hope you’ll do it in your practice sessions.

See you down the fairway!

Eric Jones
PGA Professional and World Long Drive Champion

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