The Importance of Pre-Shot, Post-Shot Routines 0

Pre-shot routine offers a chance to focus

Pre-Shot Routine Improves Focus

Post-Shot Routine Offers Opportunity to Analyze

Thomas T.J. McMullan, golf instructor, stresses the importance of the pre-shot routine.
Las Cruces golf instructor T.J. McMullan

One of the quickest and most effective ways to improve your golf game is to work on your pre-shot routine and your post-shot routine.

This is how T.J. McMullan, operator of Cruces Total Golf, explains it:

A solid pre-shot routine allows each golfer to go through the see-it, feel-it, trust-it, DO-IT process.

When a player is mentally engaged in a golf shot, his or her mind can see the shot before it happens, and that improves their feel for the shot in front of them. It also allows the player to trust and narrow the focus of the shot, which allows them to execute a shot regardless of pressure.

The Pre-shot routine

The pre-shot routine will allow you to work on your retention process. It will help you play golf well while going through a swing change. If you can take slow-motion practice swings rehearsing the new move you are trying to inculcate, this routine will allow you to keep working on your game while on the course.

Regression usually happens when the player falls into bad habits. Not being fully mentally engaged allows you to revert to old habits.

The Post-Shot Routine

Post-shot routines are just as vital to the improvement process that each player needs to go through in order to transfer their game from the practice tee to the golf course.

The key to having a quality post-shot routine is to follow these three keys:

  1. Did you trust the shot?
  2. How mentally engaged were you in the pre-shot routine?
  3. Calibrate!!!

These three keys will allow each player to analyze and correct a poor shot. The first part of the process is to really judge how well you trusted the shot. Was it because you were lacking mental engagement?

To explain Point No. 3, the calibration portion is an important part of the process because if you executed the shot perfectly and came up short or long, that needs to go into the memory bank. Each piece of new data will allow you to be more precise in the future.

Focusing on calibration also helps the player to move on from poor execution. It also provides a constructive alternative to anger. No one who plays angry plays well.

The easiest way to play golf and improve while consistently working on your game is to incorporate and adapt a solid pre-shot routine. While using your pre-shot routine to stay mentally engaged before and during the shot, the next step is to analyze each shot while being able to let poor execution go.

The post-shot routine will allow you to stay mentally engaged and help you to stay away from getting negative.

Thomas “T.J. McMullan is a golf instructor in Las Cruces, N.M. He is an alumnus of New Mexico State University’s Professional Golf Management program amd the owner-operator of Cruces Total Golf. Reach him on Facebook at

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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at

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