Golf Lessons: Setting a Proactive Routine for Your Long Game

The long game is often the last piece of the puzzle for new golfers to figure out. The shorter clubs usually have less of a learning curve than do the longer ones, so many beginners get comfortable with putting and hitting short irons before they really start to gain confidence in the long game. One way you can get that confidence earlier on in your golf journey is to have a proactive routine that you use for each shot. This routine doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should help you prepare physically and mentally to hit the best possible shot under the circumstances.

Below are a few keys to building this routine to improve the performance of your long game –

  • Start by picking a target. All shots on the golf course should have a specific target, and long game shots are no different. The first portion of your routine should be dedicated to picking out the exact target that you are going to aim for based on the hole in front of you and the ball flight you intend to use. It is important to note that your target doesn’t always have to be the hole itself – you can aim to the left or right of the hole if you want to avoid a bunker or other hazard.
  • Visualize the shot. With your target clearly in mind, try to visualize the shot you are going to hit all the way from start to finish. Picture the swing you are going to make, and what the ball is going to look like coming off of the club. The more detail you can bring to your visualization, the better chance you will have of actually executing the shot properly. Visualization, just like any other skill, takes practice, so try doing this on the driving range before doing it on the course.
  • Take a deep breath. If you are like most golfers, you might get tense or nervous before hitting a shot – especially a long one. To relieve that tension, take a slow deep breath before you walk up to hit the shot. This breath should come right at the end of the visualization process to help clear your mind and get you focused on the task at hand. At this point, you should know exactly what you are trying to do with the shot so your body can take over and you can see your preparation pay off.
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