The word ritual brings about images of solemn occasions and religious ceremonies. Each step has a meaning and must be observed with strict adherence. Think of a wedding or Japanese tea ceremony or sitting down to watch your team make a playoff run. Nothing new can be introduced. Keep it the same every time from seating position to clothes worn to people in attendance. This is how the golf swing routine must be played. I do not mean the mechanics of the backswing and everything from there. I want to illuminate everything before that. The sacred ritual of the golf swing routine process.
The Purpose of the Golf Swing Routine Ritual
My first draft of this article I described this state of golf as the Pre Golf Swing. While researching it, I paged through Zen Golf and Dr. Parent called it the Swing Routine. I liked that name because it has an element of repetition by using the word routine. Routines are done almost at the subconscious level. I understand that Routine Ritual are redundant but I am trying to hammer home a point.
If you can grip it and rip it and land in the fairway 95% of the time, by all means have at it. I salute you. For the rest of us, the ritual helps to focus us and ensure a quality swing.
Elements of Golf Swing Routine Ritual
A good Golf Swing Routine Ritual should include:
- Verify aim
- Check correct grip
- A practice swing to loosen up
- A deep breath
- Verbal/mental self-coaching
The order and quantity of each step is up to you. The key to it is that you pick the order and stick to it every time with no exception. If you hit a bad shot, shake it off and go back to the established order. Never miss with the ritual because it makes up the foundation of your game. If you want to change it, work on a new order on the driving range not on the 12 hole tee box after a triple bogey.
Dan’s Sacred Golf Swing Routine Ritual
Here are the steps I observe before every shot:
- Take 1 practice swing. Only 1. If I duff it and hit the ground before my imaginary ball, I comment on it and move on.
- Step behind the ball and pick my aiming point with my club held out in front of me. I let the club fall straight down to find a spot three feet in front of the ball as my direct aiming point.
- As I approach the ball, I hold the club in my left hand and tap it on the ground twice to test my grip.
- My stance is aligned with the direct aiming point.
- I take a deep breath and exhale slowly. As I exhale, I relax my grip slightly.
- I release the Kraken!
Here is it in action:
What is your Golf Swing Routine Ritual
Think about it. Write it down. Research what pros do. Find what works for you and stick to it. There is comfort in consistent execution of the ritual.