There are few decisions in golf as important as selecting the right shot to hit at the right time. Like most complex decisions, it requires knowledge, training, and practice to get good at it. There are many factors that influence the shot selection process – course setup, weather, confidence – just to name a few. Some of the factors are constant, while other factors can change during the round. Junior golfers that do a better job in this area of the game, have a substantial advantage over their competitors.
In this article, we are going to look at the general approach to selecting the right shot. In future articles, we will delve into more specific parts of the process. To begin with, junior golfers must develop a pre-shot process that includes the following steps:
When young golfers make their pre-shot process a habit, their play is likely to become more consistent. They will create more opportunities and reduce errors. They’ll also get better feedback and an increased understanding of what parts of their game need work. Even with a pre-shot process, junior golfers still can get into trouble when they skip steps in the process, have unrealistic expectations, let emotions influence their decisions, or have poor strategy.
The ultimate goal is to become so familiar with the process that it requires less thinking and becomes automatic. By doing that, the process can be completed in less time and, in the event that there’s a more complex situation, players are more likely to select the right shot.
Each of the steps above need to be trained and practiced so they can be relied upon in a competitive environment. I suggest working separately on each of the steps in the process. I also recommend that younger golfers solicit the help of their coach who can go on the course to review each of the segments and to help refine the overall process.
Jeff Isler shares his observations, insights, and experiences on the game of golf and those that play it at a high level.