Tim Krumnow has a Pre-shot Routine for both woods and irons that will be helpful in your golf game. If you need more help, have questions, or are ready to book a lesson with Tim, call him at (281) 755-6162 or book online.
Assess yardage to the middle of the green, then subtract or add based on pin position.
Account for: wind direction (i.e: for every one mph of wind into me I add one yard to the distance or subtract if downwind) temperature (using the chart from the PGA Manuel of Golf, +/- 5 yards for every 20*) and lie of the ball (flier lie, sidehill, uphill, or downhill is +/- yardage is a pure judgment based on experience).
Decide on the shape of shot to be hit: draw, fade, straight, knockdown, or high
Decide on the club to use based on the above factors and totally commit that this is the correct yardage, club, and shape of shot
My routine starts from five paces behind the ball and takes 17 seconds from start to finish. I time it regularly to ensure that I have not sped up or slowed down. I want everything to be consistent and at the same pace swing after swing.
While standing five paces from directly behind the ball (keeping the ball between myself and my intended target line), I visualize the shot I have decided to play based on the yardage two times.
I hold the club up with my right hand to get my intermediate target 6-12" in front of the ball. Using the shaft as a straight edge in this manner assures me that I am getting a perfect alignment.
Holding the club in my right hand, I bounce/hit the clubhead on the ground twice as a trigger to start my focus and movement towards the ball.
This is where I start my 17-second count
4. I start with my left foot and take five paces to the ball taking small swings along the way with the club in my right hand to get a feel for the weight of the clubhead and the swinging motion, this also helps me to stay loose.
5. Once I get to the ball, I put my feet/heels together with the ball directly in between them, and using my right hand on the middle of the grip, I measure how far away from the ball is to place my feet. I use my right hand only in this manner because it is the closest to the ball during the setup and swing, so it is a better gauge to get the proper distance from the ball.
6. At this time I place my left hand on the grip so that I can see two knuckles and then adjust my right hand to fit with the left hand so my hands work together (both V's between my thumb and forefinger should point in between my right ear and shoulder at this time)
7. I square up the clubface to my intermediate target in front of the ball, usually a piece of grass, edge of a divot, etc., and adjust my feet to be square to the imaginary line in between my ball and the intermediate target in front of the ball. This reassures me that my alignment will be square to the target. Square to me means my body-lines (eyes, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet) are aiming about 5 yards left of my target so that my clubface and ball will be at the target, like standing on railroad tracks, i.e. my body on one side and the ball and clubface on the other.
8. I move my left foot towards the target approx. 3-4" for ball position, I believe the ball should remain in the same position of the left foot and the right foot moves away from the target to dictate ball position in relation to the sternum or center of the swing based on what club I am hitting (driver - 18", 5 wood - 12", 7 iron - 6", wedge - 4")
So those who say the ball position should stay the same for all clubs are right, the ball stays in the same position of the left foot. Those who say the ball position moves based on the club are right as well, the right foot moves and changes the ball position in relation to the sternum or center of the swing.
I flare out my left toe approx. 20* and keep my right foot 90* to my target line.
9. I adjust my posture to feel as if the small of my back is pulled in towards my belly button, stick my rear end out to counterbalance my upper body, and then check my knee flex.
At this point, I have my alignment, ball position, stance width, and posture set.
10. I then raise my upper body and club to look at the target and visualize my ball flight as I waggle the club to get loose and sense the weight of the clubhead.
11. I look back at the ball and lower my body to its original posture and place the clubhead behind the ball again.
12. I again raise my upper body and club to look at the target and visualize my ball flight as I waggle the club to get loose and sense the weight of the clubhead.
13. I look back at the ball and lower my body to its original posture and place the clubhead behind the ball again.
14. I once more check my posture and bounce my trunk a couple of times to check my knee flex.
15. I start my swing at this point with a forward press of my hands about 1" and let them "rebound" into the backswing.
16. My main swing thoughts are to finish the swing in balance over my left side or to swing feeling the weight of the clubhead throughout the swing, this ensures my tempo does not get quick. One or the other, NEVER more than one swing thought at a time. If the 1st one is working I stay with it, if not I go to the second swing thought and use it. With my swing, I am either working on balance or tempo. I like to keep things simple so anything more than either of those thoughts leads to mental clutter and a bad swing.
The only time I have mechanical swing thoughts is on the driving range or when I go to the golf course to work on my swing not caring how I score.
As always, I'm here to help answer questions and guide you to be the best golfer you can be! It would be my pleasure to help you improve your total golf game from tee to green!
Tim Krumnow Golf Academy, PGA
Certified Golf Instructor in Houston, Texas