Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 744 - December 28, 2022
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Master The Motion Before You Master The Shot.
"15 Minutes of Body Action Drills Are More
Important Than Hitting 200 Balls"

Tom's Featured Tip: External Focus in Your Pre Shot Routine

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
The Divot Board
The Impact Snap
The Rypstick
Club Champion

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

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2021 BCC Junior Golf Camp

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External Focus in Your Pre Shot Routine

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Two Great Training Aids For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

The Divot Board

This is the most useful ball striking development training aid that I own.
Don't have one yet? What's holding you back?
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Click here to buy now. Start using the ImpactSnap training aid indoors or outdoors to make you instantly aware of proper hand and wrist action, which is second only to low point awareness for great ball striking.

External Focus in Your Pre Shot Routine

In a couple of past newsletters I addressed how internal and external focus may apply to the golf swing. This is a subject that I'm fascinated with, and it so happens that I recently came across some material that addressed how external focus can be applied to something other than the swing.

In today's newsletter I'm going to address how external focus can be applied to your Pre Shot Routine.

If you do not have a Pre Shot Routine, here are a couple that I recommend to my students: Pre-Shot Routines - Putting and Other

Here's a quick refresher on these types of focuses.

Internal focus is focus that is directed toward components of the body movement, where the player will consciously make their body parts perform in a certain way. External focus is focus that is directed toward the effect of the movement on the end goal.

In my experience I've found that most golfers are acutely aware of swing training, but do not pay nearly enough attention to training their focus.

The mind can become distracted, unfocused, and more concerned about the movement of the swing than the intention for the shot. Most golfers "go through the motions" during their Pre Shot Routine and convince themselves that they are focused, but really they are unaware of where they are directing their attention.

What we focus on as we prepare to hit a shot can make a huge difference in execution.

The swing and stroke should be guided by a sensory connection with the target and intention for the shot.

When we are able to place our attention on what we are trying to do with the golf ball or the effect of our movement (impact) rather than the movement itself, it's called External Focus.

Studies show that generally speaking (and even more so for the short game and putting) having an external focus is the most effective way to play. When we become too focused on what we need to do with the body - Internal Focus - energy is directed away from the intention for the shot and towards thinking about the swing. By doing this, the intuitive "athletic" mind is pushed out of the process.

As Bobby Jones once said, "the golf swing is too complex a movement to be consciously controlled".

As a golfer hits more poor shots during a round, it can cause them to become increasingly focused on the mechanics of the swing. This distances them from their intention for the shot, creating tension and a loss of rhythm and tempo.

A good Pre Shot Routine should give you many options for external focus and attentional cues that can affect how you connect with what you're trying to achieve and how we swing the club or stroke the putter.

Shot routines and what a player focuses on, can be different for full shots, short game and putting.

Here are a few examples:
  • The target - how do you see it and can you retain it?
  • The feel of the strike (path, face, ground contact)
  • The speed of the putt (being able to trace it with your eyes before starting your stroke)
  • The visual image of the ball taking off, the apex or landing
  • The curvature of the shot
  • The tempo of the swing
  • The sound of the shot

What type of external focus produces your best shots?

It's well worth spending the time working on this. Building an effective Pre Shot Routine shouldn't be taken lightly. Every shot gives you the opportunity to reset and get yourself ready to hit a great shot no matter how you are playing.

Intention of focus and awareness of your attention is an important - yet often overlooked - part of practice. When you are playing, focusing becomes harder because more of your energy goes to your nervous system. You can combat that by deciding what you plan to focus on, and practicing it intentionally so you make it a habit. Train your focus as you practice and take note (literally) on how it affects your shots.

Right after your next round, write down all of your best shots. Think back and recall what you were focusing on before and during your swing. Take note of any patterns. By doing this, you'll understand more about how your "intuitive athletic mind" works and you'll take a step closer to knowing your best attentional cues. The round after that, do the same thing and hold yourself accountable to where you place your attention.

Attention or focus can definitely be trained, and it's absolutely worth the effort.

Try it, you'll like it.

Email Comments: to

"Clear Intentions Simplify Execution"
Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, The Stack and Tilt Swing

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Golf Lessons

I am now conducting lessons at The Batavia Country Club

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Indoor Lessons Details and Rates


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

Batavia Country Club   (585) 343-7600
Great rates, the best greens in WNY.
Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State.
Tee times online or by phone in season.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

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Use your club or hand to re-set the board after your strike
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BONUS: when you buy through the newsletter link above, you'll also receive free access to my Putting Lesson Videos ($50 value) which cover: The Elevated Aimline Drill, The Squareness Awareness Drill, The Aimline Accuracy Drill, The Stock Putting Stroke Drill, The Barrier Drill, The Short Putt Channel Drill, and more.

Train with the Impact Snap training aid to improve your hand and wrist coordination for a powerful strike. A Golf Digest 2021 Editors Choice Training Aid

Click here to buy now and start using a great training aid that can be used indoors or outdoors.

Click here to buy this swing speed training aid and increase your distance off the tee. Buy now and get to work on increasing your swing speed now.

Club Champion Don't waste another dollar on clubs until you've gone through a fitting at Club Champion, 1669 Pittsford Victor Rd., Suite 400, Victor NY 14564. Call Master Fitter & Builder Jeff St. John. PGA work: (585) 978-8513, cell: (585) 831-2292 to schedule your fitting today1 Mention my name and you'll get special attention.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Professional, Batavia Country Club
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection1"
~ Ben Hogan