How many practice swings should I take before hitting my shot?

Your golf questions answered: is there a recommended number of practice swings I should be taking?

Jack Seddon's picture
Tue, 29 Sep 2020

In this brand new series from GolfMagic, we will be answering questions from our readers about the wonderful game of golf. If you have a question that you want answering then get in touch, whether it's about rules, equipment or the game in general, we're here to help!

The first question we are focusing on is about practice swings. We've all played with some real golf snails in our time who take a load of practice swings before hitting each and every shot, whilst other players might not even take one at all.

That's the thing about practice swings and pre-shot routines, they're personal.

It's important to find what feels right for you, whether that's taking a full practice swing or just going through a few movements to get the correct feel for a shot.

From a personal perspective, I think taking a full practice swing can often end up ruining a shot and here's why.

You've probably all been in this situation before, when you're on the middle of the fairway after hitting a beautiful drive down the middle and you stand next to your ball, take a practice swing and accidentally take a huge divot out of the ground.

Your mates give you a bit of stick and you laugh and joke about it and you scurry over to your bag to wipe the mud off of your ball.

Now all of a sudden you're completely overthinking what has just happened. You start taking a few more practice swings and all you're thinking about is not taking a huge chunk of grass out of the ground.

Once you approach your ball to take your shot, you're likely to subconciously be thinking about what just happened in your pre-shot routine and it can cause you to hit a poor shot.

What I like to do and what you will see with the majority of players on tour, is visualise the shot behind the ball and just take a few small swings, feeling as though you're getting into the right positions and this can be done without even letting your club touch the ground.

So the answer to the question "how many practice swings should I take?" is that really there is no correct number, it's up to you.

Do what you're comfortable with but from experience and from hearing from some top golf coaches, sometimes too many practice swings leads to poor golf shots.

If you have any questions that you'd like answering then please feel free to get in touch with us through our social media channels.

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