Can You Take too Many Practice Swings?

There was a reasonable amount of debate between a few of my friends after we finished a recent nine holes.  One of our playing partners is the newest to golf out of all of us and has yet to perfect his pre shot routine on the tee, on approach shots and on the green.  We keep stressing to him the importance of a consistent pre shot routine so that he can get comfortable before each shot no matter how difficult the shot is or how much pressure is revolving around the shot.  He has not grasped how much a consistent pre shot routine can help calm you down and allow you to forget outside factors and focus on the shot and I am sick of telling him.  Oh well.

Even though he has not headed our comments he seems to take a minimum of four practice swings per shot.  That is a minimum!  If you look at that mathematically it seems like a whole lot of effort exerted on the course not hitting shots.  Let’s say that he shoots in the hundreds when he goes out and plays.  That is 100 swings with all of his clubs, putter included per 18 holes.  Add on a minimum of four practice swings to each and you have 400 swings in the round.  Let’s take out putter strokes.  If he two putts every green that is 36 putting strokes.  Add four practice strokes and that is 144 practice putting strokes.  Practice putting strokes don’t bother me that much.  If we take that 144 away from the 400 we still have 256 extra practice swings per round at a bare minimum.  If you ask me my buddy might be wasting a lot of effort taking practice swings outside of a routine.

I am sure his practice swing total is much more, but I decided to error on the conservative side.  What do you guys think?  Can you over exert yourself taking too many practice swings or is it all about getting comfortable and the number is different for each player?  How effective are practice swings if the player doesn’t use them within his/her routine?

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2 Comments to “Can You Take too Many Practice Swings?”

  1. I agree with your advice regarding the establishment of a consistent pre-shot routine (as would most world-famous instructors, I imagine). Taking too many practice swings is really a practice in doing nothing more than driving oneself crazy. After all, an amateur golfer is very unlikely to replicate the exact swing he or she just practiced when hitting an actual shot. Just doesn’t happen.

  2. I agree I think if you take too many practice swings you really get too much into the mental game and completely drive yourself a bit crazy.

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