Before every shot, Masters champion Jordan Spieth does the same thing.
He stands behind the ball and identifies where he wants his ball to go. Then he takes a few soft practice swings to simulate the motion he needs to produce his desired shot shape. He faces the target line, one foot slightly ahead of the other, envisions the shot in his mind and steps in to swing.
It's a process that allows him to think through every aspect of a shot and free him up to execute. It's also the envy of his peers.
"His composure is Bernhard Langer-like, which is incredible for 21," said 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogivly to Golf.com. "That's his x-factor."
Developing a pre-shout routine, like Spieth has, is great for your game, too. Unfortunately, an overwhelming number of golfers don't have such a routine, and it costs them strokes.
Dr. Michael Lardon can help. He's worked with a number of top professionals, including five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, to improve their mental approach to the game. He has a system that he calls the Mental Pre-Shot, that encourages players to think through a three-step process before each shot: figuring out the distance, intended shot and the dangers; feeling what the shot is like, either through visualization or practice strokes; and finally executing the shot without a thought in your brain.
"The problem for the average player," Lardon said in an interview, "is that they don't have a caddie to walk them through the process."
Lardon emphasizes the need for a physical trigger that reminds the brain that it's time to execute. That could be touching the cap, taking a breath or whatever makes you feel comfortable. Lardon believes a device like Game Golf, a game-tracking product which requires a player to tap a sensor to a device kept on your belt before each shot, could serve as not only a trigger, but deliver other benefits in the way of data and analysis into your game.
It's a simple thing to learn, but takes a long time to master and to fully integrate into your approach. However, once you learn how to do it and make it a part of each shot, it doesn't take a lot of time and can really help you throughout your round. Even if you can't pull of shots like Jordan Spieth, you can at least learn to think your way around the golf course somewhat like the Masters champion.
Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.