golf course hole map

40-Second Rule

When I started this blog, almost a year ago, I wrote down a list of blog post topics and today is where I go over the first topic on that list: the 40-second rule.

Unfortunately, WordPress did not save any of the notes I had associated with the subject so I did a quick “google” to see what I could find. I didn’t go very far into the results to find the following video on a variance of the concept related to the speed of play.

40 seconds pace of play

While the video presents a good idea, the presenter could incorporate WELD into her setup. The wind, elevation, and distance can be gauged as you approach the ball.

The purpose of this document was not to criticize someone else’s content, it was merely to highlight that the 40-second rule can mean different things to different people in golf.

For me, golf takes a long time to play, as highlighted in the video, and it is a long time to concentrate. You must focus on each shot, every shot is as important as the other. However, you cannot focus for the whole round.

This is where the 40-second rule comes into play for me: 40 seconds of concentration around each shot.

As already stated, you can start preparing for your shot as you approach your ball. When you arrive you can assess the lie and confirm the distance. Start your timer – this is where you focus and envisage your shot, the pre-shot routine has started.

Step into your “thinking box”, and imagine the ball flight, see the target, and where you want the ball to end up.

Cross that “decision line” and do your final routines and strike the ball. Watch the ball flight, where it ends, and assess the outcome. Stop all the clocks – you can relax a bit and enjoy the situation.

As you approach your ball for the next shot, go through the process again. Concentration blocks of 40 seconds at a time are a lot more manageable than trying to maintain focus for 4+ hours.

Consistent pre-shot routines are very important in the game and if you can be fully focused for each shot then you will benefit in the long term.

.* you’ll probably have a shorter pre-shot routine for putting but focus is still essential.

I don’t have a physical timer but I do try to incorporate this routine. Is this something that you do?