Begin your pre-shot routine from behind the ball. This is the only way that you can clearly establish the target line using both eyes (binocular vision). Once your brain has the intended message about alignment, you can begin your approach to the golf ball with confidence because this information is now stored in your temporary memory and will help you when you are addressing the ball.
From this point, the procedure is straightforward and can become automatic with repetition. First, place your hands on the club, keeping the clubface square. Then aim the square clubface to the target on the line you established from behind the ball.
Next, align your body (checking your feet, thighs, hips, and shoulders) parallel to the target line, addressing the golf ball. Last, with confidence, trust your alignment and make your best effort to execute the shot. Even if you do not hit it perfectly, it will most likely be on line, heading towards the intended target - a great miss!
With experience and repetition, this pre-shot routine will become automatic. Take time to work on a quality pre-shot routine because if you aim at nothing ... you will hit it every time!
Deb Vangellow is the Director of Instruction at Sweetwater Country Club in Houston, Texas. She has been both a Golf Magazine "Top Teacher" and a Golf For Women Magazine "Top 50" teacher. Visit her Web site for more.