It’s been an interesting few weeks. I moved to a community with a par 3 golf course a couple of months ago. It’s helping me in more ways than I would have thought. The first was noticing I was consciously “steering” the ball on some swings, which is a recipe for disaster. Some times with friends or relatives, we’ll play all 9 holes. I’ve played many times alone for only 10 to 20 minutes. There are no tee times, and almost nobody every out there, so while coffee is brewing in the morning, or when I need a stretch break, I can play a few holes and then get back to work.
There are two new observations I’ve had about my game. The first is that when I’m focused on a target, really bad swings can happen. When I focus on the feel of the swing I want and picture the flight of the ball, the ball heads straight where I want it to go like shown above on the first hole, my 6th hole of the afternoon. (I played 4 – 8, then 1, 2, and finished on 3)
There are a lot of sources that tell golfers to be “target focused”. Like this one, which seems to be more about landing targets than actual targets. This short article talks about focusing on the target and the swing.
Here’s an entire website called target oriented swing. My point is I found that when I was ONLY thinking about the target, and not the feel of a good swing nor picturing the perfect flight of the ball, my swing was not as good and I didn’t get near the hole (or even near the green in some cases)
The second interesting observation, is that I was not worried about nor thinking about if it was a birdie putt nor par putt or anything. I was focused on a smooth putter swing picturing the speed of the ball as it rolled straight or broke one way or another for each type of putt. For me, I focusing on the hole during putting or my score before the putt took away from better execution of the putt. Thinking about the feel of a good putter swing and picturing how the ball rolled into the cup helped, and helped quite a bit. (I made the birdie putt above, and realized AFTER that it was a birdie) There are thousands of tips on putting, like these “7 tips to become a putting machine” For me, I think that’s going to have me focus and think about a lot of extra things. Add “worry” about it being a birdie putt, or “nervous” you’ll miss that bogey putt, and now I’ll have crowded my mind with extra thoughts, perhaps even encouraging conscious putting (steering). Nope, for me, I am going to focus on how a good swing should feel and picture the trajectory I want and let the ball end up where it ends up.