Focus on ball or target?

 Wesquire ·  
WesquireWesquire  838WRX Points: 139Members Posts: 838 Golden Tee
Joined:  in Instruction & Academy #1
What do you focus on and what should you focus on?
Posted:
Driver - Ping G400 LST 8.5° (Mitsubishi CK Pro Orange 70 TX Tipped 1")
3 Wood - Ping G 14.5° (PX HZRDUS Black 75g 6.5 Tipped 1.5")
2 Crossover - Ping G410 17° (PX HZRDUS Black 85g 6.5)
4-W - Ping i200 (PX 6.5)
Wedges - Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 50°/55°/60° (PX 6.5)
Putter - Directed Force
Ball - Snell MTB-X
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Comments

  • gatorpedsMDgatorpedsMD Hacker-in-Chief  4564WRX Points: 797Handicap: 1.5ClubWRX Posts: 4,564 ClubWRX
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    target x2
    Posted:
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  • MPStratMPStrat  1090WRX Points: 130Members Posts: 1,090 Platinum Tees
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    I setup to a target but then I try to keep my focus on feeling the clubhead in my hands. Definitely not focusing on the ball. 
    Posted:
  • Coy MCoy M OG Baby  1194WRX Points: 117Members Posts: 1,194 Platinum Tees
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    I focus on target and I think that's correct. I just swing down my target line and hit the ball in the process  :)
    Posted:
  • copperjeffcopperjeff  971WRX Points: 139Handicap: 9000Members Posts: 971 Golden Tee
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    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Posted:
    Golfing Ginger
    So glad I picked an outside activity...
  • ebrasmus21ebrasmus21 Serial Shanker CA 6027WRX Points: 1,705Handicap: 2.7Members Posts: 6,027 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #6
    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Swing with an empty mind.  What a feeling that must be.....
    Posted:
    G400 LST - TPT proto
    TM M3 - Rogue Silver 110MSI 70S
    21* Fourteen Type 7 Driving Iron - HZRDUS Black 6.5 105g
    4 - PW Mizuno MP 18 MMC - SteelFiber FC115
    50, 54, 60 RC Dual Bite - SteelFiber i125
    Evnroll ER5
    Snell MTB Black
  • copperjeffcopperjeff  971WRX Points: 139Handicap: 9000Members Posts: 971 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #7
    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Swing with an empty mind.  What a feeling that must be.....
    At the PHX clinic were you one of the many that said they putt without thought? ...... 

    It takes practice. I need much more practice myself. Really hard when you are trying to make swing changes.

    Can you clear your mind just sitting in a quiet room by yourself?
    Posted:
    Golfing Ginger
    So glad I picked an outside activity...
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  • ebrasmus21ebrasmus21 Serial Shanker CA 6027WRX Points: 1,705Handicap: 2.7Members Posts: 6,027 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #8
    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Swing with an empty mind.  What a feeling that must be.....
    At the PHX clinic were you one of the many that said they putt without thought? ...... 

    It takes practice. I need much more practice myself. Really hard when you are trying to make swing changes.

    Can you clear your mind just sitting in a quiet room by yourself?
    In a quiet room I have a difficult time clearing my mind.  When I putt I’m thinking about stuff.. mostly rhythm and tempo 
    Posted:
    G400 LST - TPT proto
    TM M3 - Rogue Silver 110MSI 70S
    21* Fourteen Type 7 Driving Iron - HZRDUS Black 6.5 105g
    4 - PW Mizuno MP 18 MMC - SteelFiber FC115
    50, 54, 60 RC Dual Bite - SteelFiber i125
    Evnroll ER5
    Snell MTB Black
  • mupepperboymupepperboy  110WRX Points: 38Members Posts: 110 Fairways
    Joined:  #9
    Target when I played well... Lately I have too much going on in my head and therefore am struggling Big Time!
    Posted:
  • copperjeffcopperjeff  971WRX Points: 139Handicap: 9000Members Posts: 971 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #10
    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Swing with an empty mind.  What a feeling that must be.....
    At the PHX clinic were you one of the many that said they putt without thought? ...... 

    It takes practice. I need much more practice myself. Really hard when you are trying to make swing changes.

    Can you clear your mind just sitting in a quiet room by yourself?
    In a quiet room I have a difficult time clearing my mind.  When I putt I’m thinking about stuff.. mostly rhythm and tempo 
    Rhythm and tempo aren't the worst things to think about. But, I believe a clear mind is better.

    Try clearing your mind for just a couple seconds at a time, then for longer periods, then at the range.
    Posted:
    Golfing Ginger
    So glad I picked an outside activity...
  • ebrasmus21ebrasmus21 Serial Shanker CA 6027WRX Points: 1,705Handicap: 2.7Members Posts: 6,027 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #11
    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Swing with an empty mind.  What a feeling that must be.....
    At the PHX clinic were you one of the many that said they putt without thought? ...... 

    It takes practice. I need much more practice myself. Really hard when you are trying to make swing changes.

    Can you clear your mind just sitting in a quiet room by yourself?
    In a quiet room I have a difficult time clearing my mind.  When I putt I’m thinking about stuff.. mostly rhythm and tempo 
    Rhythm and tempo aren't the worst things to think about. But, I believe a clear mind is better.

    Try clearing your mind for just a couple seconds at a time, then for longer periods, then at the range.
    So when you say clear your mind.  Like you seriously aren’t consciously thinking about anything? 
    Posted:
    G400 LST - TPT proto
    TM M3 - Rogue Silver 110MSI 70S
    21* Fourteen Type 7 Driving Iron - HZRDUS Black 6.5 105g
    4 - PW Mizuno MP 18 MMC - SteelFiber FC115
    50, 54, 60 RC Dual Bite - SteelFiber i125
    Evnroll ER5
    Snell MTB Black
  • copperjeffcopperjeff  971WRX Points: 139Handicap: 9000Members Posts: 971 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #12
    When playing my best, neither.
    I've already aligned and picked my shot. The ball isn't going anywhere. The target isn't either. 
    So, I just clear my head, take a breath and swing.
    Swing with an empty mind.  What a feeling that must be.....
    At the PHX clinic were you one of the many that said they putt without thought? ...... 

    It takes practice. I need much more practice myself. Really hard when you are trying to make swing changes.

    Can you clear your mind just sitting in a quiet room by yourself?
    In a quiet room I have a difficult time clearing my mind.  When I putt I’m thinking about stuff.. mostly rhythm and tempo 
    Rhythm and tempo aren't the worst things to think about. But, I believe a clear mind is better.

    Try clearing your mind for just a couple seconds at a time, then for longer periods, then at the range.
    So when you say clear your mind.  Like you seriously aren’t consciously thinking about anything? 
    In a nutshell, yes.

    I believe people call it different names but I "think" the principle is the same. Meditative state, open mind, clear head, the zone, full awareness, quieting the mind, and so forth.  The phrase that resonates with me most is "just exsisting". 

    To be clear, I am talking about the fleeting moments between getting fully set, and finishing the swing. 

    The meta-awareness thread delved into a lot of this, but there was a lot of clutter there as well.

    However, when I remove conscious thought from the equation, it allows me to detach myself from the result much easier. I'm also much more aware of any mistake I might have made. 
    Posted:
    Golfing Ginger
    So glad I picked an outside activity...
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  • uitar9uitar9  452WRX Points: 118Handicap: LOLMembers Posts: 452 Greens
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    I've heard folks say the swing time associated with a round of golf takes 7 minutes. I find attempting to think about nothing once I'm set to swing reduces my tension and I often hit better. Its not that long a time. Then I can go back to grumbling about my poor lie and where the ball ended up. Then it starts again. Find ball, analyse lie, pick club. The thoughts stop when I actually swing. I used to practice what I've heard called "walking meditation", tried to slow the thoughts while brushing my teeth or waiting for the bus. It does work with practice. Sure helps when I wake up at 2 am.
    Posted:
    KZG OS11 12 degree driver
    Calloway 16 5-wood
    Calloway 20.5 heavenwood
    Cobra 24.5 9-wood
    KZG 5-PW irons
    KZG 52 and 56 and cobra 60 wedges
    TM Spider mallet
  • juststevejuststeve  5032WRX Points: 453Members Posts: 5,032 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #14
    On ordinary shots I focus on the golf club and swinging it in the direction of the target.  The more I can ignore the ball the better.   
    Steve
    Posted:
  • diablocrusherdiablocrusher  191WRX Points: 94Handicap: 6.5Members Posts: 191 Fairways
    Joined:  #15
    I've been trying something recently that I believe falls in this category of clearing your mind.  I've done this both with full shots and putts.  What I've been doing is after I've taken my stance and set up to the target line, I focus on my target and while taking in a breath I let my eyes start to wonder directly above the target and try to look at something off in the distance, a tree, a cloud, cell phone tower, anything.  Whatever object I focus on is still in line with target just above it in the sky. Then I bring my eyes back down to the ball and start my take away.  
    I've found then I can begin my swing with no thoughts because my brain is focusing on the object out in the distance.  What this also does if I'm hitting an iron shot for instance, is after I make contact and begin the follow through most of the time my eyes will then focus on that same object off in the distance and a good amount of time the ball will follow that target line and pass through the object I focused on in the distance.
    Posted:
    Driver - Cobra King F6
    3 wood - Cobra F8
    Hybrid - Callaway XR Pro
    Irons 3-PW - Mizuno MP54
    Wedges - Vokey SM6 50, 54, 58
    Putter - Yes! Callie
  • TIM929TIM929 Los Angeles 1305WRX Points: 760Handicap: 11.1Members Posts: 1,305 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #16
    In martial arts, clearing your mind is very common. The more experienced you become, the higher the degree you are able to clear it. 


    Posted:
    Titleist TS3 10.5* Driver                  HZRDUS SMOKE 6.0       Tour Velvet std 
    Adams Tightlies 2 16*3 Wood        whatevers stock              Tour Velvet std  
    Titleist TS3 19*    Hybrid                 HZRDUS SMOKE 6.0       Tour Velvet std 
    Titleist 716 TMB  4-P                      DG S300                          Tour Velvet Align 2 wraps  
    Titleist SM7 52.12F (bent to 49.09)DG S400                           Tour Velvet plus4 1 wraps
    Titleist SM7 56.10S                         DG S400                          Tour Velvet plus4 1 wraps
    Titleist SM7 60.12D                        DG S400                           Tour Velvet plus4 1 wraps
    Titleist SC Terryllium Fastback 1.5  34" loft 6.5                       Pistolini Plus  
    Titleist PROV1                                 ball
    Kirkland sig                                     glove 
    FJ rain glove                                    glove (rain)  
     

    WITB:
    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1729394-timbo929-witb/
  • davep043davep043  4719WRX Points: 1,961Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,719 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #17
    I believe its pretty important to keep your head relatively still while you swing.  For me, that's best done by focusing on the ball.  I can't say its a really conscious choice, but I believe I'm thinking of swinging directly through the ball's location.  If I'm thinking of the target throughout my swing, my head will be moving way too much, and crisp contact will suffer.  So I focus on the ball.
    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

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  • Nard_SNard_S  3712WRX Points: 747Handicap: 9Members Posts: 3,712 Titanium Tees
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    I look high where apex of ball will be, get a visual on a distant target and imprint that corridor as I go after it. "Swing to the picture" as they say, while keeping eyes on the back of ball.
    Posted:
  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-Maryland 2495WRX Points: 1,104Members Posts: 2,495 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #19
    I watch the ball with my 'outer' eye and the target with my 'inner' eye.  
    Posted:
  • glkglk send it in jerome Kodak, Tn/Chucktown, Sc via Chicago & Burgh 3848WRX Points: 509Members Posts: 3,848 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #20
    The issue to me isn't ball or target.    It's what works for the person to keep all the potentially destructive thoughts out of their mind.
    If you can focus on the ball great.   If target, great.    If you hum, great.    Whatever it takes to not think about the result, some body part, etc.    I term it the, don't give a crap or just hit the ball.   Clear the mind, easily said, hard in reality.
    Posted:

    Enjoy every sandwich.

  • theboypinoytheboypinoy  2102WRX Points: 146Members Posts: 2,102 Platinum Tees
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    Target. Target. Target. This was the first thing drilled into my head with my instructor, and it's been fantastic.

    As for the mental aspect, it's also addressed by Rotella in Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect

    Posted:
  • cav5cav5  355WRX Points: 111Members Posts: 355 Greens
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    I think about how I want the club to move.

    Posted:

    410p D+ltd
    TS2 16.5 D+ltd
    MP69 PX6.5
    SM7 52/56
    SM4 Brooksy 60
    Betty DASS

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  • oikos1oikos1  2639WRX Points: 458Members Posts: 2,639 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @LASSIEGOHOME said:

    The better you are the more distant the target focus. **But whatever your level of proficiency , the focus should be external (ie. no focus on movement of a body part ). ** For example, moving weight pressure on your lead leg is an 'internal focus' , but if you changed focus intent to 'bracing into and turning against' an imagined vertical wall inside the outer perimeters of your lead foot/knee , then that would be an 'external focus'. The previous example would apply for more novice golfers because the focus would be closer to you , whereas a pga pro would probably be focusing somewhere in the distance , even imagining where the ball will bounce on a specific point and rolling (ie. a distant 'intent' picture movie in their head).

    It can be either internal or external, pro or am. Depends on the individual.

    Hunter Mahan
    "Pretend there's a pressure gauge under your left foot and push down as hard as you can as you bring the club down."

    Adam Scott
    "Whatever I'm working on, I like to keep one swing thought in my head when I'm on the course. Keeping it simple helped me at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston last year. Thinking only about getting to my left side, I shot 62 Friday and won my first PGA Tour event."

    Keegan Bradley
    "I focus on my facial muscles. When you can get your mouth to relax, your whole body relaxes."

    Rory McIlroy
    "Under pressure, I do use one simple swing thought: I pick a spot a foot in front of the ball and hit over it -- hard. That takes my mind off the outcome of the shot and keeps me in the process."

    Posted:
  • ferrispgmferrispgm  2083WRX Points: 281Members Posts: 2,083 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #24

    Something I worked hard on my last round was just focusing on making a good swing. Over each shot I said to myself, "make your best swing or trust it". No joke, every single time I did that I hit a really good shot or if I did miss...it was still on the green or fairway. When I didn't because I'm ADD and forgot...my shot wasn't very good. It's something Monte preaches...try to do better on each swing and make the best swing you can. It's not easy and I constantly forget to do it but when I do...it works wonders. Copperjeff was there at a local club when I was actually able to do it for a full 8 holes....went something like 41-34 with a bogey on the last. Target is irrelevant and so is the ball. You assess your lie....figure the shot you want to hit and align for that shot and just make the best swing you can letting the ball get in the way.

    Posted:
    Driver: Callaway Epic 9* w/ Graphite Design Tour AD M9003
    FWY: Taylormade Rocketballz Tp 14.5*
    Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18*
    Irons: Srixon Z765 3-5 iron, z965 6-PW, Project X
    54*: Titleist SM6 S grind black finish
    58*: Cleveland CG14 1 dot
    Putter: Taylormade Daytona Rossa with agsi.
  • oikos1oikos1  2639WRX Points: 458Members Posts: 2,639 Titanium Tees
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    "Target is irrelevant"

    Tend to agree with this after you've established what your target is and have set your line. Why focus on something 200 yards away when the work to be done is right in front of you?

    Posted:
  • oikos1oikos1  2639WRX Points: 458Members Posts: 2,639 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @LASSIEGOHOME said:

    On -, @oikos1 said:

    "Target is irrelevant"

    Tend to agree with this after you've established what your target is and have set your line. Why focus on something 200 yards away when the work to be done is right in front of you?

    It has been researched quite a bit and the results show that even scratch golfers performance is enhanced the more distal the focus on their intended outcome. 'Distant external target outcome focus' won't work well on novice golfers because the outcome has got to be 'achievable' . If your not used to achieving your intent , then you will move into 'fear' mode (kiss of death mindset).

    Of course. Why would you want to listen to what golfers who get results do when you can read research papers.

    Posted:
  • oikos1oikos1  2639WRX Points: 458Members Posts: 2,639 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #27

    On -, @LASSIEGOHOME said:

    On -, @oikos1 said:

    On -, @LASSIEGOHOME said:

    On -, @oikos1 said:

    "Target is irrelevant"

    Tend to agree with this after you've established what your target is and have set your line. Why focus on something 200 yards away when the work to be done is right in front of you?

    It has been researched quite a bit and the results show that even scratch golfers performance is enhanced the more distal the focus on their intended outcome. 'Distant external target outcome focus' won't work well on novice golfers because the outcome has got to be 'achievable' . If your not used to achieving your intent , then you will move into 'fear' mode (kiss of death mindset).

    Of course. Why would you want to listen to what golfers who get results do when you can read research papers.

    Bubba Watson
    "The key is that you have to think about the shot, and when I say that, I mean you have to think about your target, not your swing. You don't want your mind to create the bad shot. You want to think about your target, and that's all you want to think about. You have to think about the target and not focus on anything else.

    Luke Donald
    "I might have one swing thought during my practice swing, but once I get over the ball, I'm focusing on my target and the shot I'm trying to hit. You'd hope to have very little swing thoughts. You're just kind of going on instinct – and that's when you're playing the best.

    Padraig Harrington
    "In 1997 I read Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Bob Rotella and I've never had a swing thought since then. When I get on the golf course, I think about the target and try to focus on the target, and that's it. No physical or technical thought whatsoever."

    EXTERNAL VS INTERNAL FOCUS
    The concept of External and Internal Focus was coined by Dr. Gabrielle Wulf, a Professor of Motor Learning at the University of Nevada. She conducted research and experiments over many years which looked at the effect of where an athlete put their focus during movement.
    External focus is when you keep your focus on what the effect of the movement will be, rather than the movement itself. For example when you throw a basketball you are probably just looking at the basket and throwing the ball. That is external focus. If I was to say to you to be aware of the angle of your wrists and how far your arms go back to throw the ball, that would be internal focus.
    Dr. Wulf’s studies concluded that the performance of players was improved when golfers (all various ability levels) focused more on the effect of the swing and their movement, rather than the position of body parts, which creates tension and inhibits fluidity.
    If you want to find out more about Dr. Wulf’s study of attentional focus on motor learning, check it out here.
    https://www.sportwissenschaft.de/fileadmin/pdf/BuT/hossner_wulf.pdf

    So like I said in my first post, it can be either internal or external. Or it could be absolutely nothing. Depends on the player. My point is that it's not an absolute. Most players more than likely use both. I'm certainly not against external focus.

    If you listen to Padraig's entire interview, that's exactly what he says. He just picked a "crutch that he can lean on" that works for him.

    And just for a fun juxtaposition, the GOAT himself:
    "At each tournament some segment of my swing is sticking out more that week than it generally does. Consequently, I find myself fastening on some little gimmick that will help me either to feel right or to swing right for the duration of that tournament. It might be raising my right shoulder a little higher at address (because that helps me to feel more relaxed and facilitates a freer turn), or it might be slowing down the push off my right foot at the start of the downswing (because that seems to help my balance in the hitting area). The next week it will be something else. When I mention to friends that I am forced to rely on this succession of gimmicks, I can sense that a number of them are let down to learn this. They would much rather hear that a professional golfer has everything securely under control, that each year he gains an increased mastery of his technique. All I can say is that I wish this were so."

    Posted:
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  • Kevlar10Kevlar10  107WRX Points: 52Handicap: 13Members Posts: 107 Fairways
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    Off the tee, I try to focus on the tee, imagining the ball isn’t there. When I actually can do that I hit relatively well but it’s difficult. With my irons, I’ve started to focus on the spot in front of the ball so I’m hitting the bottom of the ball just before my swing reaches the low point. I’ve picked up a few yards with my irons doing this and I can get some nasty spin on the ball causing it to stop dead or come back especially on the green. The down side is that if I’m just slightly off, I skull it and it’s impossible to control. Golf is always a work in progress.

    Posted:
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