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Hey better ballers.... focus on the ball vs target?

 Barfolomew ·  
BarfolomewBarfolomew #worstWRXerMembers  1987WRX Points: 430Posts: 1,987 Platinum Tees
Joined:  in Instruction & Academy #1

Hey ballers how much do you focus on the target vs focusing on the ball when swinging? Is it even a concept you address and work on and then adjust for the best method?


I'm on the DL again which always makes me think golf since I cant play lol.... Whenever I come back from the DL it takes a while to knock the rust off and play normal. So I was thinking I'm gonna try and focus way more on the ball then the target so I can get my ball striking back quicker.... But that led me to think with better players and pros are the strikes weaker cause focusing too much on the target or is the aim off cause focusing too much on the ball and so do players adjust their focus or just naturally settle into their current ratio between the two?


With all sports that use a club, stick, bat, racket etc.... there are different levels on focus needed on the ball vs target. With tennis you can focus way more on the target vs golf cause mishits are more rare. Putting is different too.

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Comments

  • b.heltsb.helts Members  3291WRX Points: 797Posts: 3,291 Titanium Tees
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    target. Always.


    i find focusing on the leaves be ball-bound and I lose all rhythm and what fluidity I have left.

    Posted:
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  • gentlesgentles Members  2134WRX Points: 235Posts: 2,134 Platinum Tees
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    Whatever works for you - Eddie Pepperell has said multiple times that he has 1 or 2 technical swing feels that he uses every time he plays a shot. Others will do better with a sole target focus, while others will work better focusing on the dimples of the ball, or even nothing at all.

    Adam Young has some interesting research on locus of attention...it might seem a bit technical at first, but it is basically breaking down the different things you can focus on in your swing. Would be a fairly easy thing to test on the range, or course.


    Posted:
  • wagolfer7wagolfer7 Members  284WRX Points: 188Handicap: +2Posts: 284 Greens
    Joined:  edited Nov 26, 2019 #4

    Interesting question. Looking forward to seeing the answers.

    I'm ball focused. I always use something a few inches in front of the ball to line up to the target. After I find that "something" my focus is directly on that mark through my setup process to get properly aligned. Once I'm set and aligned, my focus then turns to the ball. Watching the ball from that point helps me keep my balance throughout the swing. I've noticed if I don't watch the ball, then I have a tendency to sway off the ball.

    Now putting I've heard of a lot more players going to looking at the target. I'm still ball focused on putting, but I do look at my actual target point right before pulling the trigger, as I think it helps me with distance.

    Posted:
  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Tasmania to CanadaMembers  14099WRX Points: 2,923Handicap: 3.1Posts: 14,099 Titanium Tees
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    I have 1 or 2 swing thoughts before stepping into the shot

    Then I draw a line from the target back to the ball to help aim correctly at the target

    The last thing I do is heavily visualize a shot shape and a shot height (the apex of the shot) to best get me to that target, then I swing thru to the finish ....towards the target

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  • NickcNickc Members  197WRX Points: 63Posts: 197 Fairways
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    For me - visualise where I want the ball to go - align from behind using some point a few inches in front of ball - simple slowish practice swing to a perfect finish looking at the visualised flight - then swing to that finish striking the ball on the way. If I concentrate on the ball tend towards a hit impulse so I don't.

    Posted:
  • BigVolGolfFanBigVolGolfFan Members  373WRX Points: 65Posts: 373 Greens
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    I'm definitely a target focused player. Once I've decided on where I want the ball to start and finish, I simply am just pulling the trigger. For me, I find that my body knows how to swing, so the technical part is there, its just the mind directing it. Once I've committed to a shot with a certain shot shape, my focus is completely on the target.

    Posted:
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  • airjammerairjammer Members  1357WRX Points: 345Handicap: 4.2Posts: 1,357 Platinum Tees
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    My routine is get setup to the ball looking at the target a couple of times, once setup one rehearsal of taking it to the top and practice the transition piece I’m working one, Then put the club back behind the ball look at the target another time then swing thinking about the transition piece.

    So when actually swinging I’m giving my body a swing key. By me looking at the target a few times I’m kinda testing myself on if I know exactly where it’s at when I look up.

    I can play pure target focused golf and shoot close to the same score but I don’t like the way my body likes to swing when I do. My body naturally wants to shallow the club via early extension when focused on the target.

    Posted:
  • Ri_RedneckRi_Redneck Leather for Life!! Members  5951WRX Points: 470Handicap: 8Posts: 5,951 Titanium Tees
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    I am 100% target up until about 1 second before I start my backswing. Then, it's 100% ball. I am a firm believer of "Aim small-Miss small", so my entire setup is about target. I take the lie and stance into consideration because they can affect the flight and necessary AoA on fairway shots, but it's all focused on the target for flight, line and distance. Once that is all established, ball contact is the only thing that matters.

    BT

    Posted:

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    Cobra King LTD Pro 9.5* HZRDUS Black 7 6.0 @ 44.5"
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    F6 5-7 @ 17.5 - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 41.5"
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    Bag 2
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    Grips - Grip Master Classic Wrap Midsize

    Bag 3
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    Mizuno ST190 14.5* - Aldila RIP Phenom 80 S @ 43"
    Epic Flash Heavenwood 19* - Aldila RIP Phenom 80 S @ 42" 
    Mizuno MP25 4-pw - Recoil Proto 125 F4
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  • RichieHuntRichieHunt Members  4094WRX Points: 796Posts: 4,094 Titanium Tees
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    I try to visualize the shot I want to hit. One thing that helped me was a suggestion from Dr. Bhrett McCabe and that is to audibly 'call my shot' in my pre-shot routine. By saying it aloud, it calms the brain down from the other thoughts. Then I can better visualize the shot and focus more on the target.


    From there there is some sort of recognition of how my body is going to move along with the type of strike I'm trying to make with relation to the ball and the target.


    My best golf is more about 'sensing' what I need to do instead of actually having swing thoughts. When I can sense where my body needs to be and when it needs to be there without thinking about stuff that's when I play my best. And again, it's all within relation to the target. Difficult to articulate upon, but I think others know what I'm talking about when it happens.







    RH

    Posted:
  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  31008WRX Points: 7,293Handicap: NONEPosts: 31,008 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 2, 2019 #11

    Little of both. Mostly target I get the number I want the ball to fly , and I say it to myself a couple times as I step in. I take a couple looks at the target as I’m setting up to the ball , then last thought Is , i pick a dimple out on the FRONT of the ball ( target side) and try to middle it.

    I’m never looking at the ball thinking about hitting it . Hitting it is a forgone conclusion I’m going to hit it solid , the question is where do I want it to land .

    Posted:
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  • GolfjackGolfjack All about the rotation Members  1628WRX Points: 506Posts: 1,628 Platinum Tees
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    I think a combination is very important. It's hard to do solely target since it's too far to look at when you're hitting the ball. Unlike basketball where you definitely focus on the target (hoop). It's what makes things harder, not to mention the railroad effect and all. What I want to work on is to extend the little square of alignment out to the shot shop and to the target. Sometimes too focused on that little spot doesn't help with my shot shaping. Often people just pick out a spot between ball and target, but if you are hitting a draw, the ball should start right of the target. And to the left if it's a fade.

    I also like @bladehunter 's dimple on front of ball. I've been going ground slightly after the ball so it's similar I guess but I can't really see that so dimple might work better and more precise. And when I do swing and hit the ball I'm not fixating on the ball at all. Keeping the eyes on the ball as you impact is kind of pointless to me. You already know where it is and it hasn't moved. Just causes some neck pain. Your swing has been grooved so many times it's just natural anyway. You need that confidence with all shots in golf I believe, that it's going to go where you are aiming it. Occasionally failing doesn't change that conviction LOL.

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  • JeselnikJeselnik Members  27WRX Points: 10Posts: 27 Bunkers
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    See where you want the ball to go.

    See how you want it to get there.

    Setup accordingly.

    Move your hands.

    Load the shaft and keep it loaded

    Helps to have a plan :)

    Move your hands.

    Collect your money


    Jnik

    Posted:
  • BarfolomewBarfolomew #worstWRXer Members  1987WRX Points: 430Posts: 1,987 Platinum Tees
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    Posted:
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  • juststevejuststeve Members  5330WRX Points: 642Posts: 5,330 Titanium Tees
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    My focus is on swinging the club in the direction of the target while doing my best to ignore the ball.


    Steve

    Posted:
  • aenematedaenemated Los Angeles, CAMembers  688WRX Points: 822Posts: 688 Golden Tee
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    My whole pre-shot routine is all about alignment. Start from behind, pick a spot a few inches in front of the ball that's in-line and never take my eye off it as I move around to get set up. Off the tee, I'll purposely tee up behind a divot or broken tee or something that's super obvious. Once setup, I just take a second to visualize the shot I want to hit in my head. But by this point, that's already been decided so it's just creating that picture in my head. One glance down the line to "trust but verify" and just as I'm about to begin my forward-press, my focus goes 100% on the ball. By now, I'm set up, I've seen the shot and now it's just time to execute by swinging along my line and making solid contact.

    Posted:

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  • BarfolomewBarfolomew #worstWRXer Members  1987WRX Points: 430Posts: 1,987 Platinum Tees
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    There's a mix of responses which is cool.... some guys focus on the target and some on the ball 100%.


    It would be cool to be able to poll the pros at a tourney and see what the ratio of focus is on.


    I do think the better your feeling with your ball striking the more you could focus on the target like a basketball player

    Posted:
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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX  4345WRX Points: 1,289Handicap: +1Posts: 4,345 ClubWRX
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    Much of the answer to your question depends on where one is in their routine.

    Here's my routine, assuming a level, perfect lie:

    1) Laser yardage to flag at 157. Laser yardage top top of deep bunker guarding green at 140. 17 yards to play with.

    2) Factor in wind, temp, and/or slope: Playing uphill about 5 yards, so 162

    3) Assess pin location (back-left)

    4) Assess green firmness (greens playing moderately firm)

    5) Assess trouble long and short, left and right. There is a deep bunker short and a steep hill long. Both are no good.

    6) Choose shot. Back left pins I prefer a lowish draw, but green is elevated and firm. If hitting my trap-draw, I only need to fly it 145 - 150. It's either a big 8 or a stock 7h. How loose I'm feeling and the temperature will dictate which club I choose.

    7) Assuming my back is a mess and it 54 degrees, I go with the trap-draw 7h for sure. Since I know the shot I'm hitting, it now 100% becomes about:

    1) Pick a starting line 10 - 12 yards right of my target in the right-center of the green. Pick out a spot the is 2 - 5 yards in front of my ball ON MY STARTING LINE

    2) Step into my shot KNOWING that I will hit a perfect shot

    3) Once actually over the ball, it's all about the eyes: Eyes go target ball target ball target ball.

    Then execute.

    Posted:
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  • BMCBMC Members  3928WRX Points: 922Handicap: YESPosts: 3,928 Titanium Tees
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    Both. I swing the club and hit the ball toward the target. Why make it difficult?

    Just like hitting a tennis ball or throwing a football.

    Once you know how to do it, you don't think about how when you're actually playing.

    Posted:
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  • b.heltsb.helts Members  3291WRX Points: 797Posts: 3,291 Titanium Tees
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    Pards!! Not one of those relates directly to the ball. Assessing the lie is the closest thing but that is how/where the ball sits, not the ball itself.


    the ball is basically the only constant in a virtually infinite sized book of equations.

    Posted:
  • ObeeObee ClubWRX  4345WRX Points: 1,289Handicap: +1Posts: 4,345 ClubWRX
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    Posted:
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  • b.heltsb.helts Members  3291WRX Points: 797Posts: 3,291 Titanium Tees
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    I will add that I am quite fond of talking about how to play the game. The artistry of it.


    The number of really good players I’ve talked to that focus on a single spot on the ball is zero. A vast majority will say something to the effect of “I have no idea where I’m looking at impact.”


    Being ball bound is an absolute killer of rhythm and freedom and I’ll go so far as to say that you cannot be even a good ball striker if you are intensely or singularly focused on the ball as you swing.

    Posted:
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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX  4345WRX Points: 1,289Handicap: +1Posts: 4,345 ClubWRX
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    Posted:
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  • b.heltsb.helts Members  3291WRX Points: 797Posts: 3,291 Titanium Tees
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    Not at all bud. I was pointing out that you, as a player’s player, focus on the ball pretty darned close to zero.

    Posted:
  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  31008WRX Points: 7,293Handicap: NONEPosts: 31,008 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 3, 2019 #25

    Lol. the number of players looking at the ball before they take it back is close to 100% ( I’ve heard of one who claims to close his eyes ) .... not sure who you know of that looks at the target as they swing. Or am I misunderstanding?

    Posted:
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  • MadGolfer76MadGolfer76 MaineMembers  20366WRX Points: 943Posts: 20,366 Titanium Tees
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    I never focus on target. That should be done with before I ever address the ball. Once I set up to it, it is 100 percent contact-driven. If I make the swing I need to make, the ball will fly on target. Focusing on target once you are over the ball seems to suggest you are trying to steer it. Maybe not for everyone, but I couldn't play golf like that.

    May be helpful to know I pick a spot about a foot in front of my ball to align the face to, and take my stance from there. Or not...

    Posted:


  • b.heltsb.helts Members  3291WRX Points: 797Posts: 3,291 Titanium Tees
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    Posted:
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  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  31008WRX Points: 7,293Handicap: NONEPosts: 31,008 Titanium Tees
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    Figured I was.


    At any rate I agree mostly. And my thoughts above say so. I’m quite target fixed as in that’s the Preshot process. But I don’t see the harm in picking out a spot on the ball to focus energy eyes on either. I don’t think you have the target up front in the conscious mind at point of swing . That’s for the subconscious. Which is trained to distance and direction by the saying the distance and the turning the head from ball to target twice or so at setup and address. The idea in my opinion is to be target aware without being aware of that awareness.

    Posted:
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  • b.heltsb.helts Members  3291WRX Points: 797Posts: 3,291 Titanium Tees
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    If you’re a hitter, I think looking at the ball and hitting the ball is natural.

    If I grab a club and throw a ball down and address it like I have a million times before, I set the club down behind the ball. I look at the club to make sure it’s pointed where I want it. I look at the spot a foot or two in front of the ball where I aimed the club. I look at my feet to line them up parallel to the line between my club and that spot. I look back to the club to check I haven’t done something weird. I look back at the spot in front of the ball. As I’m doing that I’m waggling very slowly and subtly.

    in my mind I’m translating the vision of the shot I want to hit into data that I’ll need. The spot, where I’m aimed with my club, my feet. I’m feeling in my waggle the feel that translates to whatever shot I’m hitting. One look at the target and a glance at the “line” I’m trying to hit the ball under and I’m off.

    Sure. I know the ball’s there. But it isn’t doing anything. I don’t have to worry about it or focus on it. It’s not going anywhere and it is where it is.

    IMO there’s a big difference between looking AT the ball and looking TOWARDS the ball. But, lots of ways to get the pellet In the hole.

    Posted:
  • MPStratMPStrat Members  1159WRX Points: 165Posts: 1,159 Platinum Tees
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    I agree. I never stare at a dimple or anything like that. I don't pay much attention to the ball at all. I don't know if I could hit it well if I did.

    Posted:
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  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  31008WRX Points: 7,293Handicap: NONEPosts: 31,008 Titanium Tees
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    Like most things the answer is in the middle. Most good players who aren’t single dimensional use elements of both. You can’t be a great escape artist ( shortgame wizard ) and have a totally passive bottom hand. Won’t work to just pull through everything with your lead hand. Or at least it’s very rare.

    And im certainly not all hitter since my right hand is quite passive ( I’m left handed at a lot of things ) and frequently comes nearly off the club ala Vijay or Phil at impact. This wasn’t always the case for me , at one time I played a large hook and had a very very active right hand. I don’t play a lot of face rotation now and prefer a square faced fade. Just too many ways to skin this cat to make generalizations.

    Posted:
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