June 13, 2007

Narrow your focus

For better accuracy, hit it through your own ring of fire

THROUGH THE FIRE: Visualize a flaming ring on your target line, and drive the ball right through it.

THROUGH THE FIRE: Visualize a flaming ring on your target line, and drive the ball right through it.

One of the main causes of poor driving is visualizing the wrong picture in your pre-shot routine. While preparing to tee off, most golfers look out at the hole and focus on the trouble spots— hazards, out-of-bounds, bunkers and so forth. Subconsciously, all they think about is where not to hit the ball. As a result, their swings are tension-filled, and their minds force them to hit right into the trouble they were actually trying to avoid.

Focus on where you want the ball to go— don't be vague about it. Shrink your target zone to something precise, and clear your mind of everything else. One of the best images I use is a ring of fire, like the ones those dolphins leap through at SeaWorld. First, pick a precise spot where you want your ball to land, and then imagine a flaming ring about the size of a Hula Hoop 10 to 20 yards in front of you on that target line. Now all you should be thinking about is threading that flaming ring with your tee shot.

It's amazing how effective narrowing your focus can be at improving your accuracy. And the ring-of-fire visual is kinda fun.