Always keep focus on target
By Kim Jeong-kyoo
Golf is a target game and of paramount importance is to hit the intended spot. Undoubtedly, you need to swing the club toward the target and to do this you need to fix your mind's eye on the required mark during the entire swing, from the start of the pre-shot routine till the end of the follow-through.
Engrossed in swing mechanics, however, a good many recreational golfers tend to forget about the sole purpose of the golf swing: sending the ball to the intended target.
To be a great player you need to always concentrate your mind on the target no matter what. It is important to be clear about what the ultimate purpose of hitting the ball is.
Given that you swing the club for the sake of hitting the target with pinpoint accuracy, your intended target should not be forgotten even when you are on the practice range, trying out a new swing key or learning a new swing movement.
Not to be one of those guys who plays great one week and then doesn't the next, you need to have a consistent swing that sends the ball toward the target with passable accuracy time and again.
Indubitably, it's not easy to send the ball from where it lies to a selected point with a fair degree of accuracy but you can enhance the accuracy by concentrating your mind on the target.
To hit the target with amazing accuracy your swing needs to be a motion that gets the clubhead work along the ball-target line through impact and beyond with its face staying square or slightly closed to the line.
The most critical stage of the golf swing is the impact zone, which is the part of the swing arc between the feet. What happens there, or rather what is done there by the clubhead determines the quality of the shot.
Ideally, the clubhead needs to be approaching the ball from slightly inside the ball-target line and remain on that line at and until well after impact, then going inside the ball-target line. The longer the clubhead stays on that line, the more accurately the ball will travel toward the target.
To enhance accuracy it's essential to align the body parallel to the ball-target line, which makes it easier to slot the club into the downswing path. A good clubhead path through impact means increased accuracy and distance.
Start by aiming the club squarely at the target and then align shoulders, hips, knees and heels all parallel to the ball-target line. Proper body alignment encourages you to hit the ball on line with less effort.
Also crucial to accuracy and distance is a good use of the arms, particularly the left one. Your left elbow holds the key to accuracy and extra distance. To hit the ball firmly and accurately toward the target you need to be sure that your left elbow faces the ball during the swing, particularly at the initial stage of downswing, then rotate it as aggressively as you can through the ball so it is pointing to the left of the target immediately after impact. That way you can hit the ball solidly and powerfully without flinging your head and upper body to the left together with the club.
Failing to rotate the left elbow fully through impact or allowing it to be pointing directly at the target after impact, you will produce less-than-solid contact, with the result being wayward shots.
One of the most common faults committed by average golfers is to start the downswing by turning the shoulders first with the feet remaining static. Too early a shoulder turn forces the club to be thrown to the outside of the ball-target line, ruining the shot even before the ball is hit.
There is an awful lot attributed to incorrect concentration on an irrelevant matter _ hitting the ball hard. You need to concentrate your mind on sending the ball to the target rather than hitting the ball at full stretch.
Thinking of hitting the target lets the feet and legs come into play first with the shoulders unwinding last. In a correct downswing that is geared towards hitting the intended target, the body automatically unwinds from the feet, or rather from the ground up without a conscious effort.
Granted, a golf swing is a single motion. It's not comprised of complicated static positions. One motion sets off another similar one, which in turn causes another, and so on, all naturally and automatically without your having to make a conscious effort to do so.
After all, a domino effect characterizes the golf swing and concentrating your mind on the target is awfully good for your swing. It allows all good things to look after themselves, thereby presenting a better chance of producing solid strikes, to say nothing of sending the ball toward the target with amazing accuracy.