Target Your Way To Lower Golf Scores
Learn How To Play Golf Using A Game Plan For Each Hole
We are standing on the tee box of a dogleg left par 5 that measures 520 yards. The hole doglegs left at about 45 degrees in the landing area of the tee shot. Out of bounds extends the entire distance on the left side of the hole. A large fairway bunker is strategically placed on the right side of the landing area off the tee. A lateral water hazard frames the last two thirds on the right side of the hole. The green is reachable for golfers who can hit the ball 260 yards off the tee because the last two thirds of the hole play down hill.
The out of bounds characteristic of this hole tends to make the golfer want to aim right however the bunker and lateral hazard come into play off the tee for longer hitters. A choice has to be made on the tee whether the golfer will play conservatively or aggressively. A conservative tee shot takes the bunker and lateral hazard out of play but also makes hitting the green in two virtually impossible. The more aggressive strategy brings all of the trouble into play off the tee but sets up the opportunity to hit the green in two for a possible eagle or easy birdie.
Visually from the tee we can see an apartment complex to the right, a distant community of houses straight ahead, and large trees down the left. Depending upon the game plan and the type of shots we want to play, we have numerous targets available to help us.
Good Targets Give The Brain What It Needs To Play Good Golf
Now that we have set the stage for what lies in front of us, we need to formulate our strategy plan. The strategy choices are aggressive or conservative. If we play conservatively the task is easier; take a three wood, five wood, or long iron and pick a target that gives us the greatest room for error. If we play more aggressively we have to narrow our landing area substantially which reduces our available targets. Sounds easy enough but what target do we pick?
If we intend to play a shot that starts right and then curves back to the left we will probably pick something associated with the apartment complex over to the right. If we intend to hit a left to right shot we will pick a tree or house in the distance.
This step is critical for two reasons. First, if we see a right to left or left to right shot flying through the air to its intended landing area, the brain has a very clear picture of what the intended shot and swing feel should be. The more detailed and specific your pictures are to the brain the better. Second, once we know what the intended shot shape is we can pick a very specific target that matches the shot.
Picking good targets on all shots is critical. The closer we get to the hole, the smaller the target becomes. Our video lessons stress the importance of a specific spot when chipping; not the hole. On longer putts, our putting tips stress finding the spot along the fall line where the roll of the putt should intersect; not the hole. On shorter putts it could be a blade of grass on the back side of the hole.
On longer shots we pick a target to aim at; not the landing area. From the tee if we are using the apartment complex to pick our target; which building and unit? Can we narrow the selection to the corner of the building or to a patio? Maybe it would be a chimney extending vertically from the building. The houses in the distance have different colored roofs. Which house are you selecting? Are you aiming at the right or left corner of the house? Trees are good targets if you narrow the target to a specific branch, limb, or cluster of leaves. One last point about targets, on full shots the higher the target the better. Something at the top of the tree is better than the roots of the tree.
During the final stages of your pre-shot routine, the target is the only thing you are visually aware of. You see the target, feel the desired swing, and then trust your swing to give you the desired result.
Commit To Playing Great Golf Using Using Good Pictures And Targets.
About the Author
Stephen Simmons is the author and publisher of the Strategic Golfer Instruction Series. Find more of our golf tips for beginners, proper golf swing, and how to play golf lessons at http://www.strategicgolfer.com. If you would like any additional information or wish to contact Steve, please feel free to leave your comments or inquiries on the Contact Us page at http://www.strategicgolfer.com/contact-us.