Every golfer say they focus their eyes on the
ball during the down swing movement, however the
truth of the matter is that although all golfers focus their eyes
on the ball during the down swing movement, they make the big
mistake of allowing the focus of the eyes to move away from the
ball and begin to look towards the target area, a fraction of
a second before the ball is actually struck.
To compound matters, not many golfers actually focus
their eyes on a particular part of the ball such as the back edge
of the golf ball, because what the average golfer does to is look
at the ball as whole which includes the area around the ball.
The higher handicapped golfers keep their eyes focused on
the golf ball a little bit longer and therefore watches the ball
almost until the club head is just about to make contact with
The top professional and top amateur golfers actually focus
their eyes on the back edge of the golf ball and hold this focus
right up to the precise moment the club head strikes the ball
- with nearly every shot.
I say" with nearly every shot" because when these top
golfers play a bad shot from a seemingly perfect lie, it is probably
because they let their concentrate slip and therefore fail to
watch the ball long enough.
To illustrate how important this action is, imagine
trying hit a nail into a piece of wood without actually focusing
your eyes on the head of the nail until the precise moment the
hammer head hit the nail, without a shadow of doubt you would
miss- hit the nail. - Similarly as in golf, this is why you must
watch the ball right up to the precise moment the club head strikes
So my analysis of the golf swing is that the longer you are
able to maintain your focus on the back edge of the golf ball,
ideally right up to the precise moment the club head strikes the
ball, the better golfer you will become.
Perform this action with every shot and your golfing skills
will move to a much higher level.
Perception of the golf ball.
How you view
the golf ball whilst playing the golf shot can have a dramatic
effect upon the quality of the golf shot.
Speaking from experience I can assure you
that there is a difference between keeping your eyes fully focused
on the back edge of the golf ball as the club head swings into
the contact area rather than simply
just looking at the golf ball.
For example, at the address position,
most golfers simply stare at the golf ball and the image they
see includes an area of the grass around the ball -- they do not
define the focus of the eyes precisely on the back edge of the
You do not believe me?? -- carry out the following
Take your normal stance and address the ball
and absorb what you see. -- You will notice that as you look at
the ball you are basically staring at an image that includes an
area of grass around the spot that the ball is resting on - you
are not focusing on any particular point on the golf ball.
Now pick up the golf ball and hold it so that
you can read the manufacturer`s name - and whilst continuing to
read the name on the ball, bend over and place it back on the
ground/tee peg with the manufacture`s name clearly visible --
Then whilst continuing to read only the manufacturer`s name on
the ball, gradually raise your body until you are back to the
normal address position.
You will instantly notice that by concentrating
solely on the manufacturer`s name on the back edge of the golf
ball, you are unaware of the grass around the golf ball. -- You
are actually focusing the eyes exclusively on a particular spot
on the golf ball.
By focusing your eyes on the ball in this way,
it clearly demonstrates how vague your perception of the golf
ball may have been before you carried out this exercise.
As I have stated earlier, to compound things,
most golfers take their eyes off the golf ball a fraction of a
second before the precise moment the club head actually strikes
the golf ball and simultaneously the head
begins to rotate away from the original address position too soon.
However in addition to focusing on the spot that the ball was
lying until well after the club head has made contact with the
ball, you must also continue to hold the head so that the left
eye remains slightly behind the ball with "pin
point accuracy", keeping the head in the Fixed
Frontal condition, and also maintain the upper
body angles until both arms are straight.
I cannot stress too strongly how important
it is to maintain the focus of your eyes on the back edge of the
golf ball throughout the back swing and the down swing.
You must maintain this focus on the back edge of the golf ball
until the precise moment the club head strikes the ball in order
to achieve a very good contact of the ball, but also to achieve
accuracy of the golf shot.
This action will ensure that the head is held
in the correct position until after the ball has been struck.
Therefore be it on the tee, the fairway or
the rough, it is absolutely vital that as you address the ball
you must focus your eyes on the back edge of the golf ball.
For example, from the moment you begin the
back swing you must focus your eyes on the back edge of the golf
ball, but you must continue to hold this focus on the back edge
of the golf ball throughout the back swing movement and the down
swing movement - right up until the precise moment the club head
strikes the ball.
( If you want to understand what
I mean by watching the ball until the club head strikes the ball
-- If you hold a very sharp sewing needle in your left hand and
then tried to physically touch the tip of the needle with the
index finger of the right hand, you will note that to avoid being
pricked by the needle you have to watch the tip of the needle
very carefully so that you literally see the tip of the finger
of the right hand actually touch the tip of the needle - this
is how intensely you must watch the back edge of the golf ball,
i,e until the precise moment the club head strikes the ball.)
This is the number one priority that all golfers should adhere
too and I cannot stress too strongly how much this basic principle
contributes to playing very good golf.
Most golfers find it difficult to watch the
ball with such intensity, however if I can do it, so can you --
it simply requires the golfer to maintain the focus on the back
edge of the golf ball right up to the point when the club head
makes contact with the ball.
However when you see the results of performing
this very basic principle, it will spur you on until it becomes
an automatic action within the golf swing process.
Unfortunately not enough attention is
given by the top golf instructors in order to teach this very
basic principle of the golf swing - in fact I have never heard
a top class golfing instructor or a top class golfer mention how
important this basic principle contributes to playing very good
golf, but when questioned, they respond as if I am simple and
assumes that everybody is aware that you had to watch the ball
with such intensity.
(If you are correctly
focusing intensely on the ball when playing short irons, immediately
after the ball has been struck you will notice a dark patch on
the ground where the ball was resting - - this dark image, which
only shows for a nanosecond, is an automatically reaction of the
retina converting the white image of the golf ball into a dark
image, therefore when you see this dark image on the ground after
the ball has been struck, you know that your focus on the ball
is intense and correct.)
Therefore if you wish
to play better golf you must teach yourself to actually watch
the ball until the precise moment the club head strikes the ball
and then after the ball has been struck, hold the focus on the
ball position for that extra mill-second so that you actually
see the ball moving away from its resting position.
Even as you practice this action
you will forget it from time to time, but if you can teach yourself
to perform this action on every shot, I can assure you that you
will see a dramatic improvement in the accuracy of the golf shots.
At first you will find it very
difficult to hold the focus of the eyes fully on the back edge
of the golf ball until the club head makes contact with the ball
on every shot.
In addition, you will also find
that at first it is almost impossible to keep the focus of your
eyes on the ball until the precise moment the golf ball actually
moves away from its resting spot.
However by constantly reminding
yourself of this action and then seeing the results of this action,
you will accept the significance of the action and it will begin
to enter the long term memory.
So practice, practice and practice this action,
and in time you will never forget carry out this basic fundamental
Top class golfers are top class golfers because
they have this natural ability to focus intensely on the back
of the golf ball as they swing the club head into and through
the contact area.
Therefore if you can train yourself to fully
focus on the back edge of the golf ball and hold this focus until
the club head makes contact with the ball, the quality of your
golf will improve dramatically.
( When a top golfer says that he is striking the ball well,
they may not realise why they are striking the ball well, but
what it actually means is that they have maintained their intense
concentration for practically every shot that they made during
Therefore when you have your next practice
session, experiment as follows:-
Make a red round mark on the golf ball and
place the ball on the tee so that the mark on the back section
of the ball and is just visible as you address the ball. -- Fix
your eyes on this mark and keep your eyes fully focused on this
mark as you make a back swing and the down swing movement.
Continue to keep the eyes fully focused on this precise mark until
the club head makes contact with the ball, but importantly hold
the focus on the golf ball for that extra millisecond so that
you actually see the golf ball move away from its resting position.
(You can compare the using a club head to strike
a golf ball with the action of using a hammer to drive a nail
into a piece of wood. You do not look at the hammer head when
trying to hit a nail -- you watch the head of the nail
very carefully until the precise moment the hammer head
strikes the nail.)
Self Teaching Method.
You can begin to teach yourself to watch the
club head strike the ball on the practice putting green.
On the putting green, focus your eyes on the
back of the ball and as you return the putter face to the ball,
concentrate on literally seeing the precise moment when the putter
touches the ball.
But importantly keep this focus on the ball until the ball actually
begins to move.
This is an action that is easily said than done, simply because
as I mentioned earlier, your mind rushes ahead and the eyes begin
to track the line of the ball even before it has been touched
- however with concentration it can be done.
Therefore always begin your practice sessions
on the putting green with this "watch the club head strike
the ball" practice routine - this will encourage this action
to enter your long term memory.
Expand this method to the chipping area and
again force yourself to watch the back edge of the golf ball until
the club head actually makes contact with the ball and then hold
the focus so that you see literally see the golf ball move away
from the resting position.
When you perform this action correctly, you
will notice how crisply you strike the ball, but even more importantly,
how accurately you strike the ball.
I can guarantee that if you can train yourself
to focus your eyes on the back edge of the golf ball until the
precise moment the club head makes contact with the ball and then
continuing to watch the ball so that you actually see the golf
ball move away from its resting position, the quality of your
golf shots will improve dramatically.
But you must focus on the back edge of the
golf ball with such intensity so that the only image that you
see after the ball has been struck is the black mark on the ground.
This principle also applies to
the pitching, chipping and the putting stroke.
Total concentration on this task is essential
if you wish to play better golf.
Many golfers are able to hit the ball off the
tee with no particular problem. However when it comes to the second
or third shot to the green, they often miss-hit the shot.
The reason for this is that their concentration
is at its highest level on the tee and therefore the golfer is
totally focused on the ball.
However when it comes to playing the ball off the fairway or from
the rough, the golfer does not take enough care to fully focus
on the back edge of the golf ball as the club head swings into
and the contact area.
So if you experience this problem, tighten
up your concentration when playing from the fairway or the rough.
If you carry out a golf swing whilst focusing
on a back section of the ball or the dimples of the golf ball
on the back edge of the ball, you will immediately notice a dramatic
improvement in the strike of the golf ball.
At first you will find it very difficult to
maintain the focus on the back section of the golf ball until
you actually see the ball move away from its resting position,
but persevere and you will eventually reap the benefit of your
Do not simply take my word that this basic
principle will dramatically improve the quality of your striking
action - try it for yourself.
The same applies when you are putting --- After you have lifted
the ball in order to clean it, replace the ball and fully focus
your eyes on the very back edge of the golf ball -- but importantly
you must focus your eyes on this very back edge of the golf ball
and actually see the putter head make contact with the ball.
Importantly, as the putter makes contact with the ball, do
not allow the eyes to follow the movement of the ball, you must
continue to focus on the spot that the ball was standing and keep
your head in the original address position with a "pin
point accuracy" and swing the putter through the contact
If you can maintain the focus on the ball whilst performing
the mechanical action of the putting stroke, you will begin to
notice that the ball rolls on the exact line that you intend,
but beware, you must not allow the eyes to follow the ball and
also do not allow the head to move with a lateral motion.
This principle of actually seeing the club head strike the
ball is equally important when you play a chip shot.
Clearly defining the focusing of the eyes on a particular
spot on the back of the golf ball and maintaining this focus as
the club head swings into the contact area is one of the major
keys to playing very good golf, so make this aspect of the golf
swing a priority.
Proof of the Importance of this Basic Principle.
I was recently chatting to a member of my golf club as we
played a round of golf and I mentioned how important it was to
actually focus on the ball until the club head struck the ball.
He immediately responded by saying that this is exactly what
he used to do when he was playing to a handicap of three but he
had completely forgotten about this basic principle.
He simply assumed that as he was getting older he was simply
loosing the ability to play good golf.
After being reminded of this action he began hitting the ball
long and straight off the tee and the rest of his game also improved
dramatically. He hoped that he would not forget this basic principle
So there is actual proof from a previously low handicapped
golfer of the importance of this basic principle.
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