One of the areas of the game that amateurs struggle with the most is aim. Aim is paramount to hitting consistent golf shots and poor aim leads to a whole host of problems, some of which are overlooked as poor swing mechanics. Aim is always the first thing that I check when a new client arrives for a lesson, and inevitably aim is something that we always need to work on. Aim is often the biggest reason as to why golfers are struggling with their game.
With all my clients, aim begins with selecting a target, this can be a flag, a bunker or a tree in the distance, what is important is that we have a target. Then we select the most important aspect of aim, or alignment, the intermediary target. This is the key to better alignment and ultimately better results on the golf course.
An intermediary target is an object, blade of grass, grain of sand or dead insect that lies on the target line between the ball and the end target. It must be no more than 2 feet ahead of the ball, we want it to remain in your peripheral vision at all times. Once we have found our intermediary target, we forget the original target and stay focussed purely on the intermediary target. We use this intermediary target to line up our clubface, it should be square to the intermediary target, and then we use the imaginary line to line our feet, shoulders and hips parallel to the line, creating a perfectly aligned set-up.
At this point we are ready to hit the shot, and here comes the hard part, the part where you have to have a huge amount of self-discipline; DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR TARGET. Remain focussed on your intermediary target.
It may seem odd not to look at the “final target” before making your stroke, but you will be surprised at how much more consistent your results are if you forget about it. Your shot dispersion will be tighter, your impact will be solid and beyond all of that you will be less inclined to try to “search” for the ball during your swing. It grounds you, you become more in tune with your body and the shot that you want to play, because you almost trick your mind into believing that the intermediary target IS the target, and for the brain a target just a few feet away is easy to hit.
Remember the intermediary target should always remain within your peripheral vision field, for some this may be a little closer, while others maybe able to choose a intermediary target a little further away, the important thing is we forget about the final target and focus attention on the target we can actually see.