Being able to focus well on the target when playing out on the golf course is a great skill to learn and master.
If you watch any of today’s leading Tour players, they all focus extremely well on the target and this ability helps them to shoot some amazingly low scores by preventing them from getting distracted away from the task that they are facing, namely getting the ball as close to the target as possible.
To help you improve your focus on the target, work on incorporating the following into your pre-shot routine. There are three distinct areas to work through with your pre-shot routine. Clearly mark these out using alignment poles.
The area furthest from the ball is your thinking zone and when in this zone, you need to do exactly that - think! This is where your focus is at its widest as you need to consider a great deal of information such as the yardage to the target, where the wind is from, how strong it is and whether this will affect the ball flight, what the lie is like, what the terrain is like before the target so whether you are going to fly the ball all the way or run it in, are you going to play a straight shot or shape the ball into the target, are you playing from a slope and whether this will affect the ball flight, etc. After taking all factors into consideration you can make a decision about what shot to play and with which club.
After selecting this club you can now proceed into the feel zone. In this zone your focus begins to narrow down on to the swing that you are going to use for the shot that you are going to play at the target. In this zone, you rehearse and feel your swing and this is all that you focus on. Once you have rehearsed your swing in this zone, you now look at your target and visualise the shot you are going to play.
Select a mark on the floor about one foot in front of the ball to aim at that will allow you to play that shot and then move into the final zone, which is the play zone. In this zone you aim your club face at the mark on the floor and take up your stance. You look at the target and focus only on this as you play the shot. In this zone, your focus is at its narrowest, target only, nothing else.
As you move through these three zones, work on keeping relaxed by breathing slowly and deeply. Hum a tune to yourself or count numbers, use any technique that works for you. Be confident and use positive self talk throughout your pre-shot routine, telling yourself that you can make the shot and visualizing it finishing really close to the target.
Work on moving through these three zones during your pre-shot routine and you will find that your ability to focus well on the target really improves and that you learn to block out negativity and distraction and accomplish the task in hand of getting the ball as close to the target as possible.