Using the quiet eye technique can make the different between high and low handicap players. Unlike all other sports involving a ball, golf requires the player to hit a stationary ball. This gives golf the reputation of being a hard sport to play, due to its non-reactionary type action. In general it’s easier for people to react to a moving target or ball. When hitting a stationary ball you are in complete control of when to start your swing. The time before you swing can be filled with unnecessary thoughts and distractions.
The most important of these distractions are internal rather than external. I’m referring to what you choose to look at and more importantly how you look at things.
There will always be outside distractions that will advert your attention if you allow it. Practicing and having quiet eyes will allow you to stay more focused, and develop better hand eye coordination. Every time your eyes pan the horizon, you feed your brain with information. When hitting the golf ball its no different, your mind and eyes must be quiet. You achieve this by practicing quiet eye by only putting your visual attention on a single spot. This will ensure your are not feeding your brain any extra information it doesn’t need.
You have heard, keep your head down and keep your eye on the ball. Of course you have, but do you actually keep your eye on the ball? When you go through the motions when you hit a golf shot, pay close attention to where your eyes are looking. (it may surprise you)”What information are you feeding your brain.”
What are you looking at? Is it the grass around your ball, the club face, your feet, the ball maybe? If the ball, what part of the ball and how much? There are so many things to look at in our field of vision, mostly causing distractions and disrupting focus. The objective is to focus on something very small and specific, a spot on the ball, a single dimple. Everything else shouldn’t even exist according to you.
This tip will quiet your mind and get you to finally start hitting the ball consistently.
It’s easy to focus on a single spot because of how the golf ball is designed with almost 392 dimples. Choose one and don’t take your attention off that single spot. Preferably this should be a dimple located towards the back of the ball where the club face will meet the golf ball first.
When you take your attention off the ball to look at your target, make sure nothing distracts you on the way, only focus on the target, nothing else. Then back to the same dimple. Before stepping into the shot you should know what you are going to focus on as you look away from the ball.
This is called quiet eye and if done correctly, after you strike the golf ball you will see an impression of the ball after it leaves the club face for a split second. From the beginning of your swing till just after impact, your concentration on this single spot must be maintained throughout the entire swing. Ideally, when you return your vision to the ball, focus on the spot for about 2 seconds before starting your swing. After the leaves the club face remain focused on the same spot for another half second.
Do you struggle on the greens?
Studies show that players who maintain a longer quite eye before and during the golf swing/stroke make more putts/hitting better shots. Try to imagine right now, you are hitting a 9 foot putt. The green sloped slightly right right-to-left. What are you visually focusing on? If you are drawing a blank, chances are you haven’t selected a precise target on the ball and have multiple targets around the cup.
To often golfers blame their stroke mechanics without giving thought to other options.