An important golf lesson you’ve probably never thought about

For some time now I’ve said that “the walk to the golf ball” is the most important part of the swing.

There’s good reason for this. If you can’t walk properly, then you’ll never be able to make good use of your skills. You’ll never be able to automate your golf swing and you’ll find consistent, reliable and predictable results impossible.

A key part of the approach to the ball is where your eyes look. It’s such a small part of the routine that it doesn’t get a run in any other golf instruction. But it’s important. Actually, where your eyes focus is a key fundamental of the routine.

Here’s why.

You don’t want to be visualising when you’re walking to the ball. Visualising is taking your mind into the future. Going into the future is no better than thinking about the past. If you don’t get this you’ll always struggle with your game. Automatic golf is all about getting your system in the present. You want to be in the moment – your thoughts in the “now”.

And one of the easiest ways to do this is to focus your eyes on the ball. When you’re walking to the ball your gaze is set on the ball or somewhere around it. You’re not looking at the target and therefore you’re not tempted to get ahead of yourself and start thinking about the future.

This little strategy allows you to get into your own cocoon or bubble. It’s like you’re shutting out the rest of the world when you’re ready to get down to business – hitting the ball/playing golf.

I have put some videos that talk about the walk to the ball and getting set in more detail. There’s even a case study or two. Best you check them out because they are really important:

http://www.cameronstrachan.com/members-only/are-you-making-this-mistake-with-your-set-up/

http://www.cameronstrachan.com/members-only/a-case-study-for-automatic-golfers/

http://www.cameronstrachan.com/members-only/a-very-important-automatic-golf-lesson/

Let me know your thoughts.

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Gregor McCulloch - May 10, 2010

Cameron,
I agree that by looking at the ball you can go into a bubble. In my case it makes it easier to just swing and not worry about the target. On drives and fairway shots I don’t tend to look up at all to the target and I like this because you can swing freely no matter the situation. But I like to look in my short game and putting to fine tune distance control.
The problem I have started to notice is that I consistently line up pointing to the right. I have tried to make sure that I am starting my walk from directly behind the target line and not off to the side somewhere but I still find myself pointing out there. I notice this most when I preset for bunker shots, I always need to re-adjust my stance to aim much more left.I also noticed this week that when putting I had my clubface pointing quite far left which was obviously helping me to sink putts even though my aim was off.
Is it just a matter of practising the walk in to get this right or is there something more fundamental to look at ?

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    Cameron - May 11, 2010

    @Gregor: Two points:

    1st. Maybe you naturally line up to the right? It is not set in stone that a square stance is the only way.

    2nd. You can practice this away from the course. Learn to feel what a squarer stance (notice I didn’t say square) feels like. Then you can automate.

    Putting point: I was speaking to a putting coach during the week. He agreed with me when I said that where the putter points at address is irrelevant. Impact is what counts. Get it somewhere in the ball park and make the best stroke you can.

    Reply
Tim Hardham - May 14, 2010

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Paul Brusamarello - May 17, 2010

Hi All
My first post here so hello to everyone.
I joined the tribe approx 2 weeks ago & I have been viewing Cameron’s videos & reading a fair bit.
I Played “Automatic Golf” for 18 holes in the Sat comp this weekend with some good results. So far I am really impressed. Will persist over the next few weeks & hopefully report back with some updates on how it is all working for me.
I would like to add to this post & comment that I also experienced alingment issues, so instead of focusing on just the ball I also focused on a spot or object just in front of the ball & I found that by getting into a bubble this way I was also able to correct any alingment issues without consciously doing so and was able to stay Automatic.

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