One way to outsmart the golf ball

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BUDDY DE JOYA

One day about 12 years ago, I finally realized that the ball was not really a big factor when I executed my shots. After approximately 2000 rounds of golf that I have played that time, I started to focus on my thoughts, the way I feel, and the exact steps I needed to do. Then, after the shot, I will always recall the feedback. This made me a better golfer than ever before.

There is something about the golf ball that makes the game of golf difficult. What is it? It makes you want to hit the ball and control the golf club with your entire body, to let the ball go to where you want it. Then, what happens when you control the ball flight? It definitely gets you into those trouble spots. Then the game of golf becomes really tougher.

I believe that the golf ball affects our psychology the most. The human mind tends to manipulate and to dominate, constantly seeking to feed our hunger for self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment. Nothing is wrong with these, because wanting to feel good is innate to us. We want to have that certain level of satisfaction. To put it simply, we are eager to see the result of an expected ball flight, anticipate where it ends, and feel good about it.

Relatively, tour players are also eager to see their ball flight after their swing execution. Expectedly, they hit their shots straight most of the time, ends up where they intentionally targeted, with any golf club they have chosen to swing with. Since they have plenty of practice and accumulated knowledge on swing mechanics and mental side, they can shape their shots easily, and with confidence, too. Their keys are, they know exactly what to do, are attuned to their emotions with the proper mindsets.

When you know exactly what to do, it becomes easier to translate the proper movements of the body so that the golf club follows accordingly. There is no need to manipulate the club, particularly with your hands or arms. The intention of the hands is to hold the club only, not swing it. Therefore, proper mechanics and sequencing are a must to learn, allowing the club and the body to move in perfect unison. Therefore, I strongly recommend focusing on the process.

In golf, the ball is static until struck by the club. Since we focus on the ball while doing the swing, we subconsciously tend to hit the ball intentionally. The desire to send the ball where we want it makes us control the path of the club and the club face angle. To eliminate these controlling factors, this leads me to one question.

What if we forget that the ball actually exists at address, even if we have set the club head beside it? The ball does not move anyway until the club swings through.

The idea is to forget the ball and instead, focus on the process. You need to understand that the weight of the golf ball will never hinder your club head speed. When pure contact occurs at impact, you will not really feel it. Hence, forget the ball, and to simply put it, swing through just like the concept of your practice swing.

When practicing on the driving range or playing on the golf course, say to yourself the words “back swing and follow-through” while doing your actual shot, or any type of shot for that matter. It is crucial that you ignore the hitting zone and impact. Just plainly swing through. Hold the follow-through for at least three seconds. Again, Ignore the ball flight, because it’s not supposed to exist. Follow these commendatory words religiously and feel it. Most importantly, forget the ball, swing through the hitting zone and finish your follow-through.

This exercise or process will train your mind and body to intentionally just swing through the ball, without really minding it. The motion and sensations resemble the exact processes of your practice swings. So, think about the process and extremely feel it. Ignore the golf ball. It will instinctively feel strange to disregard the ball, because it’s there and you can see it. But in due time, you will adapt to it.

All you need to do is to greatly trust what you are doing. It is necessary then that you keenly learn the mechanics of the swing and the mental side of the game. As a consequence, striking the ball becomes a natural phenomenon without being affected psychologically and emotionally.

Study these concepts and make certain you practice. It will take about 30 to 60 days to master if given about 10 to 15 minutes per day of practice. When you are on the golf course or driving range, practice the same mindsets. Feel good and have fun!

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