As golfers, we embark on a journey to master the elusive science, and in some cases the art, of our swings. We’re always looking for ways to get the golf ball closer and closer to a desired destination. We now see the importance of hitting a target emphasized at Top Golf and with other golf entertainment businesses. As a golf instructor Orlando, I see a lot of golfers failing to understand the significance of how important using targets during practice is to their overall skill set. No matter the shot.
I’ve written similar blog posts in the past. But this topic is always worth reinforcing. It’s my intent to prove to you that if you are not using targets during practice while hitting any shot during practice, you’re wasting your time.
Purposeful practice starts with using targets during practice sessions!
The Target as Your North Star
Aiming at a specific target can be the game-changer you’re looking for. Transforming ordinary practice sessions into objective and measurable sessions with a purpose. Leading to you sustaining your improvement.
With every shot you attempt during a round of golf, is there not a target? Is there not a specific object, tree, bunker, hill, or other piece of landscape that you are attempting to have your ball start in that direction? Or land in line with that target?
So why will you not do the same when you practice!?
Like the explorers of centuries gone by, targets in golf are our North Star. When you pick John Hughes Golf as your coach, we insist you use a target with every shot you attempt when with us. I’ll help you understand how each target guides your decision making, your focus, and eventually each swing. Much like a ship navigating the seas, having a clear target in mind helps you chart your course off the tee and through the fairway. Eventually focusing on a small target when approaching each green. It’s not just about striking a ball; it’s about hitting a specific spot with intention.
Precision and Accuracy
Golf is a precision sport. Inches make a difference between success and failure, happiness and frustration. When you practice using a target, you’re honing your ability to control the golf club. Controlling the club controls the golf ball. In turn, completing the skill cycle allows you more accuracy.
Whether it’s a flag on the green, a fairway bunker, or a tree in the distance, aiming at a target sharpens your focus and refines your ability to deliver accurate shots consistently.
Targets serve as focal points for visualization, a powerful mental tool you probably don’t use often. Because you don’t use targets during practice. And in turn, do not practice visualizing your shots.
Try this the next time you’re practicing. Stand behind the ball as if you were on the course. See your target and how the ball lines up. Now, close your eyes and picture the ball flying to the target, because you could also picture you making the swing. Follow the ball as it flies its ideal trajectory toward your chosen target. You just visualized a practice shot. Now go do it!
Visualization instills confidence while reinforcing your brain to repeat movement patterns more often. As you repeatedly see yourself hitting the target in your mind’s eye, you’re paving the way for success on the course.
There’s no greater satisfaction than watching your golf ball fly towards the target you envisioned. No matter the shot you visualized. It can’t be accomplished without using targets during practice.
There’s a lot more going on at a golf course than you realize. Plenty of distractions to deal with. Both visually and auditorily. Combine that with the ongoing distractions in your brain, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Using a target during practice assists with filtering the noise surrounding you, no matter what the distraction might be. In turn, allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand. I’ve used Focus Band with clients how have a hard time dealing with distractions. Fixating your eyes to a specific target works. Doing so creates a bubble of concentration that shields you from external influences. Allowing your mind to concentrate on the task at hand.
In a where mental fortitude is as crucial as physical skill, your ability to eliminate distractions can be a game-changer. Using targets to assist you is a simple tool you can use right now.
Repetition and Consistency
Consistency is the #1 items clients want in their game. It’s the holy grail of golf. Targets play a pivotal role in achieving consistency. Which is why it is crucial to use targets with all practice session shots.
Block practice, selecting a target and hitting shot after shot toward the target to instill movement pattern retention and repetition is what most golfers do at the practice facility. Yes, repetition is one of the ingredients to your “secret sauce” that transforms a good swing into potentially a great one. But are you being consistent with how you’re going about the business of practice?
You have goals in life, right? What about your job? Goals there too? Why not for golf then?
Goals propel you forward. No matter the endeavor. Your practice sessions must have clear and definable goals. I’ve written about purposeful practice before. But what does a target have to do with this?
Targets turn practice into a goal-oriented effort of building repeatable swings under pressure. As you design each practice session, keep in mind you make swings throughout a round of golf to multiple targets, each varying in length and difficulty. Target-oriented practice should include varying targets of different lengths. As well as difficulty.
Planning this kind of target practice provides you with a simulation of what you’ll encounter on the course. And if you make a game of it, the circumstantial aspect of the game is now in play during your practice sessions.
As you embark on your golf improvement journey, remind yourself that targets are not just markers on the course. Targets are your allies. As they sit still and quiet in the distance, targets assist you with your pursuit of excellence.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a weekend warrior, using targets during practice elevates your game. Pick your targets wisely. Make every swing with purpose. And watch as your golfing prowess takes flight.
After all, in the world of golf, hitting the mark isn’t just a skill – it’s an art.
Targets are tools, not shackles. Experiment, play around, and make each practice session your own personal golf playground. The more you enjoy the process, the faster you’ll see results. It’s not just about hitting the golf ball. It’s about hitting the target. Achieving your goals. And acquiring a level of confidence.
Targets and your ability to hit shots as close as you can to your targets is not just a skill. It’s an art. Allow John Hughes Golf to show you how you can become an artist of hitting targets.