What Should You Think Of Over The Ball

What should you think of over the ball.

That is a very common question.

When you are on the golf course (playing in a competition) where score matters (as opposed to a few holes after dinner in the evening) you should think of as little as possible.

The golf course is for scoring and as my golf coach Alec Mercer often said to me “The box on the scorecard is not big enough to paint a picture. Just put a number in it. Make it the lowest one you can”.

Improving your Inner Game is one of the keys to lowering your handicap or score. It’s what gives you consistency.

Let me paint a scenario for you.

A tour player Joe Schmo is playing the 72nd hole of a tournament and is 1 stroke behind. The 72nd is a par 5 and he has a 235 yard carry over water to the flag. Joe hits his 3 wood to 10 feet, cans the putt and wins by 1 shot.

At the Press Conference a journalist asks Joe “What were you thinking standing over the 3 wood on the 72nd Joe”?

Joe smiles and answers “I just pictured the shot and I hit it”.

On another occasion Joe might have had the following inner conversation ” Gee I have 235 over water. I hit my 3 wood 230. I better take the club back slow, stop at the top of my back swing, have a slight pause, rip my right hand through impact.” This results in a miss timed 3 wood that fails to carry the water, resulting in a bogey.

To help improve this part of your game I suggest you try the following:

  1. Stand behind your golf ball (about 3 meters back).
  2. Picture the shot you are trying to hit and have an inner conversation describing exactly the shot. Where it starts, how high it flies, which way it spins etc.
  3. Move into the ball and keep the picture fresh in your mind.
  4. Hit the shot.

This takes a bit of practice but is well worth it. If you still have trouble try saying the word “Back” in your mind as you take the club back and then say “Hit” when your club makes contact with the ball.

Try it on the range in practice and then put it in to play on the course socially (maybe 2 or 3 holes) and see how it goes. When you have confidence in it put it into play on the course.


Brian Fitzgerald – The Golf Doctor

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