Some aspects of golf have a personal twist, and some tactics work for certain golfers but not others. Many beginner golfers don’t know where to look at the ball or if they should look at it at all during their swing.
Some golfers do not need to look at the ball during the swing, but rather visualize the path they want it to travel in the shot. Other golfers focus on a spot at the back of the ball for a straight shot, the back right of the ball for a draw shot, and the back left of the ball for a fade shot.
Although some aspects of golf are personal preferences, it helps to have a starting point as you develop your style and what works for you on the golf course. We have some guidelines about where to look at the ball during your swing to get the right shot and find out what strategy works for you.
Where Should You Look At the Golf Ball?
Every golfer knows the focus and precision required to hit consistently accurate shots on the golf course. One of the least discussed aspects of playing golf is where to look at the ball during your shot.
Proper ball focus that works for you is critical for achieving consistently good shots, and it’s a skill that every golfer needs to master.
We will explore the topic of ball focus in golf and provide insights into where to look at the ball for the best results. There are also some misconceptions about where to look at the ball, the proper address position, and maintaining focus during the swing.
We will take a look at these, so you don’t get into any bad habits and offer some solutions and practice drills that can help improve ball focus.
Some Golfers Don’t Look At The Ball
Some golfers find that looking at the ball or a spot on the ball is detrimental to their accuracy and consistency.
These golfers generally like to visualize the entirety of the shot, from the swing to the strike, the trajectory of the ball, and the landing of the ball.
Once they have visualized the shot, they replay it repeatedly in their heads as they take a couple of practice swings and when they make the actual shot.
Their eyes may be on the ball, but they are not focused intently on the ball or a particular spot on the ball. The shot is made through visualizations and then, through instinct, to hit the ball in the right position and achieve the desired shot.
While this strategy works for some golfers, it is generally for advanced golfers with some experience rather than beginners.
Where To Look At The Golf Ball
Before we get into the details about where to look at the golf ball during your swing, some misconceptions should be addressed to prevent golfers from falling into bad habits that can affect their game.
Common Misconceptions About Ball Focus
One common misconception is that golfers should look at the clubhead during the swing. This belief is based on the idea that by watching the clubhead, golfers can control the ball’s trajectory. However, this approach is problematic because it causes the golfer to take their eyes off the ball, leading to inconsistent shots.
Another misconception is that golfers should keep their heads still during the swing. While it’s true that the head should be relatively stable, holding the head too rigidly can cause tension in the neck and shoulders, leading to a restricted swing.
Finally, some golfers believe they should look at the target during the swing. While it’s important to have a clear picture of the target in mind, focusing on it during the swing can cause the golfer to lose sight of the ball, leading to inaccurate shots.
To address these misconceptions, golfers should focus on keeping their eyes on the ball throughout the swing. The ball is the target, and by keeping their eyes on it, golfers can maintain their focus and improve their chances of hitting accurate shots.
So where should you be looking at the ball during your swing?
Where to Look At The Ball For A Straight Shot
For most beginners, it is helpful to look at particular spots on the ball, depending on what type of shot you want to play.
To play a straight shot directly down the fairway, it helps to focus on a spot on the back of the ball as you look at it from directly above. This would be a position 90° to a line drawn through the middle of the golf ball.
This does not guarantee a straight shot since there are other aspects to consider to get the ball to where you intend it to travel. The club face for a straight shot must also be square to the spot on the back of the ball where you are focusing your attention. If you focus on this spot, but your club face is too square, you can pull or slice the shot.
Where To Look At The Ball For A Draw Shot
A draw shot is when the ball’s direction travels slightly to the right of the target and swings or draws back to the left towards the target in the last part of the trajectory.
To achieve this shot, the best place to focus on the ball is the right quadrant of the back of the ball or above the square on position as you look down at the ball.
The club face must be slightly closed as it impacts the ball to execute this shot correctly and achieve the desired trajectory.
Where To Look At The Ball For A Fade Shot
Our final ball focus strategy is to play the fade shot, where the trajectory of the ball starts slightly left of the target and fades to the right towards the target in the latter part of its arc.
The location to focus on the ball for a fade shot is the left back quadrant of the golf ball or the quadrant below the square on position as you look down on the ball.
The club face must also be slightly open when contact is made with the ball to get the golf ball to track correctly throughout the shot.
Common Ball Focus Problems and Solutions
Even the most experienced golfers can face common problems with ball focus during their game, which can throw off their shots in a moment where concentration lapses. These issues can arise even if you look at the correct position on the ball during your practice swings.
We have listed some of the most common problems that golfers face when it comes to ball focus, as well as some solutions to help address these issues.
- Lifting your head too early. One common problem that golfers face is lifting their heads too early during the swing, causing them to lose sight of the ball. This problem can be solved by practicing a smooth and consistent swing while maintaining focus on the ball until after the impact.
- Overthinking the swing. Golfers who overthink their swing can become distracted and lose focus on the ball. To address this problem, golfers should practice their swing regularly and trust their muscle memory to guide their movements during the swing.
- Poor posture. A poor posture can make it difficult to maintain proper ball focus throughout the swing. Golfers should practice maintaining a balanced and stable address position to help ensure proper ball focus.
- Tension in the neck and shoulders. Tension in your shoulders and neck can lead to a restricted swing and poor ball focus. Golfers should maintain a relaxed and natural posture during the swing to help reduce tension and improve ball focus.
- Lack of practice. A lack of practice can lead to poor ball focus on the course. Golfers should practice regularly, maintaining proper ball focus throughout the swing to develop their skills and improve their game.
Proper ball focus is key for achieving consistent and accurate shots in golf, especially as you start out in the game. By maintaining a clear mental image of the ball’s position and trajectory, focusing solely on the ball during the swing, and avoiding distractions, golfers can improve their ball focus and achieve better results on the course.
Improving ball focus takes time, effort, and practice, but by incorporating the tips and techniques we have outlined, you can develop the skills needed to achieve better results on the course.