Are You Hitting Your Targets


When you stand at the tee box do you pick out a target area in the fairway? When you are hitting an approach shot do you choose a target area for your ball to land on the green? When you putt, do you track a clear line toward the hole?
Much of golf is all about picking a target and hitting the ball to that target. However, it doesnt happen all the time does it? The original target can be very different from where the ball actually winds up. There are many techniques that can help you improve your targeting skills but for the moment I want to address the subtle mindset that occurs for many golfersoften without realizing it.
There are three common target mindsets that cause golfers to misfire and that can effect the rhythm and consistency of the golf swing. While we know targeting is beneficial we often dont catch the subtle messages we send to our nervous and muscular systems. Without realizing it, these messages influence our golf swing and if we dont like the results; its easy to become frustrated. We know where the target is. We even visualized the target yet somehow our swing wasnt up to our capabilities.
See if any of the following subtle messages sound familiar to you.
The I hope to get it there target
This occurs when the golfer picks a target and then sends the message I hope I can get the ball there. The I hope sends a very weak and negative message to the nervous system and the muscular system. The subtle underlying message is usually something like Im not sure I can but Ill give it a try. Not the most confident way to approach a golf shot as this affects our trust level.
The I better get it there target
Many times this creates unnecessary tension and stress in the golf swing. The body tightens up with intense expectation about what is supposed to happen. Pressure builds up prior to the shot which can cause the swing to be less fluid while the focus is on the outcome and not the process. The I better get it there mindset has a consequence to it. It can be followed by a very subtle or else! This subtle threat can add pressure, tension and anxiety to the golf shot.
The I NEED to get it there target
This golfer creates tremendous mental, physical and emotional tension with this mindset. Needing a particular outcome can cause emotional tension and anxiety/frustration. It also produces physical tension in all the fine motor muscles and mental tension by creating negative thoughts/pressure to perform. Golfers who have developed their mental/physical/emotional energy are able to use this mindset in their favor, but those who have not, set up conditions to perform poorly. This mindset creates an even more subtle threat and consequences that produce a heightened sense of pressure, tension and anxiety
For those of you who have been reading my articles, you know I often refer to the mind/body/performance principles and how connected they are. They communicate with each other all the time. In addition, the principles by which they operate affect everyone. Nobody has a corner on the market and they dont work better for one person than another. Your mindset over targets will send subtle messages to your nervous system and muscular system and they will respond in accordance with this. Check it out for yourself on the course. Take note of the subtle messages your mindsets may be sending when it comes to picking targets. Are hoping or needing to hit your targets or are you confidently intending to hit your targets?
FINAL DAYS! The discount offer for One-on-One Performance Coaching is good for any The Golf Channel visitors who register on or before May 15th as our way of saying thank you. Learn the mind/body/performance realities that can close the gap between what you know and what you do! Email:
Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone program: Your Resilience Factor: Adapt and Excel in any Environment Workshop and TeleCourse that takes performance to the next level. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.