Improve Your Conscious Ability to Compute Distances on the Golf Course
The soundest method seems to be that of Bobby Jones, which involves the control of distance simply by shortening the grip on the shaft. If you will drop balls at one-yard intervals back from the green for about 100 years, you will find that you can control the length of the shot by simply holding the club at spots higher and higher on the grip. With this mechanical method Jones was then free to concentrate on direction. The balls automatically were close to the hole if he computed the yardage correctly.
Gauging the distance involves certain psychological factors. Hitting the golf ball the correct distance is a psychological horse of another color. Having read Bobby Jones techniques some years ago, this is how I did it. In order to practice hitting precise distances, I measured the distances from the practice green 100 yards back. Whenever I hit practice balls I did not play shots from one position, but scattered them at one yard intervals from the green on back. I noted my finger position on the grip at each distance. On the golf course, the sole problem was to estimate the distance, hold the grip at the point indicated for that yardage and pull the trigger.
I found out that if I would break up the distances to the flag into intervals of 10 yards, yardage can be gauged precisely. This is fine for short distances but is difficult to do for distances over 100 yards. Up to 60 yards is easily handled. When the distance is greater, I move to the side of the ball, estimate where the halfway mark is, divide this into yardage, multiply it by 2, and that is it.
Of course feel or the subconscious, is still important, but even this can be developed consciously. A general rule which should guide you is in the development of feel is always to use muscles which have the greatest potential for touch. Proper muscles can build a physiological fence around the shot and prevent bad judgment.
This means that your estimate is more accurate if the more sensitive muscles are used for the shorter distances. You must avoid using a yardstick when a ruler is needed.
The most delicate touch is in the tip of the index finger; then the other fingers, wrists, forearms, arms and body. Smaller muscles are more sensitive discriminators than larger ones. Also if few muscles are used, the additional variables that accompany the moving of many muscles are eliminated.
Since all shots do not require equal amounts of touch, there comes a point at which strength becomes a factor. Otherwise, what is gained in touch is lost in accuracy if, for instance, the golf club is loose in the hands.
The right combination of distance and direction on the golf course can only be achieved through varied practice. There are additional factors such as wind, bounce, and temperature whose influences need to be appraised. The simplest method of appraising is just what you would now expect-practice and play under as many different playing conditions as possible.
Related Tags: stroke, golf, course, power, distance, swing, grip, score, tee, meters, shot, judge, yards, improve.lower
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