One of the best “quick tips” I have ever heard: “Pick a high target.” This tip came from Bob Nelson. Bob was a chaplain on the PGA tour who started a ministry where he would travel to different churches as an evangelist.
While he was ministering at a local church we had the chance to play golf in the mornings. Always seeking sage advice I asked him if he saw anything I could improve on in my own game. His advice was simple, “pick a high target.” He recommended that I pick the highest thing I could see above my normal target and hit at that.
In our rounds of golf together, I started doing this and what I noticed was a less stressful shot and a better result. I wasn’t focused on lining up to a flagstick or edge of a bunker. I was focusing on the top of a tree or hillside off in the distance. Even a cloud might be my target. I improved immediately.
As you hit a golf shot the ball goes up. Because it goes up, you see the ball on a line going towards your target. This gives you confidence. You are keeping your eyes above all the trouble.
Too many times we stare at a flagstick as our target, but our mind also sees the sand traps, the out of bounds or hazard markers, or even the water or ravine we have to carry. When our eyes are down we see the trouble.
I also believe this reduced stress gives us a technical or mechanical advantage. Less stress leads to a more relaxed swing which leads to better contact and so on. A higher target causes us to accelerate to a finished swing instead of flipping at the ball. When we are stressed our muscles tighten and therefore shorten. Speeding up the small muscles causes fat/thin shots and nothing but trouble.
I love this refrain from an old hymn:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”
We all need to turn our eyes UP towards Jesus. Let him be our “high target.” Allow the “bunkers, and water hazards” on this earth to fade. Our stress level will go down. We will stop “flipping out” the minute we see trouble and will “finish our swing.” We will begin to realize we have a higher calling.
Bless you for taking the time to read this article. May your walk with the Lord be encouraged!