Golf's Mental Game & Shooting Near Water

Joe Culverhouse
  • Author: Joseph Culverhouse
  • Manager - GLT Content and Communications
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water hazard

Next in GLT's mini-series on golf's mental game designed for coaches to share with players, we take a look at shooting near water and other hazards & boundaries. 

It may sound like a line from a bad James Bond movie, but our eyes are attracted to danger. When we see water or boundary lines on a golf course, we think “don’t hit the ball in the water/out of bounds.”

To create the outcome you want, control your eyes. Professor Joe Vickers or Calgary University calls this “The Quiet Eye,” the gazed behavior of our eyes immediately before completing a task.

Elite golfers such as Jason Day keep their eyes focused on what they want to happen. Novice golfers look all over the place.

On course, immediately before hitting the ball, look at a small target down course. Focus on the target for 4-6 seconds, then place your head down and focus on a single divot on your ball. Don’t take another look anywhere, just hit the ball.

In practice, sharpen this by saying what you see.

While on the range, look at your target. Now say “target.” Keep saying target until you address your ball, then say “ball.”

Say only what you see.

If your eyes look anywhere other than the ball or the target, say exactly what you see. If you say anything other than target or ball, restart and reset.

Repeat as needed. 

To see this tip in action be sure to click the Youtube link and share with your students or click here to help them with first tee nerves,

Thanks for being part of our mission to help golfers train differently and think differently. 

Click Here For GLT's FREE Golf Psychology Online Course. 

golf water boundary