One of the first lessons most golfers learn is to “keep your eye on the ball.” I’m here to offer a better suggestion: Move your eyes behind the ball.
Heresy, you say? I don’t think so. That’s because when a golfer makes his or her backswing with a full turn of the shoulders and a proper shift of weight, the center of his or her chest, or sternum, will be well behind the ball. (Exactly how far behind the ball depends on an individual’s suppleness and flexibility.)
If a golfer moves to his or her right side during the backswing, yet keeps the eyes locked on the golf ball, there’s a good chance he or she will change his or her spine angle or fall into a reverse pivot, either of which is a huge power leak. That’s because the eyes automatically tell the golfer whether he or she has formed a bad relationship with the ball and he or she will have to “reach” or “stretch” to get back to it.
Trust me—the ball will be there on the downswing. It’s not going anywhere. Get used to relying on your peripheral vision to see the ball. By moving your focus behind the ball, you’ll increase the likelihood of making a proper athletic move during the swing and staying down through the shot. These two factors will promote better contact and more distance. So alter your focus and guarantee a stronger turn and more distance.
Art Sellinger is president of the Long Drivers of America and a former two-time winner of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship.