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Internal vs. External Focus?


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I do my best to keep my mind on external thoughts. Keep my mind off of golf, until it's time to hit the next shot. Look at the surroundings, listen to the animals, and talk with whoever is out there with me.

When it comes time to focus I keep the swing thought simple, and never a mechanical thought. Usually it's just Take Dead Aim or Hit It Hard.

Take Dead Aim

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Take Dead Aim

Driver: Titleist 915 D3 10.5* 

Fairway: Titleist 917 F3 15*

Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro Boxer Gold 18*

Irons: Titleist 714CB 4-PW

Wedges: Vokey SM5 & SM6 50/54/58

Putter: Odyssey Versa #7 32"

Ball: Srixon Z-Star

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11 hours ago, dlow206 said:

I especially need to focus on external thoughts in the short game. I swear every time I have a swing thought on a pitch i hit it super thin over the green. 

My only swing thought on chip shots around the green during the practice swing is ACCELERATE through the ball.  Then i look at the target landing spot and focus on that.

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This year, 2021,  I am going to force myself to start with the Thinking box- external with environment, visualization and loosening swing; then Playing box, internal with at least one real practice swing, better alignment and shot.           

All Fitted-- Driver - 2017 Callaway Epic Subzero 10.5d (same as Kevin Na), 3 Wood -2017 Epic Subzero 15d, 3 Hybrid Mavrik, X-forged 4-PW, Wedges Callaway 4 52-56-60, Odyssey Toulon Chicago     

 

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11 minutes ago, higherplane said:

This year, 2021,  I am going to force myself to start with the Thinking box- external with environment, visualization and loosening swing; then Playing box, internal with at least one real practice swing, better alignment and shot.           

Sounds like Vision54 and Pia Nilsson. 

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I got something to say then I'm gonna say it. 

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Sounds like Vision54 and Pia Nilsson. 
Think box-Play box is the way to go.

Take Dead Aim

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Take Dead Aim

Driver: Titleist 915 D3 10.5* 

Fairway: Titleist 917 F3 15*

Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro Boxer Gold 18*

Irons: Titleist 714CB 4-PW

Wedges: Vokey SM5 & SM6 50/54/58

Putter: Odyssey Versa #7 32"

Ball: Srixon Z-Star

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14 hours ago, Kenny B said:

No swing thoughts when playing , other than how to play a particular shot.  This is especially true for short game shots.  If you are thinking about swing thoughts for a pitch shot, then you haven't practiced that shot enough.  It should be automatic, and you should trust it.  A pitch shot is a feel shot.  You can't expect to pull off a feel shot of any kind without a lot of practice.

It's extremely difficult to eliminate swing thoughts when you hit a bad shot.  You are trying to figure out what you did wrong.  Sometimes you just hit a bad shot; pros do it; accept it and move on.  Once you start down the path of trying to analyze your swing based on a couple of shots while playing, the round is lost.  Go to the range.

I struggle with this too.  It's probably the main reason I have been sucking lately.  I think it's excuse #8.  😂  Today, I hit one of my better drives on our #1 handicap hole and had a PW into the green.  Usually, I have a 7i or 8i and if the wind is blowing... a hybrid.  The shot is over water with bunkers left and right and depending on the angle, a bunker long too.  My last thought was the nice shot I made with my PW on the range before I played.  I hit a great shot; looked good in the air.  It was on the green... barely; still a par.

I definitely need to get away from swing thoughts during pitch shots. Typically, if I just focus on the pitch shot i envision, where i want to land the ball, etc., it usually turns out decent to really good. I don't know why i think i should try some new magic approach i have in my head and i should try it for the first time on the course 😂

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Pitch shots and chipping I just tell myself to hit a good one. When I try to get cute and hit the perfect pitch it's when problems begin.

Take Dead Aim

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Take Dead Aim

Driver: Titleist 915 D3 10.5* 

Fairway: Titleist 917 F3 15*

Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro Boxer Gold 18*

Irons: Titleist 714CB 4-PW

Wedges: Vokey SM5 & SM6 50/54/58

Putter: Odyssey Versa #7 32"

Ball: Srixon Z-Star

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FWIW, i just watched a video where Beau Hossler says he can't play without a swing thought in his head.  he's a lot better at golf than i am.

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I play best with 0-1 (internal) swing thoughts at a time, my goal is always to make them completely instinctive. More than that and I play much worse, I’ve tried it. I don’t have an external focus, all that is set with my aim, club choice, etc - and I’m deliberately not thinking about anything external once I address the ball. I’ve always ignored water, traps and where good/bad misses are once I address the ball, I factor all that in with aim, club choice, etc. But then I’m not very good so maybe I’m doing it all wrong... 😬

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I always focus on the target, that's what I picture in my head during the swing. I have a trigger to start my downswing but that's more of a feel than a thought. The whole time I'm starting my backswing I'm envisioning where I want the ball to go and what I want the flight to look like. Do they always match up? Heck NO. But it keeps me from getting stuck in my head out on the course.

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In my  :wilson_staff_small:  carry bag:
:wilson_staff_small:  D7 
:cleveland-small: Hy-Wood
:wilson_staff_small: D200 5i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
 

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8 hours ago, Chip Strokes said:

FWIW, i just watched a video where Beau Hossler says he can't play without a swing thought in his head.  he's a lot better at golf than i am.

Just goes to show that like every other aspect of the game, there's no one right way to do things.  How many thoughts does he have when he's getting over the ball?  I'd be surprised if it's more than one.

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3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Hybrid (19*) - :taylormade-small: RBZ
4i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
GW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
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17 minutes ago, HardcoreLooper said:

Just goes to show that like every other aspect of the game, there's no one right way to do things.  How many thoughts does he have when he's getting over the ball?  I'd be surprised if it's more than one.

absolutely.  there’s never one right way.

i won’t paraphrase him from memory because i don’t want to mess it up. when i’m in front of my computer tomorrow i’ll find the video and link it here

it was a simple cue for sure, i just found it interesting that he said “i can’t play without a swing thought in my head”

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  image.png.4f15ae5144722103242556b2db6d1033.pngSIM 3W 14º | Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 9TX

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I do a few things. 

- I give myself an attack plan when I get to each new hole. I don't mind of the plan goes wrong cause that's just golf. But that plan means I'm thinking about what sets me up for success. 

- I break things into zones. Beyond 10 feet from the ball, im appreciating the day, the drink, the company. 10 to 5 feet, I'm asking myself how I want to play the shot. 5 feet and under, I'm trying not to think, just feel and execute.

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Rag tag bag, but it does the job. 

Taylormade R1 driver.

Ping G400 3 wood.

Cleveland Halo Launcher 3 hybrid.

Cleveland CBX launcher irons (5-PW). 

Assorted wedges (48, 52, 58).

Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 putter.

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@dlow206, thought of this thread this morning when I was listening to the latest Fit for Golf podcast by Mike Carroll.  His guest was John Novosel, the guy behind Tour Tempo Tones, who explained that as a general rule most elite ball strikers have a 3 to 1 ratio in terms of speed of backswing vs speed of downswing.  He went on to share that most amateurs are shocked by that and fearful of the perceived speed of that kind of backswing, largely based on fears of accuracy issues if they depart from a "low and slow" backswing.

The reason the conversation reminded me of this thread is that Novosel (and Carroll) opined that one of the benefits of this quicker tempo is that it eliminates the time for conscious thought.  In other words, if you train yourself to operate at that kind of tempo, you eliminate conscious inputs that are more than likely getting in the way of making an athletic movement and just playing golf.

Take it for what it's worth, but I found it fascinating and relevant to your post.

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The only thing I think about is ball position when setting up and my intended target line. Nothing in the swing, it's just automatic. 

:titleist-small: Driver, TSi1 10* Stiff Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: 939x 5 hybrid

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (6 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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two different approaches from two different pros:

Beau Hossler (8:30 mark)

 

Graeme McDowell (18:20 mark)

 

image.png.926c5dbfc594427870bc33c43f290630.pngSIM2 8º | KuroKage XD 70TX 

  image.png.4f15ae5144722103242556b2db6d1033.pngSIM 3W 14º | Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 9TX

image.png.bce9eebd9a20266703b359d88959bbcb.pngSIM2 5W 18º | Fujikura Ventus Black 10X
Titleist logo | Logo gallery, Golf birthday party, Logo designU500 2i | Fujikura Ventus HB Black 10TX
Titleist logo | Logo gallery, Golf birthday party, Logo design T100 4-PW | Dynamic Gold X7
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SIK Golf Partners with GolfPlus to Host Entry Level Professional Events!  DW | BGT Stability Tour

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