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Intermediate Focus Golf

    When you aim a golf shot, do you use an intermediate target to help with your alignment, such as a leaf, grass blemish, etc? This is an example of focusing on something other than the ultimate goal. The golf tips that follow will provide examples of how to use an intermediate focus to help achieve the ultimate goal, shooting your lowest score.


The majority of golfers misalign at set-up. Right swingers tend to misalign right and left swingers tend to misalign left. Such misalignment is problematic because they miss their target. After successive misalignments and hitting the ball right or left of the target causes the mind to subconsciously compensate by changing the swing.

The subconscious mind learns, grows and adapts throughout life, making tasks that were once difficult and had to be consciously learnt (such as breathing, speaking or cleaning your teeth) into behaviour that now seems to happen naturally and automatically. These behaviours have become habit and can be done without conscious effort.

Many of the problematic issues in life are the result of your subconscious mind 'learning' an unwanted habit or inappropriate behaviour.

For a right swinger missing right, the player will begin pulling the club towards the left. To do so, the player will take the club back outside the target line (as this is the easiest way to put the club in a position to swing it left on the downswing), creating an outside to inside swing path. One of the methods used to align more accurately involves using an intermediate target, such as a leaf or blemish of grass in front of the ball. To learn more about proper alignment, CLICK HERE.

Swing Cue

All golfers have used swing cues at one time or another. You know, when you focus on one particular move or feeling in the golf swing or putting stroke. This is another example of Intermediate Focus Golf. Such focus allows you to block out distractions such as where you don't want the ball to go, what you did on your last shot or hole, what you might do in the near future (best round, worst round, etc) or other annoying things you might experience on the golf course.

Other examples of swing cues are: humming a tune or counting for tempo, pause at the top of the backswing, grip pressure, leg drive to initiate downswing, etc.

The Only Important Shot in Golf is the Next One

This is the tip my golf coach gave me as a kid. It took me a number of years to actually realize its importance, and what it means. No matter what you did on the last shot (topped it, drilled it into the water/bunker, pulled it, sliced it) or last hole (quadruple-bogey, OB, fuming!), or, what might be coming up (a record low score, a tough hole, major hazard trouble, etc), the only thing to focus on is the very next shot.

Where do you want the shot to end up? What intermediate focus will you use to execute (swing cue, visualize the target (flag), imagine a different motion as you swing)?

Make Your Club Selection & Commit

Once you've analyzed yardage, wind, etc, you must select the best club for the job. Once selected, you must commit with playing the shot as visualized. Any doubt will sabbotage the shot. Even if you're in between clubs or uncertain of the wind, you must believe you are hitting the right shot and commit.

Again, what will help this commitment is an "Intermediate Focus."


Focus on Positive, Not Negative

Focus on what you're trying to do, not what you're not. If you're hitting the ball over water, just focus on the shot you're trying to hit (using a swing cue helps) and not on the possible negative outcome of the shot (wet in water).

If you're hitting a tee shot with OB right, focus on hitting the shot down the left side of the fairway. Again, an intermediate focus will enable you to focus on what you're trying to do as opposed to what you're not.


If you're hitting a tee shot with OB right, focus on hitting the shot down the left side of the fairway. Again, an intermediate focus will enable you to focus on what you're trying to do as opposed to what you're not.

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