Today we are going to introduce both the concept and the value of the quiet eye in golf. The research and science in golf tells us clearly that it makes a huge difference if we know what to do, and what not to do with our eyes.
Exactly where are you looking when you are hitting the ball? Some will confess that they have no idea and others will tell you ‘somewhere on the ball’, ‘I’m not quite sure’. ‘behind the ball’ ‘in front of the ball’, the answers are numerous.
Ideally, we want to be looking at the ball, but very specifically on the ball but before we get to exactly where on the ball, we want to look, we want to really understand why eye control and eye movement is so important in the golf shot.
There’s a technical term called saccade. We don’t need to really worry about that term but we do need to understand what it means. Saccade is about the rapid jerky motion of the eye, the unsettled eye when you’re trying to focus on something. So for example, in a golf shot, we’re really trying to focus on making a golf shot. But a lot of the time, our eyes are jumping around, we’re looking at the ball, we’re looking behind the ball, we’re looking in front of the ball, we’re looking at the club head, all within those the one or two seconds when we’re preparing to make impact with the ball.
The best players in the world will tell you that when they’re preparing to strike a ball, they can only see one thing. In fact, many of them can tell you exactly which dimple on the ball they focus on. Many of us will never get to that level, and that’s perfectly fine but we do want to develop the habit of training our quiet eye.
So we really need to understand where we’re looking on the ball. Begin by practicing looking at the back of the ball and just keeping still. Ultimately you’ll get to a point where you can identify the dimple on the ball and have that all important quiet eye.