D is for dead aim. The late Harvey Penick, one of golf’s greatest teachers, in spite of never managing to play golf in Thailand, used to say “take dead-aim”. Golfers I see at Thailand golf courses moan to themselves when they hit it far left or right of their target. When I watch these golfers closely, I am often surprised at how much time they look at their club and ball and how little time, if at all, they look at where they are trying to hit their golf ball.
I figure that this is because most Thai golfers are so wrapped in thinking of what to do (or what not to do) in the their golf swing, that they forget one of the single most important factors needed to make the golf ball go straight, aligning yourself at the target.
Here are my tips for taking dead aim on all Thailand golf courses. While standing behind your ball, pick an intermediate target a few feet in front of the ball, a divot, leaf, or dead piece of grass will do fine. Then select a second target in the distance, either the pin, or tree, or even better a branch in a tree. I like to pick something as small as I can see. Think about it, if you are playing darts, you don’t just aim for the board, you aim for the bull’s eye. Then line your club and stance so the form a straight line with the intermediate and final targets.
Once you have your feet and club face aimed at the target, keep a mental image of it in your mind, even when you are looking at the ball. This will eliminate any negative thoughts such as what your Thai caddie probably just told you about where not to hit, it will get you focused off all mechanical attempts to fix your swing on the course, and finally it will remove any lingering non-golf memories, such as those regarding your late night out the day before. What this will do is get you focused on the target and making an accurate golf shot.
So once again, pick a target; take dead aim with your stance and club face, and swing, nothing to it! Practice aiming correctly and you may never hit one offline again!