As complicated as golf has been made to appear it is really only an eye to hand game that involves using a stick( golf club) a ball and your creative genius. Having learned from some of the greatest players that ever lived ie. Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret, Jackie Burke and numerous others I can tell you that they kept it simple.
The Ben Hogan that everyone reads about is nothing like the man that I knew growing up at Champions golf club in Houston, Texas. Mr. Hogan used to come there often to see his mentor Jimmy Demaret and get advice on his game. During a few of these trips I had the opportunity to get to know Mr. Hogan and ask him questions about how to play my best.
He made it clear that you had to play golf by feel utilizing your own ability to control the golf club in your hands while using your eyes to guide the hands both into the setup and throughout the swing. Mr. Hogan told me that trying to imitate him or any other golfer was not only a waste of time but would doom me to failure.
Through watching some of his practice sessions I can tell you Hogan saw and felt every shot before he ever swung the club. I can also tell you that he said his book was only a description of what his golf swing looked like and not what he felt.
The only thing Mr. Hogan and the other players weren’t able to communicate clearly was how important a role the eyes played in peak performance. I could see that they used their eyes to map everything out but didn’t realize until later how anyone could be taught to use them to keep the mind organized and occupied.
By using the eyes to map out where the hands are going in relation to the target and by using them to calmly lead the hands both into the setup and through the swing or stroke your mind stays busy doing a productive job and your eyes aren’t wandering all over the place. To fully understand and appreciate how important it is to organize and map things out with the eyes try picking something up from a table or a desk while your eyes are wandering all over the room. That is exactly what happens to most golfers because they are trying to focus on the ball, where their backswing is how to get the club to impact and guide the golf ball to the target all in under two seconds.
In order to start using your eyes correctly let’s pick an area three to six inches ahead of the ball in relation to your target and have the eyes stay there in a soft focus until the hands start forward during the swing (no backswing thoughts allowed). Then let the eyes move slightly ahead of the hands until they come to a calm and relaxed finish. The players who can commit to this and practice improving it will see tremendous results. Start with putting and move your way up to full shots once you master the eye hand coordination in your putting.
Obviously this is not the only thing you must be good at to play your best but it is probably the most important one.