Of course we all know this epic line to the original Star Wars movie! I bet the song is going off in your head right now! Before the rest of the opening scenes explain the challenges faced by the rebels against the empire, our minds soar to new possibilities in almost every area of our lives.
That is where I sit right now. Golf season is over, I have 5 months before the links open, and I need to prepare for next season if I ever expect to be a scratch golfer. As with previous years, I like to take time to think about where I can most effectively make changes to lower my scores.
For me, it is a creative time. It is a time to be grateful for great 2015 golf season! It is a time to be introspective. It is a time envision the how to take my game to the next level. It is a time to embrace a new hope in my golf game.
It is the best round of your life! You are playing 4 strokes under your best score ever! The only thing at would top off this fantastic round is ……. a hole-in-one or albatross?
I have played about 1500 rounds of golf in my life. That equates to approximately 27,000 holes and 123,000 strokes on the links. This does not include any partial rounds or fun tournaments I have played in over the years. Through all this time, I have only had 3 holes-in-one. I have never had an albatross! I have been close a couple of times, but I have never felt the exuberance of conquering a 500+ yard hole in two.
If you think about it, an albatross would be better for your round; going 3 under in one shot is what dreams are made of! But for some reason, everyone thinks a hole-in-one is the only metric worth using when talking about a great golf.
I actually believe I have a better chance at shooting a hole-in-one than an albatross. During each round, I have four opportunities for a hole-in-one and maybe one or two chances for an albatross. Do not get me wrong, I would take a hole-in-one every round, but I think I would like to shoot an albatross at least once!
As kids, he have all made a circle with our thumb and index finger to encircle a distant object. Then we opened and closed our eyes and notice that the object flips in and out of the circle. Little did we know that the movement of our circle was an indication of which eye was considered dominant. I have found that as I age, my dominant eye is becoming more and more dominant; as a result of this physical change, in need to adjust my golf game.
Before we move forward, it is important to determine which is your dominate eye. Look at something on the wall across the room. With your index finger and thumb make a circle. Place the object in the circle – be sure you can clearly see the object in the circle. Close your left eye – did the object move? Close our right eye – did the object move? Whichever eye was open with no movement is your dominant eye. I have determined that I am left-eye dominate.
As a left-eye dominant player who plays right, my alignment must take into account how my eye’s view my golf shots. My primary rule is that my dominate eye must be over or slightly behind the ball during all strokes.
Here is what I mean:
When putting, I putt best when my ball in line with my dominant eye; this means my ball is slightly ahead of center in my stance. I find that if my ball slides back to the middle or behind center, I end up pushing the ball because I am not able to square my putter head through contact. Also, I have a tendency to leave my putts short if the ball is not aligned with my left eye. By placing my dominate eye over the ball during putting, I have great success on the greens.
When chipping, my dominate eye must be slightly ahead of my ball, but not far enough back where my right eye is directly over or in front of the ball. By placing the ball slightly behind my dominate eye, my weight distribution fits my stroke, I do not pull the ball to the left of my intended line and I make crisp contact on instead of hitting it thin or fat.
My dominate eye has the greatest effect on my driver. I must have my dominate eye in line with the ball during my set up. In my case, the ball appears to be back in my stance more, but in fact, it is not. Having the ball on either side of my dominate eye will cause a push or pull. The biggest error I constantly work on is not having the ball too far forward in my stance (forward of my dominate eye); the result of my poor alignment causes me to hit the ball left.
Understanding the effects of eye dominance is important to your golf game. It took many trial and error trips to the range and putting green before I figured out how my eyes were causing fundamental challenges in my swing. Had I known about eye dominance earlier, it would have reduced my range tips and frustration on the links.