Aiming Each Shot Is Critical In Golf

I have talked about aiming each golf in previous posts. I used the Greg Norman view of ‘aim small miss small’! I hold to this approach and it works well for my game. I found a video by Rick Shiels that explains my exact process and think it is of value to all players. I do want to discuss why this process is very important and how taking the time to properly aim on every shot every shot.

First the video:

I like the way Shiels suggests how we need adjusts our aim depending on the conditions, shot shape, or course conditions. Additionally, his aiming process is simple, repeatable, and effective. How can we not use this or a close variation of this aiming process if we want to lower our scores. Aiming is an important key of playing our best golf.

I want to offer a bit of sage advice on aiming. Taking the process serious. A small miscalculation could have tremendous on where your ball would finish. This may not seem like much but look at the stats below about the margin of error clearly indicate that a ball struck straight of line by just a few degrees could make the difference between playing from the short grass, rough, or worse. Luckily I have a solution that will help mitigate any aiming challenges you might be facing.

Launch Direction Examples (Source is

@ 100 yards

  • -1 degree = 1.7 yards left
  • -3 degree = 5.2 yards left
  • 2 degree = 3.4 yards right
  • 4 degree = 7.0 yards right

@ 200 yards

  • -1 degree = 3.5 yards left
  • -3 degree = 10.5 yards left
  • 2 degree = 7.0 yards right
  • 4 degree = 14.0 yards right

@ 300 yards

  • -1 degree = 5.2 yards left
  • -3 degree = 15.7 yards left
  • 2 degree = 10.5 yards right
  • 4 degree = 20.9 yards right

I bet you are wondering what my tip might be; well, it builds on Shiels simple process. The trick to ensure that you are aiming properly is to select two aim points. The first should be about six feet in front of the ball, the second about 12 to 15 feet (or the closest point on that path). Obviously, these distances will vary depending on the shot. I have found that by having a second point I am able to align my body better to ensure I am swinging on the path I have chosen.

By establishing two points in the path to the final aim point, I find that I am better able to position my body for the shot I want to execute. This process is born from many, many years of trail and error. Fortunately, I did find an aim process that works for my game and it propelled my handicap to low single digits. Perhaps it will help your game as well.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


2 thoughts on “Aiming Each Shot Is Critical In Golf

  1. Now I’m certainly no golf pro. But I’ve always known that aim has to be the most critical aspect of the process of hitting a tiny ball into a tiny hole hundreds of yards away. And ever since I took up the game I’ve watched pro’s and better amateurs set their club down and aim it first, and then use that to align to while taking their stance. They’ll set their grip AFTER their feet are aligned and planted. And they’ll fiddle with their feet, hands, wrists, etc to be loose and ready to take the swing, but they won’t be adjusting their aim points again while over the ball. They’ll step back and start again if they feel the need to adjust their aim more than a tiny fraction.

    I’m not so good at the latter, but I’ve been diligent about the former almost from the beginning. Aim has never been my problem since the first time I got fooled by how the ground crew set up a tee box. I was reminded that day of what I’d witnessed hundreds of times on tv by an older golfer playing with us (slaughtering us is more like it 😂) and it stuck with me. I take my aim first every time. And it works. I’ve got a list of holes outs over 2 dozen long that prove it to me beyond doubt especially since at least half of those came before I could even break 80. It’s a whole lot more likely to get lucky when you’re aimed right than when you’re not.

    Hope you had a happy Easter. We did. I got in another round of golf Saturday and was happily surprised that our flags are back, and holes back in the ground and the rakes are out by the traps. No more easy golf. No more super low scores. But I carded a 2 over just the same. And while I count that as 7 over based on the fact that 5 holes have par numbers that are just too generous in my opinion, I’m pretty happy with that. 7 over on a tough course feels better than 2 over on an easy course. And turning 5 200+ yard par 4’s into par 3’s certainly makes this little course a bit tougher. With no par 5’s to help make up shots and only 4 par 4’s left there isn’t a lot of room to make up for bad holes this way making it much tougher than the card shows and I think better suited to me trying to make comparisons between rounds here and away where the par’s aren’t so easy to come by. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      We did have a great Easter. Glad to hear you did as well. You pose an interesting question about converting your par 4s to par 3s to make the course play (or at least score) more challenging. That is definitely an approach that works, but does not really affect too much with respect to your game. You are going to try and hit the green, then hope for an up and down. Sounds about normal to me.

      I do have a suggestion that might make your rounds more challenging. On 5 the holes that are two generous, select your approach distance that you want and hit your tee shot to that distance before you start and keep it the same for the entire round. I recommend changing the approach distance each round from 100 to 50 yards and in between each time you play. Then record how many times you hit to that distance. Track only the 5 holes that are easy. After a bit you will see if your ability to hit distances is improving or not. This will mean that your are hitting shorter clubs off the tee, but you will gain more value to your shots by forcing yourself to hit to distances during your round. This practice will be very beneficial when you play longer courses that are 6200+ yards.

      Just a thought. What do you think?

      Cheers Jim


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