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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Tom Patri on Thinking About the Target

Here's a link to teaching pro Tom Patri's drill for improving your aim. He calls it 'Target Line USA'.

The setup for practicing target golf

The photo above shows the practice setup for the drill. There's a 2x4 laying on the ground outside his swing path, an alignment stick laying right on his swing path in front of the ball -- the 2x4 and stick are parallel to each other -- and another alignment stick stuck vertically in the ground about five feet ahead of him on the same line as the first alignment stick.

Now, while Tom says you can work on your mechanics on the range using this drill if you need to, he is specifically interested in using the drill purely as a way to get you thinking about your target. To that end, you don't necessarily want to think about anything but just hitting the ball over that vertical stick in front of you!

The idea is to get you in the mindset of just thinking about where you want the ball to go when you're actually playing golf. The sticks just help you visualize the starting flight of the ball.

You can also use this drill to practice curving the ball by aiming the two guides on the guides on the ground in the direction you want to start the ball, then hitting the ball to the left or right of the stick and trying to curve it back. In either case, you don't worry about your swing -- you just try to get the ball to go where you want it to!

I really like the idea of training yourself to be target-oriented rather than mechanics-oriented. This drill is a good one to help you make that mindset a more natural part of your game.

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