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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

One Target, Multiple Aimpoints

Today I have an interesting tip from the late Jim Flick. It comes from his book On Golf (1997) -- from page 121, specifically. Flick actually titled this section of the book "Multiple Targets," but I think multiple aimpoints is a better way to describe it.

Many of you may know that Flick worked with Jack Nicklaus, both as his instructor after Jack Grout died and also as a partner in the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools, so Flick was very familiar with how Nicklaus did things. And one of those "things" was how Jack aimed his shots.

Most of us are familiar with the idea of an intermediate aimpoint -- that is, you imagine a line from the ball to your target, then pick a point on that line but much closer to you. You use that point to help you aim. For example, I typically pick a point about 18-24 inches ahead of my ball and use that to help me get aligned when I take my stance.

According to Flick, Nicklaus took the concept a bit farther:
   Jack Nicklaus uses four intermediate targets. One is just a few inches in front of him, so he can see it in his peripheral vision when he's looking down at the ball. Another is some twelve to fifteen feet in front of him and a third maybe thirty to forty yards down the fairway. And Jack even uses one behind the ball to help delineate his swing line when he takes the club back.
   When you see him turning his head forward and back, as he addresses the ball, it's not because he's trying to work out a crick in his neck. He's locking in on his intermediate targets.
There you have it, direct from Jack's instructor. Nicklaus used four intermediate aimpoints -- three in front of his ball and one behind, all located on his aimline to his target. (I must admit, I find that aimpoint behind the ball very interesting. It never occurred to me, even though I know that starting the takeaway properly is probably the most important part of the swing.)

So don't feel silly if you need more than one intermediate aimpoint to help you get properly aligned. Use as many as necessary to improve your accuracy. If it's good enough for Jack Nicklaus, who are we to refuse?

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