Golf, Part Four: Aiming & Parallax Vision

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This is the fourth article in a series. It would be helpful to be familiar with previous installments, you can view them on my Factoidz profile.

Where the golf ball winds up depends upon these factors:

  1. Athletic Readiness (posture): Previously addressed.
  2. Hand Position & Pressures: The hands are the only contact with the club. To be addressed in future articles.
  3. The Path the clubhead travels. To be addressed in future articles.
  4. Ball Location: A part of Athletic Readiness to be addressed.
  5. Aiming: Also, a part of the Athletic Readiness process.

Quite obviously, it is difficult to enjoy the game if alignment is somewhere other than toward the selected target. Poor posture is the first cause of misalignment.

There is also a human phenomenon, identified as Parallax Vision that all possess and occurs when addressing the ball. Parallax vision is a difference in perception when looking at an object from two different angles. The target is perceived differently from behind the ball and from the address condition. This wouldn’t make much difference in a two-foot putt, but the disparity is great for a 200-yard shot. If shots start out on a path decidedly right or left of target the problem usually stems from an inability to overcome parallax vision. Play partners will usually comment upon misalignment unless money is involved in the match. Poor athletic readiness (posture) stimulates poor alignment. Parallax vision must be overcome.

Here is how to achieve dynamically correct alignment:

  1. Check Athletic Readiness as previously discussed.
  2. Check current aiming pattern by selecting a distant target and address the ball. Lay club down at toes, aligning it with the feet (shoulders should be similarly aligned). It might help to lay another club parallel and behind the ball. Step behind the clubs. Alignment should be considered similar to a railroad track configuration. Ball flight line goes to target, stance line would be parallel. Shoulders & feet should not point to the target.
  3. There is a problem if the railroad tracks ball flight line does not point at the target.
  4. Adjust the railroad track to correctly point at the selected target. Remove the club that designates the flight line. Address the ball.
  5. Learn to verify alignment. This is done by controlling the eye-line. Eyes should not be allowed to wander. Focus has to do with pushing the eyes slightly forward in their sockets so they do not waver. Direct their focus to the ball from an athletic readiness set up. Swivel head along eye-line by turning rear ear toward the ground. Don’t try to look for the selected target. The selected target should be on the eye-line. Practice to make this geometric head swivel routine.
  6. There will be a different perception and feel if correction has been needed. The “over-the-top” swing that is usually employed as an instinctive (subconscious) compensation will no longer be required. It will take a bit of time for the subconscious to get the message. New mental pictures will develop. Look for help in this area in future articles.

We have a tendency to rush into things. That is human nature. Take the time to master this procedure and have more fun at golf.

The Truth of Ball Location will be the next installment.