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Aim Small Miss Small

When you step up on the tee box what do you aim at? The left side of the fairway? The whole fairway? Anywhere but the water?

How about on the approach shot? Generally aiming at the green? Generally aiming away from a bunker? Directly at the pin, because it's the thing sticking up out of the ground with a flag on it? Or on a putt, a few balls out on the left?

The problem with having generic targets (or targets without much thought put into them) is it allows you to be uncommitted to where you plan to hit it.

Why do you think you do this? Have you ever questioned yourself on your target choice? Maybe you do this because you don't want to disappoint yourself if you miss your target. But since when was "avoiding disappointment" a good motivation for something?

So what should you do instead? Pick a small target. As small as possible. The left edge of a distant tree. That one leaf out in the fairway. The right edge of the back green side bunker. Because one of your jobs on every shot is to be committed to your target. It's pretty easy to get lazy on your commitment when you're just aiming at the whole green. "Of course I can hit the green I'm just going to step up and hit it." But you're missing an essential piece of the puzzle when you do this. Commitment to a target is a key component to making a trusting swing or putt.

If you're walking into the shot or putt without having come to a firm conclusion in your mind and given your body clear, precise instructions on where you want the ball to go, then your body will decide on its own where to hit the ball based on subconscious thoughts. But you can give your body clear information by choosing a very small target and firmly committing to that target in your mind.

Try this the next time you play. Decide that "on every approach shot today I'm going to pick as small of a target as possible and completely commit to it." And then evaluate your round and ask yourself how you did? Did you commit to 100% of your targets? Did you feel a little less doubtful over the ball? Those things make real differences in your scores over time. Even if it's just one shot every round that you save, over the course of a tournament or several tournaments or an entire season that makes a huge difference!

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