Importance of Hand-eye Co-ordination

you plan it all in your body and your mind’s eye and then repeat and let the ball get in the way…
for most people once the ball is sitting in front of them it is a brain spasm that ruins the whole process because they can’t turn their brain off
You only have to watch at a driving range and see some wonderful looking practice swings and then have to turn your head when they make a swipe at the ball.
That’s why ABS is great…it’s giving people awareness of the sensations so the swing actually becomes secondary because the feel and training becomes inbuilt and the process of programming the shot and reacting is easier to perform because we aren’t trying to make a golf swing- we have that part programmed from our work, the body knows what it has to consistently do and then we only have to visualize the shot and react to the thought- sub consciously with less effort of anything in reality- more relaxed mind, more relaxed body all at harmony for the shot at hand

Very true, my sharp-eyed friend! Sex is meant to be meted out early and often…in a responsible manner, of course. :wink:

My little guy, now nearly 5 is an excellent mimic and is able to easily assimilate what has to be done, often without much more than a couple of words or a positioning of hands on the club. Kids are amazing at what they can soak in. Makes me feel very bad for children having to witness Charles Barkley at the golf course. :open_mouth:

Captain Chaos

This whole thing about seeing the shot in front of your eye - is it really a mental thing or just a pre programming routine that sets the stage for the actual shot?

What happens if we want to hit a high shot for example - i guess we pick a little window up in the sky we want to hit it through then we waggle trying to feel whats going to happen next and then we fire - same thing as when we want to hit it low - we pick our window lower, maybe our waggle is a bit more “punchy” and off we go.

But by actually picking our target window what happens is, our spine is shifting towards that preferred trajectory. Yes, we saw the shot in our mind, but we also saw it with our eyes, and by doing so we adjusted to it.

Another thing - somebody posted this Charlie Sifford video in a different thread - like so many others of the good old ball strikers, form my point of sight he really delivers the clubface from behind and around - he basically can´t see the actual clubface - just before he gets into impact he might get a glimpse at it - and there is no time left for fiddeling around with his hands to correct anything. So the clubface (or the sweetspot of the face) has to be put into his hands way before he hits the ball - e.g. via Pressure point #3 - that way you can feel what the clubface is doing without actually seeing it - hand coordination (feel) yes, eye coordination - not so much? Maybe i´m completly wrong here - in that case, please correct me guys! But imo thats the reason why we practice - so that our golfswing can work like on a “rail” in which we can blindly trust the feedback it provides to us via pressure.

That’s what I was getting at and is probably saying the same thing. Once planning is completed, above and beyond settling in, etc, there is an pervasive awareness of sensations and movement feels based on intentions that are being “coordinated” in anticpation of the event. Some might argue that the swing actually becomes tertiary. In other words, planning is primary. Awareness of the sensations and feels for the event’s intention is secondary. And the subconscious reactionary outcome is the unambigious combination of the two. This is getting too deep- gives me a headache :laughing:

Question for Two - when you were in the hunt on Sunday’s, did you have any swing thoughts or triggers that you had to feel in order to execute a shot well or did you just rely on instinct based on practice?

When I was in the hunt on Sunday’s it was cruise control with the swing mostly. You know you are playing well when it comes down to that part of the week, so it’s just a matter of keeping emotions in check and making logical decisions that won’t shoot you in the foot. Big key is to keep dancing with what got you that far for that week. keep the game plan intact until the last couple of holes- where you can then decide if you can play it safe or need a bit more foot to the throttle based on your position

Getting back to hand eye coordination… I view the golf swing as more a feeling of proper spacial awareness and maintaining a structural rigidity within the body throughout the motion. As Knudson demonstrated, you don’t necessarily need your eyes to strike good golf shots. So it’s not really a hand eye thing in a definitive way. I would hold the chi, the hands and the ball in my mind’s eye, and keep that as a special relationship that would be unique to golf in more ways than not.

From time to time some local PGA guys have kids clinics at our range and obviously since I run the place, I can quietly watch all I want and I do. It’s loads of fun watching, except when the parents get involved with little Johnny or Susie giving the most ridiculous counter productive suggestions. You know the kind I’m talking about: keep your head down… don’t take your eye off the ball…swing straight back, etc.

I’m not sure if there is a positve correlation or not as I have never examined it in detail, but there seems to be a pattern in level of hand-eye acuity as it relates to which activity was first learned.

For example, lets take a group of 8 year olds. Now there are some who immediately stand out as being natural athletes and even though have had no formal golf lessons seem to have a way about them, and their overall action looks good and you sense that internally they know the task at hand and are not ball bound- but have to harvest a broader perspective.

Of the others, it seems like those kids that were exposed to golf as their very first athletic activity as a toddler instead of maybe hockey, baseball, soccer, etc, have an easier time with things initially- I’ve seen this many, many times.

Perhaps this only speaks to the differences between reactionary and non-reactionary movements.

Just some thoughts while slugging down some Joe… :slight_smile:

Short note on Justin Rose putting with his eyes closed - … losed.html

Frustrated by his putting in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Justin Rose could not figure out how to get back on track with the flat stick. His caddie suggested Rose try putting like they do on the practice green – with Rose’s eyes closed.

Might seem a little silly until Rose’s scorecard shows a back nine 31 at Bay Hill to finish on 6-under par and two shots away from winning the tournament that appeared long lost.

“Nothing was going in for me at Bay Hill and I figured ‘I’ve been making nothing so why not give it a try’.

“So I started doing it around the 10-feet mark and closer and it worked. I open my eyes when the ball is about halfway to the hole. It’s all rhythm-based and when I play my best the putter swings in rhythm.

“Hopefully, that’s put me on a good track heading to Augusta.”


Have you read “Zen Golf,” by Joseph Parent? A lot of what you are saying is similar to what he writes about. It is especially impressive if you have not because it shows what you, as an elite athlete, have learned through experience, as opposed to what the rest of us only learn if someone tells us or we study it. I am not a neurologist or neuroscientist, but as someone in a related field who maintains an interest and fascination in how our brains work, you may or may not find it fascinating to find out that hard science supports the the view that subconscious processes–ones to which ‘we,’ and by that I mean our cerebral cortexes/cognitive selves, do not have conscious access. If we had to ‘think’ about every piece of data our brains process or receive, our existences would be basically chaotic. It may cone as no surprise that my brain is my biggest obstacle on a golf course, and my game improved dramatically when I stopped thinking and started feeling and letting hand-eye coordination, subconscious processes, or whatever you want to call it take over.

Proprioception, is the formal name for what you are describing, the ability to determine the position of the body in space.

I have not read that book or heard of it. Sounds interesting.

it’s fascinating, and what he writes about applies to all facets of life. written by joseph parent, a psychologist and a practicing buddhist, he has basically made a career for himself by combining his love of golf with his insights from buddhism and mindfulness meditations. as a scientist, i had always been skeptical of ‘ancient’ eastern arts and philosophies like accupuncture and meditations, but, this was mostly out of ignorance. cognitive behavioral therapy, a modern technique to treat many psychological afflictions like anxiety, panic disorders, phobias, OCD, depression, etc., is basically a rehash of what the buddhists figured out thousands of years ago.

anyway, i think the book is fantastic and i think that any golfer could benefit from reading it and gain valuable insights. the most important thing it did for me was to help me realise that the major difference between the sports i excelled at all my life (soccer, baseball) and golf was that the former were reaction-sports, with little time to “think” and only time to react. golf is the opposite–there is too much time to think, so much, in fact, that for those of us that are prone to it, we might even over think. once i started to feel golf shots, especially putts and chips around the green, like i would a raking 60 yard cross-field pass to a winger from right-back in my college soccer days, my touch got much much better.

I meant to include a link to his site:

I also meant to remark that I was reading one of the other threads and you wrote something like how between shots at tournaments you would try to think of nothing or count steps to distract yourself–also very similar to something that Joseph Parent might write. You seem to have independently discovered a few tricks to master the mental game.

I basically randomly downloaded his book onto my iPhone out of sheer boredom and exasperation at having to sit in an hour of traffic everyday, and was pleasantly surprised. I’ll probably listen to it again once or twice this spring to get my brain in the right spot on the course–out of the way.

In my opinion, some of the most “Zen” people I have met in life would not know Zen from a Hen.
The problem is that trying to be Zen is a very unZen concept.

In a similar golf vein, there have been some great golf swings owned by players who really have no conscious idea of what or how they are doing things.

On the contrary, Zen can be studied, practiced and learned through discipline, meditation and so forth, but that would only be one way to arrive at a similar point of clarity or understanding or both.

I’m certainly no expert, but reading the book exposed me to something I would have otherwise not been. My opinion is that it is written from a humble perspective, which I understand to be an important prerequisite, not with the intent of mass producing Zen Golfers, but using some of these principles plus others from cognitive psychology to improve golf games. For the record, he claims that his mentor practiced in the Shambhala tradition, which I understand to be different from Zen, which is, of course, one of the more popular and chic Buddhist traditions. To highlight the utility of these practices, mindfulness training has been well-studied and shown to produce clinically significant improvements in individuals who suffer from anxiety and compulsive disorders.

Lag wrote:


like this?..


( I have never met Don White, but from what I have read, it seems he may embody some Zen principles…aware or unaware. He is now with Scratch Golf, and is Two’s clubmaker)

crr, thanks for the book reference. It looks interesting.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it if you do read it. I think the notion of focusing on processes rather than results is particularly useful. For example, you will start to ‘make’ a lot more putts once you realize that if you get the process right, you’ve ‘made’ the putt, even if you don’t hole it.

if i hold an image of the the hands & the chi (eg as an orange sized ball below & behind the navel) in my mind’s eye

& i hold back the chi whilst i hit with the hands, then follow right in behind the hand-hit with the chi

would this be a useful image ? seems like it helps to get the one-two punch