This clever way of marking your golf ball can improve your focus — and your swing
Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.
Golf ball markings are one of those things we’re pretty fascinated by around these parts. The kind of markings you should use; the color of sharpie you should use; the best time to use your marking; whether markings should be legal in the first place.
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Most golfers assume the only way to mark your ball is to use a line, and if they find that doesn’t work, they ditch ball markings all-together. But there’s one type of marking that generally flies under the radar, which could arguably help golfers more than anything else: A series of well-placed dots all over your golf ball.
Why? Because of an interesting concept called “quiet-eye,” which found that better players have a tighter focus on the golf ball compared with higher handicappers, who tend to look at lots of different spots of the ball. In a nutshell, it’s good to focus on one very specific part of the golf ball when you’re standing over it, which is why using a dot on your golf ball can help, as England-based coach Alex Elliot explains in his recent Instagram video.
1. Put a dot on every side of the ball
The first step is to treat your golf ball like it’s a dice. Place one dot on each of the six sides. That gives you lots of options to choose from, and also means you’re almost certainly going to have a golf ball facing you when your ball is in the fairway.
2. Down and left towards the tee
But when you’re on the tee, Elliot suggests a great idea: place a dot so it’s located down slightly towards the ground and on the left side of the tee, so the dot is closer to you. By locating the dot like this and focusing on that specific spot, you’re giving yourself a subconscious visual cue that will help you hit up on the ball.
3. Keep your eyes locked on the ball
Remember that your goal is to keep your eyes locked on the dot, and when you place the dot down and to the left off the tee, it’ll have the effect of tilting your upper body away from the ball, which is an important setup key with your driver.
Watch Elliot’s full video below, and make sure to give him a follow, too!