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Looking at the ball during the Backswing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I noticed a few weeks ago the I don't even look at the ball during my backswing; i generally will look at the ball at address and my eyes move back along the target line as I make the backswing and during the downswing I don't see it because it will be gone.

Does anyone else do this? Or does everyone more or less keep their eye on the ball?

I started doing this because I created a habit of checking my position in the backswing by looking back. Since i've done that so much in the past, I've gotten so used to it. Now if I force myself to keep looking at the ball, my weight will sometimes get stuck and I will forget to weight shift back (or my weight stays at the ball, where my eyes are being forced to look).

It's not a big deal but I wanted to get a general consensus on what everyone does.

Thanks!
post #2 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I look at the ball only, but in reality, I see the ball, the ground, my club, leaves and everything else as one big picture. My minds eye is focused on the target so I notice the ball, but I'm not "looking" at it.
post #3 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I look at the ball 100% of the time that it is in front of me. If I don't, I produce some really nasty shots.

I have read articles in iacas' favorite publication, Golf Digest (that was sarcasm), that suggested looking behind the ball for certain shots, in front of the ball for certain shots, etc. Even in above or below the ball if you miss a certain way...

I practice looking at the ball, and hitting the ball. Maybe these sorts of things are something for lower handicap players?
post #4 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I found that your swing has a tendency to bottom out wherever you are looking so if you are staring at the back of the ball you might bottom out to early. Looking at the front of the ball or even in front of it produces some immediate amazing results as far as "impact zone" stuff is concerned but it was kind of a passing fad and didn't hold up in the long run for reasons I don't understand.
post #5 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

Originally Posted by verse214 View Post

Now if I force myself to keep looking at the ball, my weight will sometimes get stuck and I will forget to weight shift back (or my weight stays at the ball, where my eyes are being forced to look).



Thanks!
Start with your weight back, then the ball is the only thing your thinking about...
post #6 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I try to keep my eyes or my head facing the ball on the backswing. But once I get to the top of the backswing I tend to lose focus of the ball until the follow through. Sometimes on the downswing I try to follow the ball and turn my head which leads to strong push shots.

I tend to hit solid when I force myself to keep looking at the ball through impact, but sometimes I forget to do that if I'm concentrating on my backswing position or weight transfer in the downswing.
post #7 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

The eyes are primarily connected to the conscious mind which is too slow and clumsy to wield proper influence during a golf swing.

What matters is how accurate and nuanced your subconscious mind senses the body, ie feel.
post #8 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

My eyes trail the club going back, which is causing problems for me. It allows the head to move forward easier and I'll have to cast the club, often hitting it fat. I do not want to look behind the ball. If anything I'd rather look ahead of the ball.
post #9 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I keep my eye on the ball if at all possible. I do this to really focus on hitting the inside quarter of the ball. Otherwise, I tend to swing outside in. Plus I like to watch the club contact the ground and see where my divot is.
post #10 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

Originally Posted by MiniMoe View Post
I look at the ball only, but in reality, I see the ball, the ground, my club, leaves and everything else as one big picture. My minds eye is focused on the target so I notice the ball, but I'm not "looking" at it.
Very well said.
post #11 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

In my mind golf is primarily about hand/eye coordination. I find I tend to make better contact when I always have the ball in my field of vision throughout the swing. I have a tendency to turn my head away from the ball when I reach the top of my backswing. This is a result of my shoulder turn pulling my neck and head in the same direction. I also might tuck my chin into my left shoulder in the backswing and that pushes my head away too. So I try to initiate my backswing by raising my chin so it isn't pushed back by the left shoulder so much. Obviously you can't maintain strict eye contact with the ball throughout the swing but as long as it's in my field of vision somewhere I stand a much better chance of my brain successfully doing the hand eye thingy and delivering the club head squarely to the ball.
post #12 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

Originally Posted by verse214 View Post
I noticed a few weeks ago the I don't even look at the ball during my backswing; i generally will look at the ball at address and my eyes move back along the target line as I make the backswing and during the downswing I don't see it because it will be gone.

Does anyone else do this? Or does everyone more or less keep their eye on the ball?

I started doing this because I created a habit of checking my position in the backswing by looking back. Since i've done that so much in the past, I've gotten so used to it. Now if I force myself to keep looking at the ball, my weight will sometimes get stuck and I will forget to weight shift back (or my weight stays at the ball, where my eyes are being forced to look).

It's not a big deal but I wanted to get a general consensus on what everyone does.

Thanks!
the instruction i use teaches that it is important to look at the back of the ball or ground right behind it at the top of the backswing but it's not necessary until then. then watch that spot as long as possible until impact while not peeking up.
post #13 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

With driver/woods, I get the best result looking right at the back of the ball. For chips, usually the front of the ball works best. No data for irons since I've never hit a clean one

There is a very strong correlation between good shots and having a visual memory of looking at the ball as I hit it. During the swing I don't usually consciously think about much besides the swing, but afterwards I either remember watching it or I don't. If not, it's quite likely to be a bad result...
post #14 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

Originally Posted by TempoIsKey View Post
Very well said.
I agree, that was a great explanation. I used to notice that some swing tendencies of mine (reverse pivot, incomplete backswing) were related to my desire to keep my eye on the ball with some faulty setup aspects present. Because I'm tall with large deltoids and had an upright posture, there was a point when the ball became obscured if I tried to get a full shoulder turn. This led to reverse pivoting and a truncated backswing with all sorts of problems. If you play the ball where it should be (ball more forward), and have the right posture with a good bend from the lower back (ball more out), you should still be able to see the ball in your visual fiend...though with around a 110° shoulder turn, it moves to the periphery of your left eye without straining your neck turn. You still see it, but you have to keep your mind's eye elsewhere.
post #15 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

always the ball, never the swing path. i have looked at swing path practicing but it is too much distraction for me changing vision from swing path back to ball.
post #16 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I do follow my club on the backswing. I watch the path of the club head to prevent my draws and hooks.

I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. I hit my driver and irons well, so why change.

I do this when I putt also.
post #17 of 19

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

I tried to do as you as an experiment, turn the head to watch the position going back, and it had the tendency to make me reverse pivot. I have to fight the tendency to dip the head forward on the backswing all the time so I don't need something to make it worse.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Re: Looking at the ball during the Backswing

Originally Posted by jambalaya View Post
I tried to do as you as an experiment, turn the head to watch the position going back, and it had the tendency to make me reverse pivot. I have to fight the tendency to dip the head forward on the backswing all the time so I don't need something to make it worse.
I can definitely see how moving your head would cause a reverse pivot; that said - i don't move my head - I move my eyes.

I tried looking right at the ball for the entire back swing at the range recently but it threw me off and didn't let me complete my back swing as properly as I wanted to and it didn't let me go after the ball. I noticed that my eyes do move back to the ball right before impact.

I have to play a round this weekend so i don't want to mess around with my swing too much- I used to look directly at the ball and would like to get back to that so it will be something that I will be working on through the winter after it gets way too cold to play.

All the responses have been interesting - keep them coming.
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