TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Welcome to another edition of Tara’s Tee Box! Seven Hills Golf and Country Club’s golf professional Tara Roden will be writing golf tips this season exclusively for the North Island Gazette.

Tara’s Tee Box: Target, commit, and go

“You only need to commit to your choices and where you want the ball to go.”

The fastest way to improve your golf game and score is to improve your mindset on the golf course. When you execute a golf shot, think of where you want the ball to go, not how to get it there.

Golf is a game of choices and being committed to the choices with confidence can improve your chances of positive results without much change in technique.

First ask yourself, where is the target (be precise)? How far is it? What club is best for this shot? What length of swing and pace of swing is required? If you have not committed to these choices, then you are not ready to make the shot. In the game of golf, these decisions can be made as you are walking up to the tee box, walking to your ball on the fairway, putting on the green, bunker, or if you are stuck behind a tree.

– Where is your next target?

– How Far?

– What Club?

– What Swing?

Give yourself a few seconds, and then commit to it.

Your preshot routine can be as quick as five to 15 seconds, from taking the club into your hands, setting up to the ball, taking your practice swing and then excecuting. The whole time, you can be in the mindset of direction and distance, not in the “how to”. The “how to” is developed over time on the practice tee and needs to be left there, so you can commit to your choices without distraction.

Easier said than done, yes, but if you have practiced this over time, you can build confidence in each shot when you only need to commit to your choices and where you want the ball to go.

Ready, aim, fire.

Tara Roden has been a golf professional for 28 years and is now working at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club.

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