Out of the bunker: Widen your target area
By Hans Kersting, Golf Professional
Friday, September 1st, 2017

I’ve been working with my students lately on how to free up their golf swings. Somehow, we all seem to fall into the trap of tightening up when our immediate target comes into focus.

To improve upon this tendency, it is necessary to change the way we practice hitting balls.

Anybody who has spent time on a practice range recognizes that there are always targets to hit towards. Generally, these targets are actual flagsticks.

I’ll have my students aim towards these flagsticks while working on their wedge shots.  However, as the distances become greater, our target line becomes wider.

By widening your target area for longer shots, you are training yourself to have a much freer golf swing.

For example, rather than aiming directly at a flagstick 150 yards away, we will focus on keeping our shot between the left and right edges of the green. This could be as many as 20 yards wide.

Our goal is to hit a golf shot that starts and finishes between those edges.

We will continue this practice all the way up through the driver.  Nothing frustrates me more than watching players become frustrated with themselves when their drive doesn’t go directly at a flagstick that is way off in the distance.

This frustration eventually creates tension in your swing, and you end up trying to aim your golf ball at the intended target.

Stop aiming, and start swinging freely.

The idea of widening the target area while practicing has produced incredible results for my students.

Suddenly, they no longer feel that they must be so precise with their shots, and they end up hitting better shots because of it. Tension is a major problem in the golf swing, and by widening your target area at practice, you will find that tension begins to disappear.

Continue this way of thinking on the golf course, and I can assure you that your ball striking will improve.

About the author

Hans Kersting

Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Out of the bunker: Widen your target area

I’ve been working with my students lately on how to free up their golf swings. Somehow, we all seem to fall into the trap of tightening up when our immediate target comes into focus.

To improve upon this tendency, it is necessary to change the way we practice hitting balls.

Anybody who has spent time on a practice range recognizes that there are always targets to hit towards. Generally, these targets are actual flagsticks.

I’ll have my students aim towards these flagsticks while working on their wedge shots.  However, as the distances become greater, our target line becomes wider.

By widening your target area for longer shots, you are training yourself to have a much freer golf swing.

For example, rather than aiming directly at a flagstick 150 yards away, we will focus on keeping our shot between the left and right edges of the green. This could be as many as 20 yards wide.

Our goal is to hit a golf shot that starts and finishes between those edges.

We will continue this practice all the way up through the driver.  Nothing frustrates me more than watching players become frustrated with themselves when their drive doesn’t go directly at a flagstick that is way off in the distance.

This frustration eventually creates tension in your swing, and you end up trying to aim your golf ball at the intended target.

Stop aiming, and start swinging freely.

The idea of widening the target area while practicing has produced incredible results for my students.

Suddenly, they no longer feel that they must be so precise with their shots, and they end up hitting better shots because of it. Tension is a major problem in the golf swing, and by widening your target area at practice, you will find that tension begins to disappear.

Continue this way of thinking on the golf course, and I can assure you that your ball striking will improve.