A key element of short game practice is developing your skills of visualization and feel. The more you can use your eyes to tell your body what it needs to do to hit it the required distance, the better your execution.
The benefits of External Focus
External focus is about focusing on the intention, instead of the mechanics of the shot. Although there’s benefits to being more “internally focused” during a part of your short game practice (block practice), there’s no place for it on the course. Practicing getting highly engaged with a shot, via your senses, is just as important as technical short game practice. Your results are going to be much better being target focused and using your visualization skills.
Essential Short Game Practice
During your short game practice, experiment with as many different shots as possible (random practice for golf) which will teach your body to adapt and build trust and commitment to the shot. You’re practicing giving up conscious control of your swing. A simple technique to move towards this, is to picture exactly where the ball will land (and the trajectory) on the green and focus upon that before every short game shot. If you can learn to focus as tightly as possible on this spot, you will be amazed at how much closer you get to it and how much better your scores become.
During your short game practice, hit different shots requiring different landing spots. Place a tee on the green for each shot for your “landing spot” and try to get as close as possible to the tees. For shots of lower trajectory, that landing spot will be closer to you to allow the ball to run out more.
Imagine holing out every shot within 50 yards before you play it and you’ll get a lot closer to doing so.
Make getting engaged with the visual and the feel of the shot during your pre shot routine (instead of worrying about your mechanics and the consequences) and I’ve no doubt you’ll see your short game handicap come down.