Should You Have a Wide or Narrow Focus?

Your personality dictates if you should have a wide or narrow focus. At Mental Golf Type you can take a free test and we can determine which focus is best for you. You can take the level 1 core concepts online course or contact me for one on one sessions, but what is a wide and narrow focus?

For years I battled between these two types of focus. Having read Bob Rotella’s books which I can recommend, Bob always suggests aiming small miss to miss small. This is also referred to as a narrow focus. 

You pick the smallest target you can in the distance and hone in on it, with the theory that if you miss that target your miss will be less than if you aim at a larger area. In theory, this sounds correct. 

Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

He suggests trying to hole shots inside 100 yards and seeing small lines on the putting green tracking into the hole. For some, this is the best approach and worthy of a trial, but it doesn’t work for everyone as is often preached. 

The flip side of this is to have a wide focus. A wide focus would be to pick an area in the distance like two flag poles on the range or the spot between two trees on either side of the fairway and see multiple lines of getting the ball there.

We often hear when putting from a distance to ‘try and get it inside the dustbin lid.’ This would be an example of having a wide focus

Putting to a coin or a tee in the putting green is a drill that is designed to make the hole look bigger. This would be a good drill for someone with a narrow focus. However, reversely for someone hard-wired to have a wide focus, this would cause them stress and possibly frustration. 

In the great book, The Lost Art of Putting, Gary Nicol and Karl Morris suggest seeing a thick line like a gutter running to the hole instead of a thin line. This was revolutionary for me and an example of having a wide focus. 

I played with these different methods for focus for years, sometimes changing focus mid-round. You can trial them too and try to determine which works best for you. It was only when I took the Mental Golf Type Level 1 core concepts course that I found out for certain which suited my personality best. I am hard-wired to have a wide focus, and what’s more a narrow focus causes me to enter stress mode and inhibits my performance and freedom of movement. 

So give a wide and narrow focus a try next time you play or practice and see how it impacts your game. One will suit you better than the other.

If you want to know what’s best for you, and how your brain is hard-wired to act then take the free personality Mental Golf Type test and take the level 1 training course or contact me on or through my blog and we can go through your mental golf type in a one on one call. 

I hope this post impacts your golf game and you’re settling in for a lovely winter holiday

Michael Parry (M.Ed, PGA & MGT qualified)

Stockholm in the snow

Late November 2022

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