High Performance Golf 1: Performance-Based Golf – Antidote to the Mechanics Trap

21 Responses

  1. Alberto says:

    Hi Eric

    Have applied this to my game over the last few weeks and am seeing a big improvement. No more swing thoughts, just chose the club, visualize the shot, take a practice swing and then hit down on the ball. It truly works. Gone are the cluttered thoughts I would have prior to the actual shot. My confidence has improved no end and just 2 days ago shot a season best of 85……. am playing off a 24 hcp. Now I just have to take this to the course when am playing a tournament !!

    Many thanks for your insightful posts and also for the BLAST program. The BALANCE section has had a overwhelming positive effect on my game. Also the Course Management pdf is perfect, this has truly been an eye opener for me. Many thanks again!

    Finally, the very best of luck at Mesquite later this month. You’re probably right now training like mad, keep up the good work. Also just to add, you don’t need any luck, you’re a very professional guy who prepares extremely well and doesn’t leave anything to chance. Blow them away Eric, you’re the BEST!! And I mean that MOST sincerely.

    Best regards

  2. Fenton Taylor says:

    Interesting ideas Eric, I agree with what you are saying. You can’t force yourself into a “zone”, you have to let yourself go there. By the way, congrats on your 2nd long drive championship. I have competed against/ with you a few times in Mesquite and Des Moines. Thanks for the ideas.

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Thanks Fenton. Appreciate the props on the Worlds. Will we see you in Mesquite in September?

  3. Tony Reddy says:

    Having explored Zen, Sufism, etc – this makes so much sense! The mind is the key to whole body integration

  4. Andrew says:


    I have read how focusing on the target puts you in the future away from the present. Not sure the exact meaning of this, I guess it is referring feeling your swing and being aware throughout the swing not necisserily on technical aspects just being present.

    I would love to hear your thoghts on this.

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Andrew,
      Good question regarding target thoughts.
      Thinking about the target location is a present-centered activity. Thinking about the OUTCOME puts you in the future. Once you’ve hit the ball there is nothing you can do to change the outcome. But being aware of the target location, especially during the swing, tell your body how to orient during the swing. It gives your athletic brain a specific task. And your athletic brain operates only in the present. It is your Thinking brain and your Emotional brain that can consider the future. The better your Athletic brain knows where the target is, the more consistent you will be.

  5. Steve says:

    Thanks for the informative reply to my first response. One clarification question-is it better to focus during the swing on the specific target (I.e a spot in the fairway for example) or is it better to focus on the path or shape of the shot? My focus yesterday was a mental image of the spot I was positioning myself for and aiming at when I swung the club. That was the only thing on my mind during the swing.
    Thanks again

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Steve – Good question on where to focus during the swing. Here’s the issue: There is a difference between Focus and Concentration. Concentration is something you do “on” something. Like concentrating “on” a spot on the ball.
      But Focus has a directional or intentional element. In other words, we say that the “focus” or our efforts is to move the ball to the target.
      The trick is to be able to maintain your “focus” on the target, even while you are concentrating on the golf ball. The tendency for most golfers is to bring their focus back to the ball when they concentrate on it during the swing.
      That said, you want to maintain your “focus” on the target. The smaller and more precise the target, the better.
      Ultimately your goal is to communicate from your Thinking Brain to your Athletic Brain what you want to accomplish, in the form of a picture, so your body can get a feel for how to create the shot. A mental image of the path or shape could work, provided the path or shape leads TO something … the target. Otherwise it is just a swing. As I said to one of my students this weekend, the difference between a swing and a shot is that a shot always has a target.
      Since you mentioned that your “target spot” focus worked well for you, I’d stick with that.

  6. Robert (Robb) Bright says:

    I have been a student of yours for about 2 years. In that time my handicap moved from 15 to 6. More importantly I enjoy all aspects of the game more even preparation/ practice….I have a purpose now. Side note my driver club head speed increased from 100 to 118! This new video is just what was missing for me… Of late I slipped into a mechanics mode and was bringing that to the course. Thank you for your paradigm shifting, innovative, cerebral, teaching approach! Unmatched in results.
    Thank you!

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Wow Robb! That’s fantastic progress. Well done. I really appreciate hearing from you. Hope it is ok if I put your comments on the site as a testimonial for others to read.
      As for the paradigm shift – I really do think it is time the golf industry got on board with more advanced training methods. We’re starting a movement with Performance-Based Golf. I’ll have much more to say about it soon. It’s really helpful for me to hear your opinions and thoughts to let me know I am on the right track. Keep me posted on your progress. Cheers!

  7. Steve says:

    First of all thanks for sharing this video. It is really valuable and I am sure i will watch it again and again. Yesterday, ironically, after struggling on th e course the previous day, I placed my focus solely on the target. I improved dramatically, enjoyed the round, and even felt little or no stress. I clearly was not tied up in knots. This is not today that technique thought didn’t creep in once in awhile but for the most part my swing key for the round was focusing on the target, aligning towards the target, and finally swinging with the picture of my target in my mind throughout the swing. I hit many good shots (some bad ones too but didn’t let that change my focus). My question is when it is time to swing, is it a good idea to focus on that mental picture of the target, or is it better to swing with a clear mind i.e. no mental image. I feel that I am on the right track and this video really reinforces that. Any insight you could provide to this would be appreciated. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Steve – Really appreciate you taking the time to leave your comments. Glad you liked the video. First thing I want to say is that you are absolutely on the right track. And you even described what often happens when you let go of mechanical thoughts – you improved dramatically, enjoyed the round, and felt little stress.
      As for your question of what your mind should be doing during the swing: The answer will become more clear when we next cover the 3 brains, but in essence the clearer your image of what kind of shot you want to hit and where you want it to go (target), the better your results will be.
      Your left-side thinking brain does the analysis and comes up with a shot strategy. Then your right-side creative brain imagines the shot. That mental image is what you send to what I call your “Athletic” brain, which carries out the movement. It is the clarity of communication between the thinking brain and the athletic brain that allows tension-free swings. And the only form of communication the athletic brain understands is images. Not words.
      So by all means keep a clear image of the shot in your mind, and try to feel it in your swing. Then let your athletic brain take over. It’s a lot more fun playing golf that way. And you usually play much better – as you experienced.

  8. Don says:

    Hi Eric,

    My first comment was deleted for some reason so I will try again.

    I am a golf instructor and I have students that I help with their fundamentals. Most golfers can improve their fundamental and do but most do not improve the scoring part more than five shots. I am interested in learning more about your three pillars.

    I first saw you in a video when you were with a site on the internet about getting more distance. I know that you are very gifted in the long distance area. The most important gift you have is communication. You are a gifted speaker and very well educated in the field of golf in many ways. I look forward in getting more info.

    Thanks for your time

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Don,
      Always great to hear from another Pro! Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. If there is any way I can help you or if you want to know more about performance-based teaching for your students, please let me know. Cheers!

  9. Mike O'Donnell says:

    Golf season hasn’t quite arrived here in Grand Rapids, MI but, I’m going to keep reviewing this presentation as it meshes very easily with and reinforces concepts I agree with. Thanks Eric for sharing.

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Mike – Thanks for leaving a comment. I grew up in Michigan, so I know what it is like to wait for spring.
      I’ll have a lot more coming soon on Performance-Based Golf. It’s a heck of a lot more fun than always grinding away at technique.

  10. Michael Gregora says:

    Thanks very much Eric
    I think this is a great way to approach the game, from one who’s head has been full of swing mechanics for many years. I will follow your advice at my next game.
    Kind regards
    Michael Gregora

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Michael – Thanks for posting a comment. Thinking about mechanics is great … on the range.
      But when you play it is your ability to retain the memory of the target location that frees up your swing for more consistency and greater accuracy. Letting go of mechanical thoughts will be hard. But worth the effort. I encourage you to be patient, and at first just observe your thoughts when you play. Awareness is always the first step toward change.

  11. Fred says:


    Well done. To me the crux of the situation is simply this. Choice. Does one choose to be good at golf or not and what effort is that person willing to put forward to be effectual?

    Keep up the good work.

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Fred – Appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. You are right about choice. And while I agree with you that improvement is a function of the effort put in, it’s also my job as a PGA professional to help grow the game. What I like about Performance Based Golf is that it is simpler for golfers at all levels. I believe it is a faster path to a better golf game for those who are willing to put in the time. But for those golfers who can’t, I believe it is a simpler way to have more fun and enjoy the game more. Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.

  1. 2013-04-30

    […] POSTS: Antidote to the Mechanics Trap The Performance Pyramid Journey to the Worlds 2012 (see the whole […]