What can you learn about your golf game from a sniper?
In this 3 part series you will learn what it takes to improve your focus from a US Army Special Forces and SWAT team sniper. I conducted a brief interview with each and their responses are below. Each sniper asked to remain anonymous.
The HEAD Coach: How do you train to become a sniper?
US Army Sniper: Prior to even becoming a sniper, you must master the fundamentals of basic rifle marksmanship. This consists of mastering a steady position, your sight-picture, your breathing, and an immaculate trigger squeeze with follow through. With this I must say that “perfect practice makes perfect.”
Once that has been accomplished and you have proven that you can do this consistently, then if you are lucky enough to be given the opportunity to go to a sniper course, you will then be trained to be a sniper. Throughout your sniper course, you build on the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship. You learn how to read winds by using mirage and vegetation in order to make the most logical scientific “guess” of wind speed. Then you learn how to transform that into a mathematical formula to compensate how the wind will effect the round as it travels through the air.
You will also learn range estimation by using mathematical equations and a scientific “guess” mixed with a reticle which can be seen through a sniper scope. All of this will be mastered through time, patience, and mistakes. Our number 1 enemy is gravity and wind with gravity being a constant.
The HEAD Coach: How do you stay focused and calm during difficult/tense times?
US Army Sniper: Staying calm during difficult/intense times can only be accomplished by training during difficult and intense times. Training should be so difficult and intense that game time is easy.
The HEAD Coach: What separates a sniper from the rest?
US Army Sniper: The ability to be patient and intelligent enough to focus on multiple negative factors, compensate for those negative factors, and ends with a positive outcome that the sniper benefits from is what sets snipers apart from the rest.
The HEAD Coach: What is the single most important attribute a sniper must have?
US Army Sniper: The ability to compensate for the multiple factors that are working against you is an extremely important attribute to have.
The HEAD Coach: How can a golfer apply the focus and mindset of a sniper to their game?
US Army Sniper: Master the fundamentals of golfing, master range estimation, master compensating for windage, and understanding gravity; how it can work for us and against us.
Next week you will learn how to improve your focus from a SWAT team sniper. In Part III I will share how you can take this extremely useful information and apply it to your game. Until then, PICK YOUR TARGET, LOCK IN AND HIT IT !!!