I have been using this method of looking at the hole for “Putting” for the past 10 years and for me there is no better way!
I first started using this unique putting method after reading a book by Tim Gallwey called the Inner Game of Golf. Still my favourite book on “How to take your golf game to the course”.
There are some significant benefits to this putting method of looking at the hole…..
1.Your head remains’s still as your eyes are looking directly at your target…..there is no need to take a peep!!!
2.You have a clear sense of direction
3.Since you are not looking at the ball there are no mental blocks or fear of making a fluent stroke
Golf is one of the few targeting type sports where you don’t actually look at your target while performing the action to hit the target. Sports such as basketball, darts, baseball, and bowling or rely on you focusing on a target. Whatever you are focusing on your body will do it’s best to perform the necessary action of hitting that particular target.
When I first tried this putting style I concentrated on using my hands and wrist’s to make the stroke. If I were to be totally honest my putting during this transitional stage was as good as any golfer at my club. Most of my playing partners could not believe I could sink putts by looking at the hole. What astounded them was the amount of long distance putts I dropped…..they could understand how this technique would work for the short putts but NOT the long putts.
Some were even moved to say that it was cheating and the technique or method should be banned…..this only happened in “Match Play” when I would sink putt’s to win the hole or the match. When you do something different that works people notice and I have to laugh when they say “I see it but I don’t believe it”.
Since becoming an accredited PuttingZone coach I have incorporated the use of the shoulder’s and NOT the hands into my putting routine of looking at the hole. This one change has allowed me to make more birdies than I ever made before.
I did a bit of research on “putting while looking at the hole” and I was absolutely stunned to find that Golf Magazine had published an article by David Dusek (Deputy Editor,Golf.com) on this very subject. They actually published result’s of a research study carried out by Eric Alpenfels(Golf Magazine top 100 teacher) and Dr Bob Christina. They tested 40 players with handicaps ranging from 8-36.
When asked to putt while looking at the hole to distances of 28-43 feet the average length of the putt’s ended up 28 inches short…….when asked to putt normally the golfers left themselves short by 37 inches. That extra 9 inches can make the difference between 2 putt’s and 3 putt’s.
So what can I say……looking at the hole while putting is a very viable proposition for golfer’s who have an open mind to making positive changes in their putting.
How to predict the roll-out distance past the bottom of a tier added by gravity alone and then manage the remaining distance to the hole after that with touch.
Geoff Mangum of the PuttingZone.com describes how the fall line straight uphill thru the cup serves the golfer as a barrier or destination that defines the touch for the curving path of the break (3 factors for break: slope steepness and direction, green rolling speed, and ball rolling speed).