5 Ways To Putt
Which one are you?
WHAT HE SEES
HOW TO PRACTICE
The “line/speed putter” sees the ball travel on a line toward the hole and fall into it at his desired speed. Because of his acute vision and attention to detail, the line/speed putter is the most successful of the five.
1. Place 8-10 balls in a circle about three feet from the hole. 2. Close your right eye to eliminate unnecessary right-side peripheral vision. (Lefties, do the opposite.) 3. Stroke each ball with a different speed. Some should go in firm, some should just fall over the front edge, while others should be about medium speed.
Note: For putters 2 through 5, your visual focus over the ball should be an image so clear in your mind’s eye,that the ball is a blur. Hold that image as long as you can after the ball leaves the putter face. This will take practice. Also, you’ll have your best success if you start your stroke as soon as your eyes return to the ball. The longer you stand over the ball, the more your image will fade. Your speed control will be off.
The better you can picture your target (i.e., the hole, spot, a line between your ball and the hole, or the speed of the ball into the hole), the better your putting will be. But you don’t have to be on the putting green, or even have a putter in your hand to train yourself to be more visual. Take a look at the photo. I’m looking at an emergency bell that’s just opposite the driving range at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, where I teach. I practice visualization by staring at the bell and keeping its image in my mind and then looking at the ball.
However, when I look at the ball, I don’t see the ball. Rather, I “see” the bell. It’s my target after all, and I want to make my stroke with my target in mind. You can try this anywhere, even in your office. Stare at a door handle, then look at a wall while retaining the door handle’s image. You should be able to see that image for five seconds, and while this might not sound like very long, it takes practice to hold an image for five seconds, to the exclusion of anything else. With enough practice doing this, you’ll have stronger images of your target. (Just don’t do it when your boss is around!)
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