Tip for Putting: Don’t keep your Eye on the Ball…

Bill Pennington, in a New York Times blog post, asked an interesting question:

Why do almost all golfers look at the ball when they putt instead of looking at the hole?

If you were handed a golf ball and told to roll it into the hole, you would look at the hole, not the ball, right? Why is the act of putting any different?  Pennington wrote the usual response is that to look away would cause a mis-hit, or worse, a whiff.

But would it?

His story quotes Dana Rader, one of Golf Digest’s top 50 instructors, who runs a golf academy in Charlotte, N.C:

“About 99 percent of my students putt better looking at the hole.  I make all my students try it, and they are amazed. When you look away from the target and stand over the ball for too long, your brain actually loses its memory of how hard to hit the ball. And sometimes where to hit it, too.”

That seems to make sense.

There is a scientific explanation  for why it is more effective to look at the target…

The brain more successfully interacts with the muscles of the shoulders, arms and hands with a continuous flow of visual information (i.e., the brain knows where the hole is because you are looking at it). But the second you take your eyes off the target, the brain has to interact with the muscles based on its memory of where the hole is.

Like anything in golf, the real question is, do you have the courage to try something others aren’t doing?  One thing’s for sure, nobody can argue with results.

Putt Different.

Your thoughts?


One Comment on "Tip for Putting: Don’t keep your Eye on the Ball…"

  1. Kudo’s for this statement; fully agree and have taught it since ’89

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