Look at the hole when practising your putts
I learn a lot by watching the best golfers in the world on the TV. That brings me to this month’s tip on putting.
I consider myself to be a poor putter. After watching some of the top players, I picked up this little tip. It is related to judgement of distance while putting, certainly the hardest of the 3 facets of the art. While doing a practice swing, you probably do what I used to and look at the ground at a point slightly to your side of the golf ball. When you think about it, this is a complete waste of time. What are you learning by looking at the ground while you swing the putter? Nothing at all about the distance required for the putt you are about to play. It is much like gauging how hard to throw a ball to a target and looking at your hand while practicing the movement. You wouldn’t do that, would you? Instead, you would look at the eventual target and let your brain soak up the info it needs to judge the required power to complete the action.
So, when putting, why not look at the hole. This way, while swinging the putter you are getting the info your brain requires to know how hard to swing the putter to send the ball the distance needed. When you first try this I guarantee you will feel weird and doubt that you are learning anything. Trust me and stick with it, it really does work. Another danger is not to swing the putter head too near the ball for fear of making accidental contact, although the recent rule change on this makes that less of a worry.
Continue to use this tip and practice it on the putting green and very shortly you will see improvement in your distance control on the greens. Remember, if it’s good enough for the top 100 players in the world it should be good enough for your golf game.
By Jon Woodroffe – World of Golf London Master Professional
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