Putting Epiphany -The Eyes Have It
You don’t know this, but I started my golf club design career in the putter category. During a period of about 8 years, I must have read every putting book and article, viewed every putting video that was out there. And I developed my own set of “putting basics” that are a level apart from those “mechanical” principles upon which most putting instructors dwell on.

I have earned five putter patents and during a period in the 1980s, spent time on tour promoting putters to the players and even doing a little putting teaching around these “new” ideas. I’m in the process of compiling all that information into a book, “The Natural Approach To Better Putting”, which I hope to publish by next Spring.

All that said, my own putting has not been to my standards for some time, and so I recently re-visited the manuscript to refresh myself on my own basics. My “natural approach” is built intensely around the concept of your own natural eye/hand coordination, and the key to that is visual acuteness on your target – you’ll putt where you look essentially.

In my case, I wear bifocals on a daily basis, but a few years ago had a pair of single vision glasses made for playing golf, initially finding that the bifocal caused me to have “weirdness” at address. What I hadn’t realized was that as my prescription has changed over the past couple of years, my ability to see the ball and hole really sharply on shorter putts has deteriorated. This hit me on the course last Friday. So, Sunday, as an experiment, I played my regular game Sunday and 9-holes late Wednesday afternoon wearing my regular glasses, bifocals and all. The difference was amazing!!!

I was seeing breaks better than ever, the ball was sharp and crisp visually, and the hole clear as could be on the shorter putts. I made all but a couple of my short ones, and made 5-6 putts in those 27 holes that were in the 15-25 foot range.

So, my whole point is that we cannot discount the importance of visual sharpness to good putting, and if you wear glasses at all, make sure you have the same visual help on the course.

Oh, and I did re-visit and re-incorporate one of my most simple putting basics. As you line up your putt, you’ll be very visually focuses on the putter itself, making sure that you get it aligned just right. But as you are ready to take the putter back, shift your visual focus from there to the front edge of the ball, the side toward the hole. That causes you to accelerate through impact, not just to the back of the ball. And it helps you stay down that split second longer that ensures crisp contact.

Try it and see if it helps.
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[ comments ]
JWHpurist says:
As usual your points are "Spot On". One other point you might consider is "Cross Handed Technique" a style that both Palmer & Nickalus wished they had used in the latter parts of their careers. Check that out, as it has permitted me to make more consistent contact and follow thru over the years and record lower numbers of putts per round. JWHpurist
6/15/09
 
falcon50driver says:
JWHPURIST Where have you recorded these great scores you keep bragging about? All we see here is some 9 hole course you played twice, that's just a do-over, I'm with toddrobb, you need to put up or shut up.
6/15/09
 
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