Don’t Look At The Ball- Part 2

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Last week (read HERE if you’d like to catch up) I talked about more issues with putting, and how I was going to  try something new- the Jordan Spieth “look-at-the-hole-not-the-ball” method of putting.

I’ve been to the practice putting green a few times in the past week to experiment, and wanted to share what I’ve learned and continue to learn.

It Works

For the most part, on long lag putts, I’m WAY closer to getting the pace and distance than I usually am with the conventional method.  The hand/eye coordination idea is actually working.

But as you would expect, it takes some practice and getting used to.

The Downside

There are two issues to this technique of putting, and both will take some practice:

  • Pulling them left–  That is logical, when you think about it.  You’re looking at the hole, so it’s really easy for your body to “pull” to the left (if you’re a right-hander).  You’re looking down your left shoulder, and it’s easy to open up a little without thinking about it.

 

  • Grounding/stubbing the putter–  I’m not doing this nearly as often as pulling putts, but about one out of ten putts I will hit it fat, if you will.  Since I’m not looking at the ball, I’m trusting that I will hit it solid, and there are times I don’t, but occasionally I will actually hit the ground first.  I’m not sure why I do that or what causes it.   I have gotten better about it the more I’ve practiced it.  I’m pretty confident I will get to where that doesn’t happen.

My solutions, to date, have been to try and look with my peripheral vision and make sure I’m stroking the putt down the target line.  When I do that, I’m much more likely to be pretty close to my aim point.

And standing a little straighter so that club hovers just off the ground (thanks ADM Broadway for that tip) has helped with the stubbing of the putter.

What I’ve Learned

  1. I have no pride when it comes to putting.  I’d close my eyes and putt back-handed while I whistle Dixie if I thought it would get me within tap-in range on putts.
  2. As odd as it might sound, I’m much better using this new technique on uphill, slow putts.  And I’m still a little more consistent using the traditional “look-at-the-ball” technique on faster, downhill lag putts.  I have no idea why that’s the case, but it seems to be each time I’ve tried it out.
  3. As you probably know, Jordan Spieth sometimes looks at the hole on shorter putts, but not so much on longer putts.  I have tried this on short putts also, and so far the jury is out. I can’t tell any real difference.  I can miss a short putt with any technique.
  4. The final and most important lesson is to not be afraid of trying something new.  Show me a golfer that doesn’t have at least two putters.  Every golfer is looking for a way to putt better, whether by using a different putter, or a different grip (either on the putter itself, or the way of holding the club once your hands are on it), or, in this case, a different aiming point.

I still haven’t given it a shot during a round of golf yet.  I’ve been busy actually doing real “get paid in folding money” kind of consulting work for a couple of cities around here, so the free time (not to mention acceptable weather) has been less available than during the summer.  But I’m committed to at least one more practice session, then taking it to the course where every putt counts.

When that happens, I’ll let you know how it works out.

 

As always, thanks for reading, and Enjoy Shooting Your Age!

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