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Putt---looking at the hole


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Poll: Putting looking at the hole (214 member(s) have cast votes)

Have you ever tried putting looking at the hole?

  1. Never (59 votes [27.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 27.57%

  2. Only on the putting green (65 votes [30.37%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.37%

  3. yes, but quit (49 votes [22.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 22.90%

  4. I currently putt this way (41 votes [19.16%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.16%

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#1 BigFishSmallPond

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:14 PM

This spring was spent recovering from a 3rd right shoulder rotator cuff surgery.  I have been able hence to spend significant time putting and chipping in the last month.  Putting, a weakness of mine came to the forefront and I experimented putting looking at the hole.  I have been putting this way now exclusively for the last month and it has, to this point, totally revolutionized my putting game and attitude.   It has brought confidence where I only had wishful thinking before and I am beginning to learn to try and make every putt.  I am very open to hearing from all on this subject.


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#2 ChipDriver

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:29 PM

View PostBigFishSmallPond, on 06 July 2011 - 06:14 PM, said:

This spring was spent recovering from a 3rd right shoulder rotator cuff surgery.  I have been able hence to spend significant time putting and chipping in the last month.  Putting, a weakness of mine came to the forefront and I experimented putting looking at the hole.  I have been putting this way now exclusively for the last month and it has, to this point, totally revolutionized my putting game and attitude.   It has brought confidence where I only had wishful thinking before and I am beginning to learn to try and make every putt.  I am very open to hearing from all on this subject.

More to the point - I look at the spot to which I want to roll the ball - sometimes that is the hole, and sometimes it's somewhere else, like the high point of the arc.

Either way - it works tremendously for me for over 4 years.

#3 BigFishSmallPond

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:21 PM

Nice chipdrive.  I have noticed one big benefit for me.  I don't anticipate the contact.  That problem, for me, came from trying SO very hard to keep my eyes on the ball throughout the stroke.  Today with just a 75% shoulder I shot a 31 on my par 34 home course.  I'll try to not get windy with this, but 1 putted the 1st, 2nd holes for par, 3rd hole for birdie, 2 putted 4th, then 0 putt on 5th (made putt from off the green for par!:clapping:  6th hole made a 12 footer for eagle, then had a 3 footer on 7 for par, and stupid me, (I'm still learning to get comfortable with eyes on the hole for 3 footers and in...but things like this will get me there) I looked at the ball on that putt and MISSED!  Posted Image   Told the Priest I was playing with I'll get it back on 8, a 165 par 3, well made a 10 footer for birdie then one putted #9 for par.  Like I said, I like how it takes the "contact" anticipation out of the shot, I think what you do accomplishes that also!

View PostChipDriver, on 06 July 2011 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostBigFishSmallPond, on 06 July 2011 - 06:14 PM, said:

This spring was spent recovering from a 3rd right shoulder rotator cuff surgery.  I have been able hence to spend significant time putting and chipping in the last month.  Putting, a weakness of mine came to the forefront and I experimented putting looking at the hole.  I have been putting this way now exclusively for the last month and it has, to this point, totally revolutionized my putting game and attitude.   It has brought confidence where I only had wishful thinking before and I am beginning to learn to try and make every putt.  I am very open to hearing from all on this subject.

More to the point - I look at the spot to which I want to roll the ball - sometimes that is the hole, and sometimes it's somewhere else, like the high point of the arc.

Either way - it works tremendously for me for over 4 years.


#4 maverick

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:05 AM

I noticed that I do this at times and recently have tried to stop. It seems that when I do not look at the hole (just as I strike the ball) it can go off line. Maybe I should stop trying to look at the ball so much and just be more natural and relaxed.

#5 swbyps

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:19 AM

I have a friend who does this and he is pretty spot on inside 10ft. I tried it for about 10 minutes but I just couldnt get over not looking at the object I intend to hit.


#6 Arsey51

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 03:20 AM

I've now been putting looking at the hole for 2 months.  I'm also facing the hole, and using a long (Reeso-Cook) Face-On putter.  I took to it immediately, and my putting averages initially stayed the same as conventional putting.  As I've developed and practiced my own technique, I'm averaging about 4 fewer putts per round....Not bad considering how short a time I've been doing it.
  I haven't kept much in the way of statistics, but I feel more confident over all putts, and that confidence is (IMO) the greatest benefit of looking at the hole.  There's no longer any doubt about where the hole is, and speed and distance are intuitive.  I think whether you putt sideways or facing the hole, looking at the hole has a more natural feel and would work well for most who tried it with an open mind.  
   That being said, I take a lot of grief from friends and get lots of questions from total strangers...some of whom walk over from adjacent holes during their round.

#7 BigFishSmallPond

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:51 AM

:good: Maverick, I personally have to concentrate on two things right now.  #1 for me is Lining up correctly.  I mark a line on my ball (easy enough to find those gadgets to do put on that permanent marker line)  and I take a lot of care to ensure my ball is "lined" up the way I like.  This, for me is critical because I have a dominant right eye.  My line naturally feels right when in fact I'm lined up right of the target.   When I'm confident of the line I line my putter to that line when I move into the ball.  #2 for me is grip pressure, I take a mental note of the grip pressure and make sure my hands are not tight.  This, for me, helps the actual swing of the club to swing proper when I stroke not looking at the ball. :hi: This done, I trust my head cocking to "tune my internal metronome",  sight my putter up, turn look at the hole and stroke.  Being relaxed you'll not struggle so much to keep still also, you'll stay down all the time until you see them fall.  My immediate feedback was I now feel I have a proper grasp on distance.  Before I was ok with my ball being on the green.  Now I can't wait to get on the green and putt!  My only and biggest concern now is that huge human issue called paranoia.  I think if they keep falling, that too will disappear.  Good luck, and yes, just relax! :wave:  

View Postmaverick, on 07 July 2011 - 12:05 AM, said:

I noticed that I do this at times and recently have tried to stop. It seems that when I do not look at the hole (just as I strike the ball) it can go off line. Maybe I should stop trying to look at the ball so much and just be more natural and relaxed.

Edited by BigFishSmallPond, 07 July 2011 - 07:54 AM.


#8 BigFishSmallPond

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:08 AM

Ahh yes, the mental issues of doing this.  When I studied this out, I noted two things.  The editor from Golf Mag says this, "Conventional wisdom says that when you putt, you should look at the ball for the duration of your stroke, and keep your eyes on that spot until well after the ball has been struck."  Read more: http://www.golf.com/...l#ixzz1RQLP8HP0  But the quote comes from the article entitled, "The New Way to Putt:  Look at the hole".  There are examples of focusing on the intended issue, for example the rim playing basketball.  Hence the object is not to strike the ball but rather, to stoke it into the hole, therefore the target is the hole and contract with the ball as merely a step in that process.  :friends: They, (Golf Mag and a Top 100 teacher) did a test on this.  "The Unconventional Theory: You should look at the hole not the ball from the moment you set the club behind the ball until you complete your putting stroke."   I won't elaborate too much, they tested 40 players, the results?  Results:  "The Shocking Results!  Long putts end up significantly closer to the hole when you look at the hole while making your stroke. On average, after all was said and done, on putts between 28 feet and 43 feet in length, the experimental group (those who looked at the hole) had slightly less than 28 inches remaining to the hole.   By comparison, on the same long putts, the control group (those who looked at the ball) left themselves nearly 37 inches remaining to the hole. That means the experimental group was 24 percent closer, 9 inches that could be the difference between a two-putt and a three-putt.  :beach:  

View Postswbyps, on 07 July 2011 - 12:19 AM, said:

I have a friend who does this and he is pretty spot on inside 10ft. I tried it for about 10 minutes but I just couldnt get over not looking at the object I intend to hit.




#9 BigFishSmallPond

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:33 AM

:diablo:  GRIEF?  Thats not grief, 4 strokes a round?  They're all jealous, and good for you.  You're an inspiration to me!  :drinks:  All I know is proof is in the pudding, and my last 3 9's has me with 12, 13 and 11 putts, a total of 33 putts in 27 holes?  That is insane for me.  I think I'll stick with this method and hope to get comforable with it in pressure situations.  

View PostArsey51, on 07 July 2011 - 03:20 AM, said:

I've now been putting looking at the hole for 2 months.  I'm also facing the hole, and using a long (Reeso-Cook) Face-On putter.  I took to it immediately, and my putting averages initially stayed the same as conventional putting.  As I've developed and practiced my own technique, I'm averaging about 4 fewer putts per round....Not bad considering how short a time I've been doing it.
  I haven't kept much in the way of statistics, but I feel more confident over all putts, and that confidence is (IMO) the greatest benefit of looking at the hole.  There's no longer any doubt about where the hole is, and speed and distance are intuitive.  I think whether you putt sideways or facing the hole, looking at the hole has a more natural feel and would work well for most who tried it with an open mind.  
   That being said, I take a lot of grief from friends and get lots of questions from total strangers...some of whom walk over from adjacent holes during their round.


#10 spoonhead

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:40 AM

I used this method 3 years ago for an entire season, and it worked great!
I still do it in practice sessions but have not had to use it for a real round of golf nowadays.  It really, really helped getting the ball to the hole. I was always short, always.
I have improved to where I am no longer embaresassed by my putting.
I see no reason to not try it.


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#11 Buddyjay

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 03:23 AM

I have used this method a few different times. When my putting went "south" last year, I tried looking at the hole and it worked well. It helped me gauge distance. By looking at the hole, your body/mind reacts to the distance you are seeing. When you throw a ball to someone, you never look at the ball, you focus on the target. This is a little different since the ball is stationary and you have to "hit" the ball.  But I have had no trouble putting the ball this way. BUT, I am old school and eventually go back to the other way. I usually do this when the 'no look at ball' way stops working for me.
But hwen I have trouble getting the ball to the hole, I always revert back to looking at the hole.

#12 jb93

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 05:51 AM

Tried it on practice green.  Tendency was to hammer the ball well past the hole - usually on a good line though.  Did not work for me.

#13 golfbum9

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 12:20 PM

The benefit of looking at the hole is that it enables you to release the putter head thru the ball and down the line without thinking about it. A buddy of mine/ assist pro that was having trouble with his distance control and pushing short putts - until he began looking at the hole throughout the entire stroke. Works great for him and still does it to this day.
It is my first recommendation when someone is having trouble with distance. Well, that and lie angle.

jb93 - try and roll the ball instead of hit.

Edited by golfbum9, 16 July 2011 - 12:27 PM.


#14 maverick

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 09:16 PM

View Postgolfbum9, on 16 July 2011 - 12:20 PM, said:

The benefit of looking at the hole is that it enables you to release the putter head thru the ball and down the line without thinking about it. A buddy of mine/ assist pro that was having trouble with his distance control and pushing short putts - until he began looking at the hole throughout the entire stroke. Works great for him and still does it to this day.
It is my first recommendation when someone is having trouble with distance. Well, that and lie angle.

jb93 - try and roll the ball instead of hit.

I never heard of this until I read the first post. I tried it several times on the practice green and it does not seem to help me. I have not had distance problems. My only problem is getting it in the hole. ;-) Since I started using an 8802 style putter, one DASS and one carbon (bb2-H, SS#6) I putt good with either one. I wish the DASS had the FIT face but they both work great. My problem is which one to use.

#15 SCFgolfs

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 10:24 PM

I've know a player who does this and is a really good putter and +handicap player.  Just deadly from all distances.  It solves the problem most players have of peeking/moving head during the stroke, and also seems to help with distance and depth perception.  I only really do it as a drill- first I heard about it was in a book somewhere.


#16 TimV

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:50 AM

I look at the line. I line up my putter and body. I then look up at the hole along the line I determined earlier. I then follow that line back to the ball with my eyes and as I reach the ball begin my backstroke stopping my eyes on the ball. As I stroke through the ball I allow my head to come up on line again but not until the ball has left the putter face completely.
And I putt pretty well.

#17 QWKDTSN

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:42 PM

I voted "Yes, but quit".  I practice this on the putting green sometimes and have put it in play on the course, but I never do as well on the course as I do on the practice green.  On the green it takes me a few strokes to figure out the speed, during which I wildly blow the ball by the hole or come up way short.  After that, I'm money - generally better speed than putting while looking at the ball.  Once I get out on the course, because I haven't been rolling balls over and over, I lose my feel between the tee and green and blow the ball by the hole or come up way short.

#18 Golfer60

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:19 PM

I've been putting this way for about 2 months.  I'm amazed at how easy it is to get the ball on line while looking at the hole.  The other great benefit for me is better distance control.  I consider myself a good putter before the change but I left the ball short of the hole too often.  When looking at the hole, I usually put the ball past the hole which allows me to make more putts.   I rarely come up short.  I'm still not sure what exactly changes in my stroke when I look at the hole.  I think it's that my head remains perfectly still, and I take a shorter more compact backstroke with a better follow through.  When I look at the ball, my misses are usually pushes to the right.

I've experimented on the putting green with alternating between looking at the hole and looking at the ball.  I consistently make more putts while looking at the hole.  It's starting to feel more natural to look at the hole than at the ball.  The only issue is my playing partners say it freaks them out to see me make long puts without looking at the ball.

#19 golfbum9

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:21 AM

View PostGolfer60, on 02 September 2011 - 03:19 PM, said:

I've been putting this way for about 2 months.  I'm amazed at how easy it is to get the ball on line while looking at the hole.  The other great benefit for me is better distance control.  I consider myself a good putter before the change but I left the ball short of the hole too often.  When looking at the hole, I usually put the ball past the hole which allows me to make more putts.   I rarely come up short.  I'm still not sure what exactly changes in my stroke when I look at the hole.  I think it's that my head remains perfectly still, and I take a shorter more compact backstroke with a better follow through.  When I look at the ball, my misses are usually pushes to the right.

I've experimented on the putting green with alternating between looking at the hole and looking at the ball.  I consistently make more putts while looking at the hole.  It's starting to feel more natural to look at the hole than at the ball.  The only issue is my playing partners say it freaks them out to see me make long puts without looking at the ball.
That, and now you're not thinking about the stroke, line or the distance. Simply deciding/ commiting to the "road" or "line" and watching the ball roll.

This is a really good way to putt for those who tense up over the ball and think too much. And/Or have a jabby or decelerating stroke.

Edited by golfbum9, 03 September 2011 - 10:21 AM.


#20 ChipDriver

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:48 AM

View Postgolfbum9, on 03 September 2011 - 10:21 AM, said:

View PostGolfer60, on 02 September 2011 - 03:19 PM, said:

I've been putting this way for about 2 months.  I'm amazed at how easy it is to get the ball on line while looking at the hole.  The other great benefit for me is better distance control.  I consider myself a good putter before the change but I left the ball short of the hole too often.  When looking at the hole, I usually put the ball past the hole which allows me to make more putts.   I rarely come up short.  I'm still not sure what exactly changes in my stroke when I look at the hole.  I think it's that my head remains perfectly still, and I take a shorter more compact backstroke with a better follow through.  When I look at the ball, my misses are usually pushes to the right.

I've experimented on the putting green with alternating between looking at the hole and looking at the ball.  I consistently make more putts while looking at the hole.  It's starting to feel more natural to look at the hole than at the ball.  The only issue is my playing partners say it freaks them out to see me make long puts without looking at the ball.
That, and now you're not thinking about the stroke, line or the distance. Simply deciding/ commiting to the "road" or "line" and watching the ball roll.

This is a really good way to putt for those who tense up over the ball and think too much. And/Or have a jabby or decelerating stroke.




It is simply "throwing a ball" or "having a catch" with the hole.

The same thing that allows you to throw a football to a friend in the backyard (instead of throwing it short; or throwing it long) is the exact same thing that allows you to just "roll the ball to the hole" the correct distance.   Same as shooting a basket or shooting a free throw.  Your eyes are on the target.

Looked at another way:  go shoot some free throws or throw a ball to a friend in your yard the normal way (by keeping your eye on the basket or your friend's glove).  Then - try to shoot a free throw or a set shot/jump shot/throw the ball by looking at your hands....I bet you shoot the ball all over the place.  But keep your eye on the basket - and your "touch" gets much better.


It's that simple.

Edited by ChipDriver, 03 September 2011 - 10:51 AM.


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#21 golfbum9

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:25 PM

Good analogies ChipDriver- I like them all. Cheers!

Edited by golfbum9, 03 September 2011 - 01:26 PM.


#22 indybirdie

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:21 PM

tried it, the theory makes so much sense but just couldn't consistently strike the ball.

#23 Jim In SC

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 04:52 AM

http://www.laterallineputter.com/

getting one today, will post after I get some playing time.

#24 geoangus

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 09:03 PM

While my putting has not been horrendous, I just seem to miss too many by a ball.  Maybe I should give this a try
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#25 pr123

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:21 PM

i did this for a whole season, it worked well but then i started taking lessons and i stopped

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#26 titleistnutter

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:51 AM

i do this on longer putts. it genuinely works, stops any decel and makes the process more subconscious too imo

#27 albatrosser

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:03 AM

just like shooting a free throw
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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:49 AM

i take my practice stokes looking at the hole. it helps me with with distance control i personally like it

#29 Golf_Slice

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:23 PM

It works for me with in 5ft only..

#30 MerliSYD

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:12 AM

LOL @ all the analogies...

Throwing a basketball into a hoop, throwing a ball to a mate, throwing a football down the field...

What's the difference between ALL of the analogies presented, and putting?.... You have the BALL in your HANDS... i.e. tactile contact with the object.

You don't have this during a putting stroke. A better analogy would be tee-ball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tee_Ball)... Can you see any coach telling his players not to look at the ball when hitting it, but look up into the bleachers and swing away? LOL... They'd completely miss the ball 9 out of 10 times.

I'm not dissing this technique, and I'm going to give this a try on the practice green with longer putts where I sometimes struggle with distance control, because I lose track of how far the hole is after I look down at the ball, so I'm just simply guessing. This might work well.

......but the analogies people have used in this thread are :cheesy:


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