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Putt---looking at the hole


81 replies to this topic

Poll: Putting looking at the hole (225 member(s) have cast votes)

Have you ever tried putting looking at the hole?

  1. Never (63 votes [28.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.00%

  2. Only on the putting green (67 votes [29.78%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 29.78%

  3. yes, but quit (51 votes [22.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 22.67%

  4. I currently putt this way (44 votes [19.56%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.56%

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#61 BNich0622

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:07 AM

I played with a guy last week that did this. An older gentleman and had been putting that way for 30 years. Not a bad putter either.

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#62 Conrad1953

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:21 PM

Well, after not putting very well I tried this toward the end of my
round, with an unforgiving blade putter. First putt sank a 30  ft
putt. Next hole had another long putt, missed, but distance
control was right on; ball 3 inches past the hole.

I've always picked a spot 4 inches in front of the ball to line up
to but always putted looking at the ball. I'm going to try looking
at that spot next time and see how it compares to looking at
the hole.

This is certainly not for everybody but I think in my case
getting myself hole, or spot, focused is going to work. One
of the problems I've had is finding myself looking at the putter
going back and through and becoming obsessed with
squaring the blade. When I do this I almost always leave putts
well short.

I'm actually a little giddy about getting out for my next round.
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#63 scomac2002

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:29 PM

View PostConrad1953, on 23 May 2013 - 12:21 PM, said:

Well, after not putting very well I tried this toward the end of my
round, with an unforgiving blade putter. First putt sank a 30  ft
putt. Next hole had another long putt, missed, but distance
control was right on; ball 3 inches past the hole.

I've found the same type of result when trying this out periodically.  It seems foreign and yet as a scratch bowler, I've spot bowled my entire life; that's how I was taught a a junior.  The key is to develop a dependable stroke and set up square to the target line.  The best part is that you don't seem to have this preoccupation with stroke mechanics and squaring the putter face when you aren't focusing on the impact point.
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#64 Fade to Black

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

I have found that looking at the hole has helped TREMENDOUSLY with my lag putts. I was always all over the place with my lags, could never get distance right. Started looking at the hole and my distance control is leaps and bounds better. I will occasionally push the ball when I do this, but for those long putts distance is more important then line for me.

Now, inside 10' I will be focusing on the ball so that I make as pure contact as possible.

Had the best week of putting last weekend using this method. Not a single 3 putt which is very unusual for me.
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#65 gin and tonic

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 12:14 AM

Along with so many others, I am currently struggling with my putting. Have been experimenting with several different techniques. Have done the looking at 4 inches in front of the ball, at the hole...and others...are there others??? Heh.

Currently have been really focusing on the line spending the majority of my time over the ball looking at the hole and the line. Rarely looking at the ball. Am going to try and just pull the trigger once I have let my brain decide the best line and speed and just let it go. We'll see how this goes. Also haven't need taking practice stokes...and my speed has been much better.


#66 Timanator

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:04 AM

I have tried this alot!

And I think it is  a bad idea. To practice something that will be different from your normal routine is not beneficial. If anything it just adds confusion, and mis trust. Secondly to focus on a small target means you are not focused on your starting line. Which means this is at best a drill for perfectly straight putts?
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#67 Asiz

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:35 PM

Or perhaps it means keeping your eyes on the target. If the target is a point at which you aim to break the putt then wouldn't that be the same as looking at the hole on a perfectly straight putt?
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#68 Left53

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:58 PM

Jim Thorpe putts this way

#69 Jon Robert

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:02 PM

I read the book and tried it. Here is my review

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This review is from: Instinct Putting: Putt Your Best Using the Breakthrough, Science-Based Target Vision Putting Technique (Hardcover)
I give it a 1 star because nothing ventured anything gained. Trying always helps in some way even if totally wrong. Otherwise I would give the book zero stars because the idea is fatally flawed.

A person could observe that other people LOOK AT whatever the object of their desire is (target) and then have some sort of eureka moment that they should putt that way as well with a false thought that the hole is the object to look at.

However the fact is a person putting has a long stick in hand REQUIRING that he look at the TARGET - WHICH IS THE BALL - NOT THE HOLE. People can fantasize all they want that putting is like basketball, baseball etc but this is false and the fatal flaw in this concept. The target via the fact of the long stick in hand is the ball, not the hole.

This Instinct Putting idea would be equivalent to a hunter staring at the meat freezer while fantasizing that the bullet will magically strike the deer that he is NOT looking at. The goal of putting meat in the freezer would not take place.
A better comparison would be a baseball hitter staring at the left field fence when trying to hit a baseball. Such a technique would result in ZERO hits. Any accidental contacts would be weak and feeble, easily handled by the defense.

Really I find it hard to believe that an intelligent person would have bought into this idea enough to make a book. But then again intelligent people figure out ways of making spending money - hmmm - Maybe they don't believe it either - just making a livin ...

I did try the method to see if some cosmic force would generate putting success only to confirm the above obvious flaws. It is a really nice little book with a a nice dust cover. I will keep it just to remind myself of the content. I make notes in all my golf books to find key points faster for later review. I made not one single note in this book, but for about $6.30 NEW with shipping it can be added to your golf library at little expense. (price as of this writing) I would pass at $6.30 if I had to do it again.

#70 Conrad1953

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 11:40 PM

View PostJon Robert, on 14 April 2014 - 06:02 PM, said:

I read the book and tried it. Here is my review

Fatal Flaw - Equivalent to a hunter staring at the meat freezer,
April 27, 2013
This review is from: Instinct Putting: Putt Your Best Using the Breakthrough, Science-Based Target Vision Putting Technique (Hardcover)
I give it a 1 star because nothing ventured anything gained. Trying always helps in some way even if totally wrong. Otherwise I would give the book zero stars because the idea is fatally flawed.

A person could observe that other people LOOK AT whatever the object of their desire is (target) and then have some sort of eureka moment that they should putt that way as well with a false thought that the hole is the object to look at.

However the fact is a person putting has a long stick in hand REQUIRING that he look at the TARGET - WHICH IS THE BALL - NOT THE HOLE. People can fantasize all they want that putting is like basketball, baseball etc but this is false and the fatal flaw in this concept. The target via the fact of the long stick in hand is the ball, not the hole.

This Instinct Putting idea would be equivalent to a hunter staring at the meat freezer while fantasizing that the bullet will magically strike the deer that he is NOT looking at. The goal of putting meat in the freezer would not take place.
A better comparison would be a baseball hitter staring at the left field fence when trying to hit a baseball. Such a technique would result in ZERO hits. Any accidental contacts would be weak and feeble, easily handled by the defense.

Really I find it hard to believe that an intelligent person would have bought into this idea enough to make a book. But then again intelligent people figure out ways of making spending money - hmmm - Maybe they don't believe it either - just making a livin ...

I did try the method to see if some cosmic force would generate putting success only to confirm the above obvious flaws. It is a really nice little book with a a nice dust cover. I will keep it just to remind myself of the content. I make notes in all my golf books to find key points faster for later review. I made not one single note in this book, but for about $6.30 NEW with shipping it can be added to your golf library at little expense. (price as of this writing) I would pass at $6.30 if I had to do it again.

The analogy doesn't hold up. You can putt looking at the hole
and not miss the ball. You can't swing a driver and hit the ball
while looking at the fairway.

The difference is a.speed and b.proximity of club to ball.

You can prove the analogy false by simply putting looking
at the hole. It's not for everyone but it can be done with
success by some.

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#71 mannlygolf

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 01:12 PM

Read this thread early this morning. Just got back from the  range and practice green. Tried putting looking at the hole. I found.........from 5 foot it is like magic, at 6 feet the magic fades a bit. By the time I got to 8 to 10 feet I couldn't hardly pull the trigger! I don't understand. It is the exact same putter stance at 5 feet as it is at 10 feet. I think the concept, when successful, is a lot like only thinking "TARGET" when over a full shot. It was fun giving it a try, but me thinks the thought will stay on line and distance.     Hit em good,   Mike

#72 resnor

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 09:34 PM

Stuart Appleby does this...like previous poster, 5 feet in, he looks at the hole.  Outside of it, he looks at the ball.

#73 sucabstunna

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:45 PM

I usually putt looking down at the ball and the sight line on my putter. I often look 3 times at the hole before starting my stroke.

#74 esquireking

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 10:06 PM

I'm intrigued by this, looking forward to trying this out this weekend and seeing what kind of results it will yield
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#75 StezzGolfer

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:13 PM

This thread is going to make me want to try it again. I did it for a while, just at the practice green, and stopped because i felt like there is no way I could putt better looking at the hole.. no one else does. But I actually was mildly better when not looking at the ball. Main reason, i think, is i get tentative when i am about to make contact... anticipating contact. When im not looking, i have such a smooth stroke.

I had no idea so many people did this. I got the idea from some homeless guy I got paired up with. Says he golfs about 330 days a year (and i believe him). Works maybe a day or two a week.

Do you guys use blade or mallet putters when doing this? Naturally contact will suffer, but with a larger sweet spot maybe that can counter. I am still tentative to switch over during rounds though... I feel like if i were to miss it would be because i wasnt looking at the ball.

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#76 SuperTwi

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:31 AM

Never tried it. Confident in putting.

First thing I do is find where it's gonna break. Most putts for me are single breakers unless I'm far far away.

Then guess speed based on where I feel it'll break.

Then hit putt to where I think it'll break and hope that the speed is right.

I also pick out that break spot and move it a foot or two in front of the ball for aiming.  

I look at hole, then break spot, then ball then putt. But I do this all fairly quickly from first reading to putt.




#77 sbboudreau

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 12:31 AM

View Postspoonhead, on 07 July 2011 - 08:40 AM, said:

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.
We are only amateurs at best and in no way should be embarrassed about how well or bad we do. We don't get paid to Golf, we pay to Golf. Nobody should complain about how well or bad we do unless we hold up the round for playing partners or people behind us. Don't be embarrassed. Just make a mental note to work on what you personally are unhappy with. So for me, I'm working on Everything. LOL I will be trying this putting technique.

Edited by sbboudreau, 29 September 2014 - 12:32 AM.


#78 musicmanryann

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 09:52 AM

I came upon this thread through a google search, because I have been putting looking at only the hole--as an experiment--for the past round and half and have had such success with it, I wanted to see if I was completely off-base or crazy in attempting to putt this way.  

For the past 6 weeks  I have spent the majority of my limited practice time working on major swing changes with a golf coach.  As a result my putting has gone downhill and has been abysmal to say the least.  I am talking multiple 4 putts here.  I just could not figure out distance control at all.  Half way through a round with almost 30 putts on 9 holes I decided, since my round had taken s$&t anyways, I may as well give this a try (looking only at the hole).  Immediately, my distance control improved, especially on putts outside 10 feet and I halved the amount of putts on the back 9 from the front.

On Sunday I played a round and decided to employ this new technique from the start.  On the first hole I drained a 15 foot birdie putt and went from there.  I ended up with only 29 putts on the day--which for me is EXCELLENT--and had the best round of my life so far (80--I'm a solid 14 handicap).  Honestly I don't think I have ever had a round where I consistently putted so well, and I have been golfing (for recreation mostly) for 17 years.  Needless to say I will employing this technique for the foreseeable future.  

I originally picked up the idea from Bob Rotellas, "Putting out of your mind".  In the book he talks about how he got Hal Sutton to focus on the target (the crux of this great book) by having him play a practice round only looking at the hole and not the ball at the end of his routine.  Hal ended up breaking the course record. Now Doctor Bob goes on to say the Hal never employed this on a tournament, and he doesn't necessarily advocate for using it generally in the book, but that is where I got the idea from.  

I believe it is working for me because I have really struggled with visualizing the shot after I take my eyes of the target and then look at the ball.  Most people see the shot in their "minds eye", but I mostly do not see anything and have no confidence with my strike as a result.  This way I eyes and mind are completely focused on the target and everything else involved with getting the ball there is mostly subconscious.  I have found I am much more relaxed this way as well.  My playing partner this past weekend complimented me not only on holing the putts but also the better technique and roll I was getting on the ball as well.  

Now I have found that being more deliberate with setting the line on the ball and my feet and shoulders parallel to that line is of utter importance when employing this method.  My new routine is to set the ball line on my read line.  Then stand behind the ball to set my grip and visualize the shot.  Then I address the ball making certain my feet, body and line on my putter is perfectly in line with the line on the ball, and my putter lie is as flat to the ground as I can get it.  I look at the hole and see the way the ball with travel to it, then take a last look at the ball, making sure my setup is perfect and trust.  Finally I focus on the part of the hold I want the ball to fall into and then roll it.  So from address my routine is essentially opposite from normal, but everything else is the same.  

I don't necessarily advocate from everyone doing this, and don't feel like I have revolutionized anything.  I am just excited that something is working for me and that it is something that is working for others as well.
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#79 W C Franco

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 05:14 PM

I have only tried this out for a laugh when on the course with chums having a casual round,never in competition and would not really consider it as a permanent method for consistent putting,it's been tried and abandoned by better golfers than I am and if I think of the best holers-out,especially on pressure putts,I can't think of one who used it as a technique.
Think of Watson,Woods,Nicklaus,Faldo at their best,they are imo the ones to emulate.
That said,putting is as much about confidence as anything else,I do believe that if you think and act positively when putting you have more chance of holing out,I'm also guessing that one of the major reasons why people who putt looking at the hole have success with it is because they perhaps unwittingly shorten the backstroke and promote a more positive strike while avoiding deceleration through the ball,in effect the old 'short back,long through' routine.

#80 hunter1995

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 11:43 AM

Sometimes do it on the practice green to practice speed, but never on the course.

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#81 stevemcgee99

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 02:32 PM

I tend to just look at the line, notice roughness or curves, and then my intention is to just let all that data arrange itself in my mind.  Then I hit the ball.  That seems to work best.
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#82 TimV

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 07:16 AM

I look hole to ball a couple times trying to "see the line." Once I see it I look at the hole and trace the line back to my putter with my eyes and head. The head and eyes then lock on the ball and the putter goes into motion on the back-swing. I do pretty well. If I miss by much it's because I saw something that wasn't there, a mis-read, not because of my stroke.




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