Want to become a great putter? Keep your eyes OFF the ball after your stroke.
You may have a great swing, a long drive and a super chipping strategy. But if you can’t putt the ball into the hole with ease, your golf game is never going to improve.
Instructors tell me that one of the typical problems with golfers who do not putt well is that they allow their eyes to follow the ball during the stroke. They read the greens well enough, line up their ball, set up the putt, practice their stroke one or two times and then just as they hit the ball, their head moves following the ball. Result: the golf ball almost always goes left or right of the hole.
What’s up with this? Golfers are so eager to see the success of their putt that they forget the one essential element: Keep Your Head Down and DO NOT FOLLOW THE GOLF BALL WITH YOUR EYES. At address your eyes should be directly over the ball. If you were to take a ball and hold it in front of your nose and then drop it, that ball should drop right on top of the ball you are putting. After you make your putt, your eyes should remain on the spot where your golf ball had been, your head perfectly still.
It’s not easy to do this. It’s counter intuitive. You want to hit the ball towards the hole and then follow its path with your eyes, as you sink that fabulous putt. But to do this you must move your head. And more often than not, this causes a shift in your stroke and your ball falls off.
Annika Sorenstam, the famous Swedish professional golfer, was known for her great putting. One of her techniques was to NOT follow the ball with her eyes. She would putt and then listen for the sweet sound as the ball hit as it hit the back of the cup and dropped in. She would putt and then listen.
This method of putting takes practice and discipline. Next time you go to the practice range spend more time on the putting green and try this method. You may surprise yourself with how good a putter you can be when you keep your eyes OFF the ball.
Watch Annika’s putting in this recap of the LPGA State Farm Classic 2006 Final Round where she wins and ties the course record. Her focus is always on keeping her head down, and her head steady. She does not turn her head or follow the ball with her eyes, especially on the short putts.
. . . . .