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Visual putting more important than feel putting?

If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, you know that I tend to see things differently than your average golf coach or instructor. This is definitely true for my putting and it may be for you too and you’ve overlooked it. Maybe not, but it does merit taking a look at this concept to see if there’s any truth to it for you.

I’m actually not a very visual person and yet, something about putting really is all about how the putter squares up and, can I keep it on line with my target line.

Take a look and see if this helps you. By the way, what do golfers really mean when they say “feel” about putting? Other than the obvious of how it feels when a putter strikes a ball. How does that actually have an effect on whether a golfer can make a putt or not? Is it just a confidence thing?

I’d love to see your opinions below this video.

 

Transcript

For every part of the game of golf, you can find experts who will disagree with each other as to what is the best way to do X. Golf shortcut secrets is not about believing anyone but trusting yourself and going with this – “It Works For Me!”

I’m here to advocate for you and give you permission to find your own way in this game. There is no perfect….There is no “doing it right.” There’s is only getting the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes as possible.

Today’s shortcut secret is about putting. I struggled for years as a below-average putter routinely missing 3-footers until I woke up to something and here it is. I had a friend stand behind me while I putted for a whole round and he didn’t say anything until the end. When it was over, he told me that I consistently did not line up the direction of my putter with my target line.

After the round, we went to the practice tee and found a straight putt to practice. He stood behind me and told me to tell him when I thought I was lined up straight. Half the time I was and half the time I wasn’t…and the times I was, often on my misses he would observe that my putter did not continue down the line. Basic stuff right? Well it wasn’t to me. Here’s the kicker. I was going around telling myself that I pushed or pulled it when I missed. “Well, what does that mean?” Those are just words that golfers used to explain misses but they don’t really mean anything substantial and certainly don’t help you with the fix.

Anyway, bottom line…I found out that my eyes had a very hard time aligning the putter with the target line and seeing the putter follow the target line during the stroke. When I thought I was lined up, my partner behind me said I wasn’t. The problem was my eyes or how I saw my putter.

Ok great…I knew my problem but didn’t know how to fix it…until one day…I’m walking around a sporting goods store…and I always go to the golf section…and I try out various putters on the display and practice green they had set up. After hitting a few others, my eye was drawn to this one particular putter that had a very large visual aid on it as you are looking down on it.

I started putting with it, using my normal putting method and I started hitting ball after ball straight to the cup. I couldn’t believe it! I switched back to the other putters and didn’t make nearly as many and it became obvious to me that I could SEE the putter head flowing down the target line behind and after hitting the ball. My eyes then automatically guided my shoulders and arms and today, I putt better than ever!

There’s a lot of science out there on how our eyes work with respect to putting but maybe the solution is to just look for a putter that strikes you as it did for me…focusing on your vision when choosing a putter…and not the feel of the putter. Remember when the 2 and 3-ball putter were all the rage a few years back when they came out…it’s because of this…you might help yourself by LOOKING into this. It’s such an easy solution.

12 Responses

  1. C. Hoshiyama says:

    I would say visual is more important, since feel is after the ball leaves the putter head. The best thing to do is to get fitted with a laser to see where you are aiming the putter head in relationship to the hole. Then adjust the method or putter to fit the golfer. The guy in your video will never be consistent because he bends his elbows, one arm has to be straight to have any setup consistency; as he will bend more or less on a given putt. Once a consistent pattern is found; then things can be adjusted.

    • Craig Sigl says:

      Hi C.H.,
      Thanks for the comment! The guy in the video is me and I appreciate your tip. I’m going to experiment with adjusting for that. I LOVE consistency. Excellent point,
      Greens and fairways,
      Craig

  2. David Patterson says:

    Craig, my observations about the video above, I couldn’t agree with you more on the question of visual putting.
    Two things I do, which work for me;
    1.)I always use the same ball for putting, that ball and I have become a fixture, especially amongst the friends I play with regularly. There is always a comment, “are you still using that same ball?” To which I reply, works for me. I have a relationship with that ball, over the last #of years, I discovered, that using that same ball, gave me a confidence level to know how hard or soft to stroke that ball going towards the cup.
    2.) I have used a 3 ball putter since I started using the same ball, the relationship to me mentally is no different
    I find that I am consistent and accurate, and often, out perform my golf friends on the green more then any other part of the course.
    So there you have my input.
    Thanks again, for your tutelage and comments, I have always found you to be different and difference makes the difference.
    regards
    daP

    • Craig Sigl says:

      Thanks for you comments and tips David!! Really appreciate you helping all of us! Confidence is everything with putting. Way to go on building yours with your putter.
      Greens and fairways,
      Craig

  3. John says:

    Craig,

    everyone is different when it comes to equipment, especially putters and drivers. I chose a heavy putter because I did not have the right touch with lighter putters. Once I set up I do not stare at the putter/ball, instead I focus on the cup and very seldom check to see if the putter head/ball has moved 🙂 I am learning how to read the greens, speed is the biggest issue, and my # of strokes have gone done. I even parred a par 4 today, without putting.

    • Craig Sigl says:

      Thanks for comments John,
      Everyone IS different in this game. You are so right. I wish I could see the line of travel like that without a huge visual aid so I could be more target oriented like you. Way to go on the par 4!
      Greens and fairways,

      Craig

  4. Raymond Marciniak says:

    in response to david patterson – how can you use the same ball for putting. do you mean the same brand and model. there are rules about changing your golf ball on the green. its probably OK in a scramble but not during regular rounds of golf

  5. Michael Bermingham says:

    Craig I enjoy all of your golf instructions etc. However, I do not agree with C. Hoshiyama’s straight arm theory for putting. I use Paul Runyan’s method as outlined in his book The Short way to Lower Scoring it works and he also explains how to go about purchasing a putter, its balance etc. Truly i would not waste time on experimenting with a straight arm. I believe Mr Runyan’s methods are second to none. It is well worth the read even if u don’t try it. Hit em well and not too often. Mike

    • Craig Sigl says:

      Thanks Michael. Really appreciate the nod of confidence. I did a little poking around and found a guy who made a LOT of clutch putts in his time putting with bended elbows like I do. Maybe some people have heard of Jack Nicklaus. 😉

      Greens and fairways,
      Craig

  6. Ralph says:

    I used the mid-mallet version of that Nike putter for a few years. (IC 2015) Shot my lowest round with it, and I can attest that vision is everything! The green of the putterhead disappears into the putting green, leaving the alignment aid standing out quite well.

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