With it now being the year 2020, it made me think about 20/20 vision and how important your eyes and vision are to play your best golf! One of my favourite drills using your eyes on the putting green is called “20/20 Look at the Hole”.
When it comes to putting, there are three major components – The Putting Stroke, Distance Control, and Green Reading. “Look at the Hole” primarily focuses on improving your Distance Control but certainly will help your Putting Stroke and Green Reading as well.
Step 1: Drop a few balls about 10 feet from the hole. Putt the first one as you normally would. On the second one, do everything the same except that just before initiating your stroke, look at the hole. Do not keep your eyes locked on the golf ball — twist your head a little to the left (for right-handers) so that your eyes are now looking at the target. Then make the stroke.
Step 2: Now do it again. And roll enough putts in this way, that you become comfortable with the technique of looking at the target rather than the golf ball.
Step 3: Now move around to different spots on the green, different lengths of putts. Drop two golf balls at each new spot. Use your normal putting technique for one ball, but use the “look at the hole” technique for the other. Alternate between the two at each different spot on the practice green.
Something I like to do with my students is to get them to throw a golf ball to me. This becomes a very easy task, as the “distance image” is always right in front of their eyes, meaning it is much easier to judge distance when you can see the distance in front of you. Seems like an obvious notion that when we apply it to putting makes a lot of sense for our Distance Control to improve when we can see the distance image in front of us.
Therefore, if Distance Control is your issue, you might discover that looking at the hole while putting helps you develop a better feel for speed/distance on the greens.
Good Luck in 2020 with this “20/20 Look at the Hole” Putting Drill.
Have fun, Matt Truong