As you all know, there’s a lot of misinformation and misleading tips in the golf world. Right when you think you’ve found one putting tip that works, you find another that contradicts it.
Everyday in our putting classes we’re debunking the putting myths and misconceptions that people bring with them.
We see a lot of crazy ideas here in The Villages, and we set golfers straight with proven, modern fundamentals that will not steer you wrong.
Lets review four of the most common myths of putting…
Putting Myth #1: You have to look down at the ball when you putt.
The problem is, you might think you’re looking at the ball, but you’re not.
When you look down at the ball your eyes follow the movement of the putter. You can’t help it. When I was down in Naples I tested this with miniature cameras set into the putting surface, and the results are definitive. With my students, the eyes move 9 out of 10 times.
Your eyes are following the club head and your brain is following your eyes. So you start thinking about the length of the stroke and the path of the putter and a hundred other technical details.
Nothing good can come from that.
If you’re thinking about mechanical details like “how far should I take the putter back” you’re doomed.
You have to turn off your brain and just make the stroke.
Easier said than done. Many neuro scientists believe that’s impossible. You can’t think about nothing, so we recommend that you think about the target.
Shift ALL your focus to just one thing… the hole. Instead of trying to look at the ball, look at the hole.
When you look at the hole your mind stays right where it needs to be. That sharp visual focus eliminates mechanical thinking and allows the body to do what it naturally does. The ball will follow.
You’ll be amazed by how much better your distance control is when you keep your eyes on the prize.
Putting Myth #2: The follow-through should be the same length as the backswing.
Tiger Woods recommends this in his book, but the minute you start measuring the length of your backswing vs. the length of your follow through, you’re screwed! Mechanical thinking has taken over.
When you putt with your eyes on the prize you won’t be pre-occupied with such debilitating details. Your mind will be focused on just one thing, and your body will know the stroke that’s required to roll the ball the right distance.
If you just let it.
Putting Myth #3: Your eyes have to be directly over the ball when you putt.
Just about every book ever written on putting recommends this type of setup. But it’s absolute nonsense.
Granted, your eyes have to be directly over the ball in order to aim properly, but they DO NOT have to stay there when you putt. Being that much over the ball is uncomfortable and unnatural for most people.
It forces you to bend over way too much!
Bad posture throws off your aim and your putting stroke. It also hurts your back so much you won’t be able to practice.
Not only that, every time you play your back will be aching enough to affect the rest of your game.
Here’s the pre-shot routine we teach in class… Get your eyes over the ball to aim the line on your putter, then step back slowly till you’re in a comfortable position. For most people, that means the eyes are inside the line, NOT right over the ball.
The pros check themselves on their set up position every week, if not daily.
Putting Myth #4: It’s your stroke that causes all those silly misses.
I’ve been asking golfers this question for 50 years: “What do you think caused that miss?”
Everyone blames a bad stroke. Every time. Without fail. Same thing when they’re hitting balls into the net. They always blame their swing.
No one says, “well, I think my aim was off” or “I didn’t have my usual posture” or “I didn’t do my routine.”
But the fact is, the vast majority of misses occur long before you ever hit the ball. You set yourself up for failure.
It’s not the putting stroke or the golf swing, it’s everything you do before you pull the trigger.
It’s simple little stuff that anyone can fix and repeat consistently.
When you have the fundamentals dialed in, and you keep your eyes on the prize, your putting stroke will take care of itself.