One of the problems that are quite common in putting technique is a miss-aim of the putter face at set up. This leads to compensation during the stroke and although our bodies can develop a reactionary amendments this will have an inconsistency especially in those crucial 6 to 8 feet putts. Expert putters aim more accurately, compared to the not so good putters, but not because they all position their eyes in the same place relative to the ball. (The usual place that is suggested is to have your eye line over the top of the ball).
They aim better because they are better calibrated. Here is a way you can check your aim. You will need your putter a couple of balls and an alignment stick or something like a long pencil will do. Having someone to help you this will make life easier. Place one ball on the green and set up to it aiming for a specific point. If you’re using the cup stand about 12 feet away and imagine the putt is dead straight so you will be aiming at the centre of the cup.
Place the stick in the direction you are aiming the putter face (in other words at 90 degrees to the face) and drop the second ball from between your eyes and make a mental note of where you have positioned your eyes relative to the ball on the ground. If your eyes are directly above the ball, the ball you drop should fall onto the one on the ground. Leave your set up position and go and check down the line to see what direction the stick is pointing in. if it is aiming exactly at the spot you wanted (dead centre) then you should try to set up to the ball this way all the time, if not you need to do some work on your aim. Next remove the balls.
Take the alignment stick and point it a good few inches left or right of your aim point. Now take a set up behind the stick and see if you can adjust it to point in exactly the right direction. When you think you are there, go and have a look down the line and see if you are correct. If not it is possible you will need to change your eye position. Of course you will need to practice this before you do it well time after time and remember it is unlikely to feel comfortable initially.
Appointments with Paul for golf lessons in Wicklow can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.