Putting Blind is possible because you
don’t need your sight to stroke a putt.
Your sight can both help and hinder your putting. You need to learn how to manage your vision and rely more on feel.
Asian Blind Golfer
Once you are lined up on the green, sight can interfere with your focus. Outside distractions can catch your eye.
A blind golfer can’t see the ball and has to rely solely on feel – the sense of how the putter tracks back and through under its own weight. Putting by feel is an excellent way to learn how to develop a repetitive stroke.
The danger for sighted players is that with a ball in view, their stroke can become jerky, stilted or contrived instead of free-flowing.
You learn a skill such as putting through knowledge and repetition. The more you practise your stroke (even without a ball), the more you will transfer the feeling of the motion from your conscious to your subconscious mind.
This is because all skills first developed by practice, eventually pass into habit and become automatic. Consider how difficult it was when you first learned to ride a bicycle or tie your shoe laces.
A point worth remembering is that if you try to putt with your conscious mind instead of relegating the task to your subconscious mind, you are likely to hit at, or steer, your putts.
You will putt your best when the mechanics of putting don’t enter your mind. The 18th century philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau summed it up when he said "We can only speak a language fluently when we have forgotten its grammar."
A technique to improve your putting, especially for distance control, is putting blind - putting with your eyes closed when practising. After each putt and before you open your eyes, you should estimate the direction and distance of the ball. This will help you with your feel.
The average golfer relies too much on the sense of sight to the exclusion of the other senses. A blind golfer is more sensitive to the texture of the grass and the slope of the green and uses this information to judge the putt.
Another common fault among poor putters is looking up prematurely to follow the path of their ball. This drags their putter off line and compromises their putt. A blind golfer doesn’t make this mistake as no visual feedback can be obtained from turning towards the hole.
You can learn from this by keeping your head steady until your ball is well on its way.
In his 1923 book The Brain and Golf C. W. Bailey relates the story of the 'Perfect Pupil'. The pupil was trained under a master’s eye two or three times a week for half an hour to swing without a ball.
Finally, when a ball was introduced, the pupil was told that he should disregard it entirely and just swing as he had been taught.
This is how blind golfers learn golf – letting the ball get in the way of their approaching club. There is no point in hitting at something you can’t see.
If you can incorporate this concept of letting the ball get in the way of your putter, you will achieve a smoother and more consistent stroke. Let your putter collect the ball on its way through – don’t attempt to guide it.
By trying to control your putter with conscious effort you are making the task of holing putts more difficult. The lessons you can learn from Putting Blind will go a long way to helping you improve both your Putting Stroke and Feel.
1 = www.asiantours.com
2 = www.fitsugar.com.com
3 = source unknown