Your Putting Dwell Time adds to the
total time you take over a putt.
Most golfers take too long over their putts. They would improve their putting by spending less time over the ball before they start their putting stroke.
The more you peer at the ball and the target before actually putting, the less likely you are to make a good stroke.
This is because delay brings with it tension, doubt, and conflicting thoughts.
The question arises as to why golfers stand over their ball for an abnormally long time before they feel they are ready to putt.
On the tour there are quick putters and slow putters. There is no evidence to suggest that slow putters putt any better than quick putters. In fact, to my mind quick putters putt best.
Putting is a stationary game. The ball at address doesn't move neither does your target. Yet the way some golfers putt you would think that this wasn't the case.
Take the example of players whose eyes dart backwards and forward two, three, or often more times to their target as they get ready to putt. The way their head and eyes moves from side to side it is as if they were watching a game of tennis.
The quick movement of the eyes is known as a 'saccade'. It is where your eyes jump from one location to another as if, in the case of putting, to reassure yourself that your target hasn't moved and that you are still aimed correctly.
I don't believe this habit of checking and rechecking is helpful to putting better. In fact, it can snowball as three looks becomes four, and four becomes five and so on.
Putting is best done when you embrace a smooth motion of your putter back and through the ball. If your eyes are jumping about, this is hardly conducive to a leisurely stroke. It would be far better to turn your eyes to your target and back to the ball slowly in what is referred to as a 'smooth pursuit'.
Another point to consider is how many times is it necessary to revisit your target before actually putting your ball?
I firmly believe that the answer is the fewer the better. The players I like to watch are those who take only one look at their target before they putt.
I don't think that you can gather any more information about a stationary object with a series of quick saccades than you can from attending to it just once.
Putting is a game where the less eye movement you have, the better you will putt. Overactive eyes, both in the lead up to and during the execution of your stroke, will do your putting no good.
Most golfers take too long over their putts. Their putting dwell time therefore harms rather than helps them make more putts. So how would you describe your time over the ball?
1 = Adapted from drawing by Whitney Darrow - The New Yorker Book of Golf Cartoons
2 = www.golfhousetennessee.com