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Eye Deception

Eye deception is a frequent problem

in putting.


Where you think you are aiming does not necessarily match reality, especially with a distance target. You therefore need a strategy to overcome your eye deception.

Aiming Accurately?

Where you think you are aimed is not where you are actually aimed.

A perfect stroke with a flawed aim translates pretty much every time into a missed putt. So if you want to putt better, you have to send your ball off in the right direction.

Jim FurykJim Furyk
Flat Head Position

At the very heart of putting is the ability to aim your putterface accurately at your intended target. Though this may seem a simple task, it is anything but simple. While your eyes are essential for alignment, what you see may not reflect reality when it comes to your aim.

Aiming is closely related to the distance to your target. The further away your target is, the greater the margin of error.

A small misalignment at the ball is magnified as the distance to the hole increases. One degree off true gives an alignment error of 0.21 inches per foot.

Overcoming Eye Deception

There are a number of ways to combat eye deception - the fallibility of your eyes when it comes to putting.

Tilted HeadA Tilted Head
Compromises Aiming
  1. A good head position at setup helps you to check where you are aiming. The closer your eyes are positioned over the ball and parallel to your aimline (target line), the easier it will be for you to verify your aim. If your eyes are well inside (or beyond) your aimline, your perspective of where your target is situated will be skewed.

    You should also position your head so that your gaze is straight down. If your head is tilted up – the way you would position it if you were hitting a seven iron – you won't be able to swivel it and allow your eyes to track down your intended path to the target.

  2. Pick a nearby intermediate target rather than a distant target. As all putts start off straight for the first part of their journey to the hole, choose a spot, real or imaginary, six inches or so in front of your ball on your intended aimline. It is much easier to aim at something close by than something further away.

  3. Use the printed logo, or a line drawn on your ball, and point it at your target. Again the closer your intermediate target is, the more accurate the position of the line will be. Using the line to aim at a distant target gives a false sense of security. It presumes an accuracy that does not match reality. Distance always adds to error.

Logo on Ball

It is obvious (though not to everyone) that the best position for aiming accurately is from behind the ball. This is why the logo or line on the ball is so popular. It is therefore ironic and foolish if you use this technique to attempt to fine-tune your aim later when you are alongside the ball getting ready to putt.

If your head and eyes are in a poor position you will experience the problem of seeing the line pointing either left or right of your target. This adds to uncertainty and the urge to adjust your aim. If you intend to use the line then you must trust it. Better still, set up correctly so the line or logo points straight as you view it from above.

There is a saying that 'Seeing is Believing'. Unfortunately eye deception leads us astray as we believe we are aimed accurately when this is often not the case.

The Bottom Line? If You Can't Aim, You Can't Putt Successfully. It's that Simple.

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Image Source
1 = Success on the Green by Steve Hosid
2 = Putt Perfect by Edward Craig

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Related Topics

flawed aim

good head position

line drawn on your ball