Putting Reality is not always what you see
when you putt.
Where you think you are aiming is not necessarily where your putterface is aimed. Most important to the direction of your putt is where your putterface is aimed at impact.
The notion of 'Seeing is Believing' can sometimes lead you astray.
You may believe something you have seen, but your eyes can deceive you.
For example, there is ample evidence that our sight is not that reliable, none more so in golf when aiming our putterface.
In aiming your putterface, there are two things to consider:
It is obvious that the impact position is the one that counts. A number of good putters unknowingly address the ball with their putterface marginally open. Despite this, they are able to square their putterface at impact. How is this possible? Would they putt any better if their putterface was square at address?
There are a number of putting aids that reveal how your putterface is aimed at address. They range in sophistication from the Sam PuttLab to Seemore's Triangulator.
From tests I have done, the degree of misalignment varies from golfer to golfer. If the same amount of misalignment is maintained at impact, the ball will be headed in the wrong direction.
An error of two degrees off-true in aiming your putterface translates into 4.2 inches off-target at 10 feet - enough to miss the hole on a straight putt.
Here is an interesting question:
If your putterface is accurately aligned when you address the ball, is there any guarantee that it will be square to your aimline at impact? Will your putting stroke ensure that it returns to a square position?
A shortfall of any technical putting aid is the assumption that the golfer will act in a robotic way throughout his or her stroke.
You can calibrate a putting machine so that it is perfectly aligned, and pretty much guarantee that the impact position will be spot on. The same cannot be said of humans.
So does it help you to learn visually what a square address position looks like at address, or does it simply not matter?
Is your brain capable of locking on to your target so that your subconscious can accurately control the path of your putter?
In other words, how much can you do at the conscious level, and how much should you leave to the capabilities of your subconscious mind?
In my research and experimentation I have concluded that it is probably best to be properly aligned before you execute your putting stroke.
If during your stroke you don't manipulate your hands or your arms, your putter should swing on an arc that returns your putterface squarely to where your ball is positioned.
This is not infallible, but it certainly helps. When it comes to Putting Reality, it stacks the percentages in your favour.
1 = www.learnmagictricks.com
2 = www.seemore.com
3 = 'Perfy' by Dave Pelz's Putt like the Pros