Putting Visualization Technique
Want to break 80 consistently? Then improve your putting. It’s the fastest ways to cut strokes from your scores. One way to improve your putting is through visualization. Incorporating visualization techniques in your putting can help you drain more putts. That’s because images are critical to us. In fact, 85 percent of the information we take in is visual. In short, what you see is what you get.
So, if you’re not satisfied with how you’re putting and want to make a change, try using visualization when on the green. It’s something you can work on at home. Plenty of exercises exist that you can do at home to strengthen your visualization capabilities. But you have to combine the right visualization techniques with the right putting method to improve your putting. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time.
Below we discuss five ways golfers putt and suggest visualization techniques right for that method.
- Stroke-focused — This type of putter concentrates solely on mechanics. If that’s you, you’re concerned about two things. Does my stroke arc or go straight and did I accelerate or decelerate through impact? This type of putter doesn’t care about the target, distance, direction, or speed. It’s probably the worst way to putt. So, if you’re a stroke-focused putter, consider other methods of putting, especially if you want to take your short game to another level and break 80.
- Spot-putters — This way of putting is better than the stroke-focused method. Spot-putters choose a spot on the green (spike mark, old Ball mark, or a surface discoloration), then putt to it. Your main concern here is how far and in what direction. If you’re a spot potter, aim the putter toward the hole. Then, as you make your stroke, see the hole in your mind’s eye. Doing that helps you retain your target’s image and gauge the right distance.
- Behind-the-hole putter — You read the putt from behind the ball and see a line going from the ball to the hole. Then, you pick out an intermediate spot four to five inches in front of the hole and aim the ball’s logo (or printing) at the intermediate target. Then, when you stand over the ball, you set up so that the target line goes right through the intermediate target. With this method, you need to visually extend the line through the hole to a point about 15 inches beyond the hole. You then putt to that line and distance, letting the ball follow its natural course.
- Line-putters — With this method, you draw a line from the ball right to the hole, then aim the ball’s logo or a line on the ball to an intermediate spot four or five inches in front of the ball but on your intended line. You then putt the ball over the line and to the hole. A strong visual image helps here. The clearer the image the better your speed control. Remember to adjust the ball’s speed for downhill and uphill putts. Hit downhill putt short. Hit uphill putts long.
- Line/speed putt — Many consider this the best way to putt. This putter sees the ball travel on a line toward the hole and fall into the hole at the exact speed necessary. It takes an acute vision of the putt and attention to detail to be successful as this type of putter. If this is you, try to develop a visual picture of the hole so clear in your mind’s eye that the ball becomes a blur. Also, start your stroke soon as your eye returns to the ball at address.
Here’s a great golf drill to practice the line/speed putting method:
Place 10 balls around a circle for about three feet from the hole. Make sure the putt is straight. If you’re putting right-handed, close your right eye. That eliminates unnecessary right-side peripheral vision. If you’re left-handed, close the left eye. Now stroke each of the ten balls at different speeds speed. Putt some firm, so they hit the back of the cup. Put some soft, so they just fall into the hole. Putt some at a medium speed so they go in with a bit of force.
Practice this drill until you’ve ingrained the technique. Also, find some visualization exercises for golf and practice them at home. Improving your visualization capabilities can help you chop strokes off your scores and break 80 consistently—something we would all love to do.
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