Checking in with Team Canada

Seeing straight

(Golf Canada)

Putting in full resolution could be the key to your putts rolling on line, and into the hole, more often, says Tristan Mullally, Team Canada’s Head Women’s Coach

Everyone’s eyesight is a little different. Near sighted, far sighted, astigmatism, cataracts — they all affect our sense of sight to varying degrees. What we do have in common though is a focal point in front of our binocular vision that creates our field of view. Everyone balances this focal point differently, which suggests that each player will have their own eye position, relative to the ball, to be more successful.

When it comes to putting, traditionally the eyes were taught to be directly over the ball. In my early career, it was suggested that I drop a ball from my left eye to create the correct eye position. Over the years I have experimented with the best place for me to position my eyes and nowadays I spend a lot of time helping players find the right eye placement for their success.

Here is a simplified version of how I help players gain the correct eye position:

1. Position one three-foot ruler at the mouth of the hole and another three feet away extending out from your golf ball. There should be a three-foot gap between them. This setup will test your binocular vision.

2. Address the ball and look towards the target while retaining your posture. Start with your eyes inside the ruler line (A) and then outside the ruler line (B) and watch how the lines change orientation. There will be a point between positions A and B where the rulers look perfectly straight towards the target and this is your ideal eye position (C).

3. When you find this position, place a putting mirror (or a DVD) under the ball. Re-address the ball and check the lines still match up. From this position look down at your reflection and look at where your eyes are relative to the ball. Most successful putters have their eyes slightly inside the ball to the target line but by how much varies based on your field of vision.

4. Mark the position of your eyes on the mirror and start putting yourself in this position each time you practise.

Spring_2017_Cover_ENThis article was originally published in the April 2017 edition of Golf Canada Magazine. Click here to view the full magazine.