Self-test: Do you see a dif­fer­ent line when you get over the ball?

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

way that lets you see your aim­ing point ac­cu­rately is the most im­por­tant fac­tor, not speci cally how you set up.

Two play­ers I teach look al­most like they’re play­ing a di er­ent game on the greens. Jonas Blixt stands far away from the ball, so his eyes are way in­side the tar­get line.Alex Rocha is much closer, and he has his head tilted to the right – al­most like a sniper.

But when I mea­sure them on the SAM Put­tLab, they both aim ex­actly where they want the ball to go.

In­stead of try­ing to build a text­book setup, use my tech­nique to de­velop your own setup so you can line up ac­cu­rately ev­ery time.The best part?You can ap­ply this trick no mat­ter what kind of stroke you use – swing­ing on an arc, straight back and through, it doesn’t mat­ter.

Here’s how to test your aim: Find a straight 10-footer, and set four balls at speci c in­ter­vals – at ad­dress, a foot down the line, four feet short of the hole and on the front edge of the cup.

As you ap­proach the rst ball from be­hind, make sure you see the line of balls as straight. Then take your stance, and trace an imag­i­nary line through the balls to the hole. If the line still looks straight, you’re good to go (be­low). If any ball ap­pears out of line, your eye dom­i­nance is dis­tort­ing your view.This will a ect your aim, so you have to ad­just.

There are three things you can do: (1) Change the dis­tance you stand from the ball, (2) raise or lower your head, and (3) tilt your head so your eye line is more hor­i­zon­tal or more ver­ti­cal. One of th­ese or a com­bi­na­tion of them should work – you need to ex­per­i­ment.You know you’ve got it right when the line of balls looks straight at ad­dress. Once you’ve got it, set an align­ment stick in front of your toes and an­other cross­ing it in line with the heel of the put­ter. Prac­tise get­ting into that setup, and re­mem­ber the look and feel to be more con­sis­tent on the greens. Jorge Parada, a Golf Di­gest Best Young Teacher, works with sev­eral PGA Tour play­ers at the Tour Academy TPC Saw­grass, site of the Play­ers Cham­pi­onship.

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