Putting Eye Line

One of the big keys to a great putting setup is to have a proper putting eye line. This part of the setup is important because it helps get your eyes well positioned to see the line of your putt.  It helps tremendously in clearly seeing your line and getting your ball started on the line you have chosen.

This key is to position your eyes directly over your target line when you setup to hit your putts.  The principle is that from this position your eyes can track directly down your intended target line.  This helps you ‘see’ your line and help you make a stroke that gets your ball started on the same line.

Some players get their eyes set to the inside of their target line and closer to their feet.  This will make the target look like it is out to the right.  However, some players will get their eyes set outside of their target line which will make their target look like it is to the left.  Either way, if you setup in one of these ways, you are likely to manipulate your stroke based on what your eyes see.  Therefore, it is important that you get your eyes over the ball to give yourself the best chance to start your ball on your intended line.

Here are a couple of drills to help you get a great putting eye line.

Putting Eye Line Drill #1: Ball Drop Test

For this drill you need two golf balls.  Put one ball on the ground and keep one in your hand.  Setup as you normally would to hit your putt.  After you get setup, take the second ball in your hand up to the bridge of your nose and drop it.  Where the ball lands will show you where your eye line is in relation to your target line.  Ideally your ball will drop right on top of your ball that you intend to putt. 

If the ball you drop falls to the inside (closer to your body than the ball on the ground) or outside (farther from your body) then you should adjust your stance.  The two places to adjust would be the distance you stand from the ball and your bend at your hips. 

Putting Eye Line Drill #2: CD Reflection Test

Do you have an old CD lying around the house?  If you are a young junior player, you may have to ask your parents for the disc they used to use to listen to music before iPhones, iPods and YouTube!

Take the disc and put it on the ground with the shiny part up.  This will act like a little mirror.  Take a golf ball and place it in the little hole in the middle of the disc.  Now take your setup as if you were going to putt that ball out of the disc.  When you set up you should see the reflection of your eyes in the disc.  Ideally you will see your eyes right over the ball.  The best part of this drill is the instant feedback and being able to make adjustments to your stance and seeing how it affects your eye line.

Putting Eye Line Drill #3: String Test

For this drill you will need a 6 – 8 foot piece of string tied to two long nails or screws.  This is a very handy homemade training aid and I suggest every player make and carry one with them.  There are many drills that can be done to improve your putting with this tool.

Set the string up on the green by sticking the nails in the green so that the string is pulled tight. Place a ball so that the string bisects the ball.  Now take your setup as if you were going to hit that putt.  Your eyes should be right over the ball so that the string splits the ball in half.

You can also use the alignment aid on your putter to tell if your eyes are in the right position.  Most putters have a line that goes straight back from the sweet spot.  When you set up over the ball your eyes should be in a position such that the string is directly over the centre alignment line, like the picture above.

The picture on the left shows what happens when your eyes get outside of your target line.  While the picture on the right depicts when your eyes are to far inside.

I have always said that we are all not built to hit 300+ yard tee shots.  However, we can all be world class putters and we can all have world class fundamentals.  Any player reading this could stand 60 feet away from the hole with the best players in the world and be the only one to hole the putt. 

If you can build solid fundamentals in all aspects of your game then you are going to give yourself the best opportunity to hit better shots.   This certainly applies to putting.  The proper putting eye line is one of those key fundamentals that we should be able to incorporate into our game.

If you have any questions or comments about these drills, please Contact Me.

Good luck with your practicing and playing.  I hope these lessons help you reach your golf goals sooner.

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