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Advantages of Looking at the Hole When Putting in Golf

Looking at the hole when putting in golf can provide several advantages for the golfer. Firstly, it can help to improve alignment and accuracy. By focusing on the hole, the golfer can better visualize the line of the putt and ensure that their stroke is aligned properly. This can lead to more consistent and accurate putts, ultimately resulting in lower scores on the course. Additionally, looking at the hole when putting can help to instill confidence in the golfer.

By maintaining a steady focus on the target, the golfer can develop a sense of trust in their ability to make the putt, leading to a more confident and assertive stroke. Looking at the hole can also aid in controlling the speed of the putt. By focusing on the destination rather than the mechanics of the stroke, the golfer can better gauge the intensity needed to reach the hole, resulting in more precise and controlled putts. 

Overall, looking at the hole when putting in golf can significantly enhance a golfer’s performance on the greens, leading to improved accuracy, confidence, and control. 

Improved Alignment and Aim

The first major benefit of locking eyes with the hole during a putt is more accurate alignment and aim. Without staring down the intended target, it becomes much easier to misalign the putter face and launch angle. Squaring the face while looking at the ball makes it more likely to start the ball offline.

By looking forward at the hole, golfers can use the cup itself to provide feedback on proper setup. If the hole appears off-center from the putter, adjustment is necessary. Keeping the eyes down allows the brain to process more information and calibrate each putt for better directional accuracy.

Enhanced Pace Control

Judging speed and pace are also enhanced when concentrating vision on the hole throughout the stroke. Looking at the hole while putting gives golfers a better sense of true distance and contour. Without this perspective, pace can be misread from the flatter view looking down at the ball.

Seeing the entire landscape between the ball and the hole makes it easier to visualize the actual break and roll of the green. This perspective allows for a better mental picture of the force and touch needed to match that terrain. Keeping the focus forward breeds more confidence in the pace needed to match the target line as well.

Improved Feel and Touch

The sense of feel and touch on the putting green develops quicker when the eyes remain fixed on the desired landing spot. The kinesthetic feedback through the hands provides signals and touch references that guide optimal speed. Without staring at the hole, golfers lose sight of those references which can lead to mishits and miscues.

Watching the entire putt unfold also gives immediate feedback on solid contact and whether the ball was given the required nudge. This visual information loops directly back into forming the correct touch and tempo for the green speeds. Over time, watching putts hole out ingrains the proper feel essential to confident putting.

Decreased Mental Tension

Many novice and struggling golfers deal with tension, anxiety, and mental doubt on the putting surfaces. Shifting focus towards the hole has a calming, freeing effect for most golfers. Instead of overthinking mechanics or obsessing over missed cues, the mind is more occupied tracking the rolling ball.

This external concentration diffuses many of the negative thoughts that breed poor performance. Quieting the mental chatter in this way takes the pressure off each putt, allowing the intuition and automaticity gained through practice to take over. Watching putts finish also builds the confidence to trust your stroke under pressure.

Reinforced Pre-Shot Routine

Establishing and sticking to a set pre-shot routine is essential for consistency in any golfer’s game. Anchoring the start of that routine sequence by locking eyes on the hole helps ingrain the proper mindset. This specific trigger to begin each putt checks any wandering focus and redirects it to the task at hand.

Setting your sights on the hole every time also eliminates extra glances around the green during the address. This single-minded commitment to the target enhances focus while providing a cue to flow smoothly into the ensuing steps of the routine on every try. Over time, the sequence becomes automatic driving intuitive putting.


Should you look at the ball while putting?

There is debate among golf instructors on whether it’s best to look at the ball or the hole when putting. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Many top pros like Tiger Woods keep their eyes focused on the ball during the entire putting stroke. This allows them to better judge the quality of contact and line up putts correctly. However, other players have success looking at the hole as they hit putts. This helps them better read greens and start the ball on the intended target line. There are merits to both techniques. As an amateur, choose the process that breeds the most consistency in your setup and stroke.

Can you face the hole when putting?

Yes, golf rules allow players to stand facing the hole during a putt instead of perpendicular to the target line. This unorthodox style, known as “side saddle” putting, can help certain players better visualize break and contour. Facing the cup gives a clear head-on view of the terrain and slope that can be difficult to discern from a traditional setup position. Side saddle putting removes doubt about aiming points and reads. This alternative is legal and offers some players an advantage on the dance floor.

Why is Cam Smith so good at putting?

Aussie pro-Cam Smith’s world-class putting comes from his innate feel and touches with the flat stick. He relies on instinct over mechanics, feeling his way to the hole instead of obsessing over technique. Smith also utilizes a unique, bow-wristed grip that takes the hands out of the stroke even more by eliminating the wrist hinge. This tension-free hold promotes a silky, pendulum motion unencumbered by manipulation. His grip it and rip it approach leads to Tour’s best putting consistency.

How can I make my putt lag better?

Improving lag putting requires dialing in distance control and learning to account for slope. Make sure you have a consistent routine that allows you to properly read the break on second putts. Factor in terrain by visualizing how firm or soft you must hit a putt for it to finish near the hole. Lagging also demands a commitment to your read and stroke once you step in to hit the putt. Second-guessing leads to hesitancy and poor contact. Trust your instincts and focus on hitting your spot rather than worrying about holing every putt. This mental adjustment alone will make your lag putting much more dialed in.

Ending Journey of benefits of looking at the hole while putting

 In conclusion, there are numerous benefits to be gained from looking at the hole while putting. Not only does this practice promote a more accurate and consistent putting stroke, but it also helps golfers develop better distance control and overall putting performance. By focusing on the target, rather than the ball, players can better visualize the line and speed needed to sink the putt, leading to improved confidence and success on the green.

Additionally, looking at the hole while putting encourages a more fluid and natural motion, as it prevents golfers from becoming overly fixated on the mechanics of their stroke. This can lead to a smoother and more relaxed putting motion, which is crucial for maintaining a steady rhythm and eliminating unnecessary tension. 

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