In evaluating a round of golf, you typically focus on the shots you wish you could do-over. The ones that you know if you had a second chance, the results would have been drastically improved. The one spot that golfers typically feel they should have the most do-overs and improve their scores is on the green.
How many times have you faced a 3, 4, or maybe 5 foot putt, only to miss and leave the ball right on the edge of the hole? My experience has taught me that when golfers can visually see the hole in their peripheral vision, the foundation of their putting strokes disappear, and the golfer “steers” the ball towards the hole. The hands become very active in the stroke and manipulate the face open and closed, resulting in those near misses from short range.
My favorite practice drill to have golfers work on when they are close to hole….putt with their eyes shut!
1. Set up a putt between 4-6′ from the hole. A distance that you can see the hole in your peripheral vision when you are looking at your ball.
2. Take you normal set up, and go through your typical routine of practice strokes and getting aligned.
3. Just before you are ready to start the stroke, close your eyes. With you eyes shut, make your putting stroke and “listen” for the ball to hit the bottom of the cup.
Practicing with this drill, your vision will not allow your hands to take over the putting stroke. Your stroke will remain fluid, and uninfluenced by anything. This also provides the golfer with tremendous awareness of their body and the putting stroke they make.
Putting with your eyes closed will help you make a more pure stroke and make more putts.