It is always fascinating to me how many of us seem to emulate the Tour players.
In many cases, this may be a good thing but in other instances it may not be. Following the habits of a Tour player such as — plumb bobbing, dressing like a pro, OR lining up the ball with the target point on the green – may or may not help improve your performance.
Let me explain; plumb bobbing, from a purely technical point of view only works if you really know what you are doing, and if the slope of the green is the same from where you are standing all the way to the hole. Dressing like a pro often gives you confidence as it makes you feel like pro. Lining up the ball on the green is a common habit on tour and emulated too often by many of us.
Research has shown that there is no statistically significant difference in putting performance whether you line up the ball or not.
The upside is that if you do it correctly it may give you some confidence when you are over the ball and ready to pull the trigger.
The downside is that;
It can take up a lot of time.
If it is slightly off line when you get over it, you will attempt to re-align the ball a second time. If perchance it is still off line with the target then most of the elite golfers we have helped, will alter their stroke a little to compensate.
It is never good to have any doubt or mental distraction when you are over the ball ready to make the putt. This only interferes with and inhibits your intuitive ability to take over.
The less I fiddle and posture on the green the better. No line, no plumb bob, but I do let me feet tell me the slope around the hole.
how can you realistically use a 1.68 inch line (at best) as a guide for putting?
my question is, do you align the ball with the intended putting line, then align the putter to the line on the ball, or do you align the putter to your line, and then align the ball with the putter face?
Nothing’s that precise. Just make sure the face is square to the line.
Just hit it.
About aligning the ball…any line the golfer wants to choose is a guess, and usually interdependent with the pace of the stroke. If you have the mental discipline to mark the line just one time and then concentrate on contacting the line on the ball at what you think is the correct pace, you get feedback from watching how the ball behaves. Does the ball roll true on the line you chose? How was the read you guessed wrong (if you miss the putt). The computer in your head takes that information and informs your next read on the next putt.
The other thing about aligning some mark on the ball is that it helps you concentrate on the pace you want the ball to travel.
And if you don’t have the mental discipline to follow the routine, develop one. You’ll soon see the benefit that accrues, and your confidence will increase.
Research on golfers doing an experiment when not actually playing the game, where you have to hit full shots between putts and putt on greens of varying speed and slope one after another, have zero relevance for how any golfers will perform.
We can both remember when Deane Beman and then Jack Nicklaus become the first pros to make yardage books. After they started winning it became de rigeur, and now we have GPS and laser rangefinders.
Three seconds of plumb bobbing will give me an aiming spot. Two to four practice strokes, looking at the spot, lets my eyes and hands communicate. Ten seconds of prep and I focus on square contact. More than 10-12 feet, I just look at the hole. Never made a free throw looking at the basket ball.