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Putt to the Picture (via Tiger Woods)

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iacas

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Distance control is an "athletic" thing for most golfers. Unless you're Bryson DeChambeau, who knows that a 12" backstroke makes the ball go 15.739 feet (or whatever), players tend to putt best when they tap into their athleticism. That's why studies will point out how golfers putting from 25+ feet with their eyes looking at the hole often have better distance control (even though they slightly mishit some putts) than golfers looking down at the ball.

Combine both: do what Tiger Woods learned to do from his dad.

When taking his last look at the hole, he'd take a mental "snapshot" - a picture - of the hole, the green between him and the hole, his putt. Then, when he looks down at the ball, he sees the ball but he also sees the "photo" and then, per his dad's instructions, he "putts into the picture."

I do this, and almost always have, even though when I started playing golf it didn't have a "title."

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Hmm, I am not sure I am getting this mental imagery correct. 

I've guess for me, I've always just imagined the ball going from where it was at rest to the hole during my pre-shot routine. I'll trace the putt from the ball to the hole and it's pace in my head. I just try to match it when I putt. 

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14 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Hmm, I am not sure I am getting this mental imagery correct.

When you are playing basketball, you look up and see the basket and react. You don't think "Okay, I'm 21.6 feet from the basket, so I have to toss it this hard." You just react. You toss the basketball to the hoop based on what you see.

Or if you're looking down with a golf ball in your hand, and I say "hey, toss me that ball" you just look up, locate me, and react athletically to toss me the ball.

Golf should be more of the same - take a picture of the hole in your mind, and even when you look down at the ball, "see" that photo and putt into it. That way it's more like you're tossing a ball toward a basket (or a friend).

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

take a picture of the hole in your mind, and even when you look down at the ball, "see" that photo and putt into it. That way it's more like you're tossing a ball toward a basket (or a friend).

I'll have to play around with this imagery idea. I think I kinda do it sometimes, but I probably don't hang onto the concept long enough. I'm just trying to go through a typical putting situation in my head. I really haven't thought about what I do when it comes to distance control before. 

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Reminds me of the “A Quiet Eye: Brainy Putting” approach I saw on Scientific American Frontiers year ago. Basically the same idea. Look at the hole and see the break of the putt, remember it, then putt without looking up again. I taught this to my players for penalty kicks in soccer too.

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I'm going to try this.  My distance control is largely based on, before a round, trying to get the feeling 10', 20', and 30' putts ... but I'm not doing anything conscious with that information.  

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Based on the past few days, I have learned I need to practice this putting to the picture skill.

Alternately, maybe do my long putts looking at the hole.

Also, I started picturing a picture frame at the apex of my putt.  That's probably not what I'm supposed to be doing.

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I was trying this out yesterday. Here was my step by step process

1. Take a few practice strokes next to the ball trying to feel out the putt
2. Look at the hole and try to take a mental image.
3. Set up to the ball
4. Glance back at the hole seeing the ball track into the picture
5. Putt with that intent.

Maybe it's correct?

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10 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I was trying this out yesterday. Here was my step by step process

1. Take a few practice strokes next to the ball trying to feel out the putt
2. Look at the hole and try to take a mental image.
3. Set up to the ball
4. Glance back at the hole seeing the ball track into the picture
5. Putt with that intent.

Maybe it's correct?

Kinda?

It's this way, really. Before you look at the ball, right before you putt, you take a picture of the hole in your mind's eye, and when you look down at the ball, you still SEE that same image in your mind's eye. Then, as if you were looking at the hole, you putt "into" that picture in your mind's eye.

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