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MattM

Help with aimpoint and ball alignment!

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Ok so with the weather I have not been able to work on my full swing for sometime but I have a putting green and have really been working on my putting.

I started aimpoint in Jan. and it has worked well.  I got my putts down from 2.2 per hole to 1.75 for a low, but that number crept up to 1.9 at the end of the year.

My problem that I guess I'm just figuring out is that when I get my line I use the ball alignment to line the ball up from behind the ball.  When I do this I SWEAR the ball is lined up properly but then when I go to putt the line is way to the left!!!!!  It's so FRUSTRATING!!!!!!

Has anyone else had this issue and what did you do?  I can tell you to fix it for the longest time I was behind the ball and just lining it up to the right of where I wanted it to try to make it line up when I stand over it.  Obviously, purposely misaligning it isn't a good idea!

Anything you guys can tell me would be helpful.

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Were you always using the line?

We've done tests. Turns out people can't aim things very well, typically:

1) They can't aim their putters. Almost nobody is even inside the hole at six to ten feet let alone at the center inch or so of the hole.

2) They can't aim a line on their ball.

Either ditch the line idea and learn to aim your putter at a spot, or be really good about training yourself to aim your line at the right spot.

And even if you ARE aiming your line at the right spot, if it looks goofy to you standing over the ball with your putter behind it, you might still a) line your putter to your ball incorrectly or b) feel awkward about the aim and make a stroke with a compensation.

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One of the main things I took away from my class was that, previously to learning Aimpoint, I had a pretty common flaw.

Erik and Dave set up a test putt for us at the start of the class and had everybody independently read the putt their own way.  I remember saying something like 24-30 inches when, in actuality, it broke something like 7 feet.  But also in actuality, its doubtful I would actually miss that putt by 5 feet.  What I did, which is apparently pretty common is to read less break, but subconsciously know that and "push" the ball further up the hill when I made my stroke.

The trick that Dave and Erik gave me to help me get used to aiming for more break and overcome the tendency to "push" the ball even further, was to make my last look prior to putting at the hole, rather than at the spot I'm aiming.  Not sure if that will help you, but maybe its worth a try.

As far as lining up the ball with an actual line, I can't help you there.  I don't do that because I don't trust that I can actually line it up correctly, and if I don't it means I've set myself up to miss the putt before I hit it.

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I just finished another round of golf - with 36 putts.  And what makes it worse, is that I only hit 33% of my GIR.  So hitting 36 putts, and only hitting 1/3 of the greens is tough to do!

I'm playing some of the worst golf I've played in easily - a year and a half.  And I took Aimpoint too this past Summer, but today - I didn't even use it as the greens we played on were so severely sloped and had so much undulation - it just would've taken forever to read the greens, and with my speed being so poor - it just would've been a waste of time.

With that being said... I agree totally with lining a putt up - from behind the ball with a line - and then getting over it and feeling like you are totally off line and second guessing yourself.  I have this issue now with my putting too.  And to make it worse, my speed from any putt greater than 15 to 20ft is terrible.  So I'm just all around struggling with my putter.

I'd say the only way to overcome the issue is to do one of two things...

1.) Spend a ton of time on the putting green just grinding out practice sessions until you really feel comfortable over the ball. Maybe change up the routine - and not use the alignment line.  And just go with more of a spot putting routine.

2.) Get a new putter.  Sometimes getting rid of the old - and going with something new - can get your confidence back.  And lets face it - 90% of putting is confidence - at least in my book.

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My problem that I guess I'm just figuring out is that when I get my line I use the ball alignment to line the ball up from behind the ball.  When I do this I SWEAR the ball is lined up properly but then when I go to putt the line is way to the left!!!!!  It's so FRUSTRATING!!!!!!

I had that problem with the line for a while, so I just stopped using it. I could never get it lined up right where I wanted it, then I would get over the ball with no confidence in my line. It's not a cure-all of course, but rather than trying to aim the ball to my aimpoint and my putter to the ball, neither of which I was very good at, not I just aim my putter to my aim point, which does take practice.

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I originally started using the line before I got into aimpoint because I would miss my short straight putts (3-5ft).

It originally did help but then I developed the issue where even though I lined it up correctly from behind the ball it just looked way left when I stood over it!

What's weird is that when I try to line it up without the line I always just feel like I'm guessing.  Do you guys have any drills for aiming putts without the line?

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Originally Posted by MattM

I originally started using the line before I got into aimpoint because I would miss my short straight putts (3-5ft).

It originally did help but then I developed the issue where even though I lined it up correctly from behind the ball it just looked way left when I stood over it!

What's weird is that when I try to line it up without the line I always just feel like I'm guessing.  Do you guys have any drills for aiming putts without the line?

I use a 'Putting Alley'.  Which helps a ton with short putts... Unfortunately for me right now... My confidence is shot in golf and I'm just struggling with every facet.  Although, there is a silver lining... I hit some great shots - but a lot of piss poor shots too.

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I put the white of the ball facing up. No alignment lines.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I put the white of the ball facing up. No alignment lines.

So how do you line up your putt?  Is there any specific way you make sure that you actually have it pointing say 5 inches off the right for a right to left breaker?

I would absolutely do that but only if there is some sort of good way of aiming it....

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Originally Posted by MattM

So how do you line up your putt?  Is there any specific way you make sure that you actually have it pointing say 5 inches off the right for a right to left breaker?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamo

It's not a cure-all of course, but rather than trying to aim the ball to my aimpoint and my putter to the ball, neither of which I was very good at, now I just aim my putter to my aim point, which does take practice.

When I have tried using the aim line on my ball to line up a putt, it changes my focus.  Not sure how to explain this well, but when I do that I am focused more on the ball (since that is where my aiming line is) than on my actual putting line.  Putting without the aim line on the ball allows (or forces) me to "see" the entire putt when I am standing over it.  I am much more comfortable over a putt when I am "seeing" everything than when I am intensely focused on the ball.  (Putting that way - with a line on the ball - makes me feel like I have blinders on)

I see putting with a line on the ball as a little too mechanical for my tastes.  (However, I will occasionally practice it just to confirm I still prefer the other way)

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Well, if standing over the ball and it looks off, and you decide to just trust the line, does it go where you want it? In in other words, is the line off or is your perception off? I pick my aimpoint, line up the ball, then standing behind it, I line my putter up with the line on my ball, sort of extending the line to my aimpoint. I like using the line because I simply don't hit those putts that start way off my intended line. And I think when I miss a put, I have a better idea of what went wrong.
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Also, does this always happen to you? I have this problem sometimes standing on a side slope.
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Originally Posted by dsc123

Well, if standing over the ball and it looks off, and you decide to just trust the line, does it go where you want it? In in other words, is the line off or is your perception off?

I pick my aimpoint, line up the ball, then standing behind it, I line my putter up with the line on my ball, sort of extending the line to my aimpoint.

I like using the line because I simply don't hit those putts that start way off my intended line. And I think when I miss a put, I have a better idea of what went wrong.

If I trust that line then it's always off, but what is wierd is on some days it's actually perfect.  I dunno it's really really wierd.  Maybe I have a dominant eye problem or something.....

I will have to try this....

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Originally Posted by iacas

I put the white of the ball facing up. No alignment lines.

I do the same thing. I read many years ago on David Orr's site that the line can mess you up more than it can help you. So I stopped.

My unscientific study finds that my putting is more consistent, but not all much better or worse.

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I use to putt with a guide, i now don't. The reason, i am a stickler for geometric perfection sometimes. What drove me nuts is when i put the ball down, to line up the putt, the imperfections in the green would make the ball slightly move, now the line is off. God forbid if i put the ball on the wrong aim line, then i have to redo it again, it was just annoying.

What i do is find my tangent line to the arc i want the putt to go on, then i just pick a point 1-2 inches infront of the ball and line up to that. I know the closer the point to the ball i can aim over the more on the tangent line i am at.

I know some people feel like, if they get the aim line on the ball were they want, and line up to that it free's them up. I find it the opposite, i will stress over it so much, it just consumes my putting. I rather just go with looking at nothing on the ball.

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  1. Have a good fitter adjust your putter to match your stroke and aim.  The fitter uses a laser to show where the face is aimed.  For me, I was off about 1.5" to the left of the center of the hole.  My putter was adjusted to lie a bit flatter for my stroke and alignment.  After adjustment, I was dead center.
  2. Second:  Advice given to me before taking AimPoint from Erik was to practice getting balls to start on the intended line.  You can aim correctly but be off on your stroke.  What I did was find a flat 3 foot section on my putting mat.  I took a chalk string (used by carpenters ,found at any good hardware store) and created a line.  Then I practiced putting to keep that ball on the line.
  3. Another drill without the line is to place another ball about 1 foot away from the ball you are hitting.  Line up to putt your ball to hit the other ball dead center.  You can increase the distance to make it harder.
  4. When I putt on the course, I either line up my putter to the aimpoint or for longer putts, to a point much closer to the ball that lines up with the aimpoint.
  5. Dave Stockton recommends to pick a point 2 to 3 inches in front of the ball and only concentrate on rolling to ball over the point.
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Originally Posted by boogielicious

Have a good fitter adjust your putter to match your stroke and aim.  The fitter uses a laser to show where the face is aimed.  For me, I was off about 1.5" to the left of the center of the hole.  My putter was adjusted to lie a bit flatter for my stroke and alignment.  After adjustment, I was dead center.

Second:  Advice given to me before taking AimPoint from Erik was to practice getting balls to start on the intended line.  You can aim correctly but be off on your stroke.  What I did was find a flat 3 foot section on my putting mat.  I took a chalk string (used by carpenters ,found at any good hardware store) and created a line.  Then I practiced putting to keep that ball on the line.

Another drill without the line is to place another ball about 1 foot away from the ball you are hitting.  Line up to putt your ball to hit the other ball dead center.  You can increase the distance to make it harder.

When I putt on the course, I either line up my putter to the aimpoint or for longer putts, to a point much closer to the ball that lines up with the aimpoint.

Dave Stockton recommends to pick a point 2 to 3 inches in front of the ball and only concentrate on rolling to ball over the point.

I had a fitter match me up to this putter and he changed the length and lie of the putter for my particular stroke.

I am going to try the chalk line drill again just to make sure I'm starting it where I want it (last time it did that it was spot on).

A little note and you guys might find this kind of dumb but I think my issue is with eye dominance.  Last night I lined the ball up (from behind it) then stood over it and sure enough it was left.  I then got behind it again and tilted my head to the right which allowed me to see it the way it was left.  Once I tilted my head and lined up the ball to the center of the cup (from my perspective) I stood over the ball again and sure enough it was lined up right into the hole!

I will keep trying this to make sure it is correct, but I think I'm on to something!

BTW Thanks for all of the advice guys!

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