Many senior golfers can get very nervous on the greens over time.
This can be due to numerous factors but is usually down to missing lots of putts on the greens over the years. One of the problems that can be caused by this nervousness is that the senior golfer is desperate to see where the putt has gone. They take a 'peek'. This basically means that the golfer starts to turn the head to look at the result of the putt during the putting motion. In short, they look for where the ball has gone too early.
This can be a huge problem in putting and is severely detrimental in terms of accuracy. As the head turns to look at where the ball is rolling, the turning motion of the neck will cause the body to open up. The consequence of this is that the shoulders, hips and knees all point to the left of the target (for right handed golfers) as the putter head impacts the ball. If the body points to the left of the target through the impact area then the ball will be pulled in that direction and will never have a chance of going in the hole.
A simple way to check your alignment before and after the putt is to do the following:
- Set up for a putt to a hole approximately five feet away and check that your shoulders, hips and knees are on line with the hole. You can do this by holding your putter up against your shoulders, hips and knees and when doing so you should see that the putter points parallel left with the line of the hole.
- Once set up correctly, hit your putt and hold the follow through position. Without moving your body from this position pick up the putter and check the alignment of the shoulders, hips and knees again. The putter should still point parallel left with the line of the hole. If you turn your head and 'peek' during the putt you will find that your shoulders hips and knees all point way left of the hole which is where you will find your putt heading.
To correct this 'peeking' action, keep your head still by counting to yourself.
Hit your putt and stay looking down at where the ball was at set up until you count to two. Make sure to count 'one, two' nice and slowly and stay rock solid until you are finished. After two you can turn your head and look at where the putt is heading.
Keeping the head still through the putting motion and not 'peeking' will keep you more stable through the ball and ensure a solid, consistent putting stroke that rolls the ball on line to the target.