A small misalignment on a full golf shot can cause the ball to veer off-target by several yards. Poor aim with your putter will have a negligible effect on direction, but the minute margin for error magnifies the mistake.
Aligning the putter’s face with the target line is critical for the obvious reason, but also because chronic misalignment makes the golfer subconsciously compensate during the stroke. For instance, if you consistently line up left of the hole without realizing it, you’ll develop a stroke that pushes the ball back on line.
Fortunately, proper aiming is simple thanks to built-in guides featured on the majority of today’s putters. While some have only a single line atop the putter head, others offer a more sophisticated system that ensures correct aim with the eyes directly over the ball.
Even with a helpful putter, you must be able to choose an aiming spot and point the putter at it. Here’s a highly effective method:
- Read your putt’s break (curve) and speed.
- If the putt is straight, your target is the hole.
- If the putt breaks, pick the spot where it will begin turning toward the hole (aka the high point of the break).
- Place the ball so that its alignment aid – such as the name brand or other marking – points directly at your target.
- Place putter behind ball, matching the alignment guides.
If you’ve been lining up incorrectly, proper alignment may look off the mark when you stand over the ball.
If so, you’ll need to practice diligently to gain a feel for the right line and to banish bad stroke habits you may have formed.
Thomas Golf offers custom-built putters, with state-of-the-art alignment aids, through its website (www.thomasgolf.com).