You don’t have to spend much time playing the game of golf before you realize all the tips and tricks involved.
Everybody has some new piece of advice that is supposed to help you turn into the next best golfer.
With how hard this game is to perfect, many people take this advice with open arms and minds.
Although not all golf game advice is good advice, putting while looking at the hole can be effective.
In this guide, we will help you learn the positives and negatives of this technique.
We will also give you some ideas on how actually to putt while looking at the hole.
What Are The Advantages Of Looking At The Hole When Putting?
Looking at the hole while you are putting can have several key benefits.
The first is that looking at the hole when putting eliminates the ability to pick your head up too soon.
Many golfers tend to lift their heads way too soon in their putting stroke.
When you look up before you make solid contact with the ball, it will affect the roll of your golf ball.
Most times, you will end up hitting the ball right of your target, and the putt itself will be quite weak.
If you look at the hole while you are putting, you can’t possibly pick your head up too soon.
It is already up.
Another benefit of putting while looking at the hole is that it helps your brain naturally guide the ball towards the hole.
Most people think that this is more difficult than it is.
However, the longer you play the game, the more your body knows how to guide the ball towards the hole.
This is part of developing feel.
Your hands, arms, and brain will naturally guide the ball on the intended line to the target.
The last advantage of putting while looking at the hole is alignment.
Sometimes golfers take a ton of time to line up their shots, and they never realize how far off they are.
When setting up in this way, you get an extra chance to look at the hole right before you hit.
This look will give you a better indication as to if you are lined up to hit the ball.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Looking At The Hole When Putting?
In all honesty, there are not very many disadvantages to putting while looking at the hole.
Many people think that when looking at the hole, you will not make solid contact with the golf ball.
This is entirely untrue.
Aside from being a pure beginner who many not understand the fundaments of putting, you will not miss the ball when putting while looking at the hole.
Of course, anytime you switch to a new technique in your golf game, there is going to be an adjustment period.
You will need to spend some time practicing on the putting green.
It will take a few practice sessions to develop your feel for this, but it should come to you rather quickly.
The only other disadvantage that some players report is that this technique transfers into their chipping.
Many golfers say they get so used to putting this way that they start chipping using these methods as well.
Chipping while looking at the hole is useful for some people, but not quite as much as the putting is.
This is a bit tough, and there are very few professionals who will do this in their game.
A chip here and there while looking at the hole is fine, but try and keep this technique to just the putting green.
How To Putt While Looking At The Hole
Now that we gave you the rundown on how effective this method is, how do you pull it off?
Indeed, these steps will vary based on your routine and putting stroke, but this is an excellent starting point.
Go through your normal setup and alignment process.
Take some time to walk up to the hole and give your eyes and brain a sense of how long the putt is.
When you return to the ball, get yourself lined up to the hole.
Once you are lined up, you can turn your head towards the hole.
Most players like to look back down at the ball one more time.
This look back helps them make sure that the putter head is square and ready to go.
Keep your head steady and take your normal putting stroke.
You will want to keep your eyes focused on the hole the entire time you putt.
If you waiver from this position, it could affect the way the golf ball travels.
As you see the ball move towards the hole, it is then ok to move both your body and your head.
The more you practice this putting stroke and get used to it, the easier it will get.
Very few people have trouble when it comes to missing the ball or hitting it off-center just because they were looking at the hole.
Why Is This Putting Method Effective?
One of the most exciting things about this putting method is not necessarily how to do it, but why it is so effective.
The real reason behind why this works is the fact that golf is such a mental sport.
When people look at a golf ball, their anxiety goes up.
You get nervous just thinking about getting the ball into the hole in the fewest number of strokes.
When you can eliminate looking at the ball and start focusing on the target, this is very valuable.
When professionals work on visualization and their mental game, they spend a great deal of time thinking about the target.
Focusing on the golf ball does them no good.
They must always keep the end goal in mind and work towards completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes.
When you stare at the ball and let this anxiety creep in, you will inhibit some of your natural golfing ability.
What your body wants to do, it can’t because your brain is blocking it.
By not looking at the golf ball, you can eliminate these issues.
An interesting fact that many players discover is that when they switch back to their old putting stroke, they are much better.
For some reason looking at the hole while putting can also make your traditional putting strokes much better.
We think it is mostly because of the muscle memory you give your body.
You may slip back into your old habits eventually, but the initial switch back to your old putting stroke should go quite well.
Do Any Pros Look At The Hole When They Putt?
Golfers change their techniques quite often.
If something isn’t working for them, they can change from one day to the next.
For a while, Jordan Spieth was putting while looking at the hole.
It led to some great success on tour for him.
Who Should Use This Putting Method?
If looking at the hole while putting is starting to intrigue you, you may be wondering if this is a good switch for your game.
Indeed, anyone can try this putting method, but there are a few players who will benefit significantly from implementing this strategy.
If you are a golfer who tends to get the “yips,” then you will see great success with this method.
Since you will no longer be focused on the ball and instead can focus on the target, your stroke will be much smoother.
People who miss a one or two-foot putt are hyper-focused on their golf club and golf ball.
When you take these two factors out, their natural putting stroke can flow.
Some of the best-putting strokes can be destroyed by overcomplicating things with your brain.
Looking at the hole while putting will make things flow much more smoothly.
Another golfer that should try looking at the hole while putting is the low handicap player.
If you are a low handicap player and you get in a bit of a rut with your short game, try changing things up.
Low handicappers should have a great deal of confidence in their putting stroke.
They should easily be able to hit putts even with their eyes closed.
Sometimes a simple change like this can make all the difference and get your game to the next level.
Beginner golfers will likely need to get a little bit of a handle on their putting game before trying this method.
The beginner will be worried about their putting stroke and whether or not they will miss the ball.
Since the beginner is so new at all things golf-related, there is a chance they could hit some terrible putts.
Once a new golfer has a few months under their belt, it can be a great time to introduce the look at the hole and try the method.
Another tip To Help You Improve Your Putting
If you are afraid that looking at the hole while putting is a bit extreme for you, there is another idea to help you with your putting game.
One option is to hit some putts with your eyes closed.
Set yourself up on a putting green with a ball about three feet from a hole.
Make sure you are lined up and then hit the golf ball with your eyes shut.
Do this for about ten putts and see how many you make.
Now do this same drill with your eyes open and see how many putts you make.
Chances are you will make more with your eyes closed than with them open.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to putt with your eyes closed on the golf course, but it does teach you a few things.
Mostly it teaches you that you are letting your hands, brain, and head get way too involved in your putting stroke.
Instead of just stroking the golf ball, you are likely pushing it into the hole.
You can practice lots of shots like this so that the next time you get on the course, you have more confidence from this distance.
Final Verdict: Should You Look At The Hole When Putting?
With all the positive results we have seen both in our golf games and in those of others, we do believe it is best to look at the hole when putting.
Just because it does not seem like the traditional or accepted method, does not make it wrong.
For those of you that are reluctant to try this, we suggest doing it on the putting green.
Practice just ten or fifteen putts and see how accurate you are.
Of course, this is not a magic putting stroke, but it has proven to be very useful.