Focusing on the Narrowest Possible Target to Make More Putts

By Rich O’Brien

Last month I wrote about how a player can calibrate their putting stroke and the power of a swing thought.  Now I will turn my focus on how a player can improve their putting by focusing on the narrowest possible target.

Dr. Bob Rotella in his book, Golf is a Game of Confidence, writes that golf is a game played primarily with the eyes and suggests that golfers should focus on the narrowest possible target. Meanwhile, Harvey Penick told golfer’s to take dead aim.

Combining those two thoughts I asked my optometrist to correct my vision with my contact lenses to 20-10 in order to allow me to see a single blade of grass at the edge of the hole.  Most golfers do not have 20-10 vision, but something similar can be done by treating a hole as a clock face and visualizing the time that the ball will fall into the hole.  

Combining this mentality with a pre-putting routine in which the player takes a series of practice strokes focusing on the narrowest target allows golfers to create better feel for the stroke necessary to hole the putt.  If you watch most touring professionals they typically take their practice strokes looking at the hole.

Visualization is a critical skill for good golf. Seeing the ball falling into the hole is important for making more putts. Focusing on the narrowest possible target allows players to read and react to the target and make more putts.

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