An eye to dominance
By T.J. TOMASI
Since your visual system is a strong determiner of how your muscles move, your putting stroke will follow your eye alignment. In essence, you putt where you look, so it’s key to make sure that where you look is correct.
How you position your eyes at address affects where you see the hole. With your eyes lined up outside your aim line, you’ll miss a well-stroked putt to the left. With your eyes inside your aim line, you’ll miss to the right.
There are two adjustments you need to make for correct eye alignment:
1. An imaginary line connecting your eyes should be directly over the start line at address.
2. Your dominant eye should be directly over the ball.
You can determine your eye dominance with this method:
1. With both eyes open, look at an object about 20 feet away.
2. Raise a finger and line it up so that your finger is overlapping the object.
3. Now close one eye. If it looks like your finger “jumped” and it is no longer in line with the object, then the eye you closed is dominant.
Your dominant eye is the one that focuses on specific parts of the target while your other eye gathers information to help you determine distance and depth perception by locating objects surrounding your target as reference points. The brain then takes information from both eyes and fuses it together into a composite.
Basically, we guess where things are using our third eye, the “mind’s eye.” Most of the time it works out pretty well for locating large objects of interest like bears and bridges, but a 4 1/4-inch hole 30 feet away demands special procedures. And you can improve your “guess” dramatically if you’re set up correctly.
At address, square your shoulders and hips to the aim line, then bend forward from your hip sockets until your eyes are directly over the aim line. Now, making sure that your eyes are still over the target line, rotate your head just enough to position your dominant eye directly over the ball. Position the putter shaft in the middle of your body with the ball directly in front of the putter face.
To locate the target from this position, you need only rotate your head instead of disrupting your eye line by lifting your head, but be sure to return your eyes back to their original position before you putt.