Study: You do better with "a pro's" putter.
Want to make more putts? According to a Canadian study
, you'll make one more in every 10 (5 instead of 4) if you think the putter you're using belonged to a tour pro. Really. In fact, the hole even looks larger to you. According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, the University of Alberta researcher who conducted the study, Charles Lee, told half of a group of some 40 right-handed amateurs who followed the Tour that the putter they were using belonged to Ben Curtis. Thirty-eight per cent of that group putted better.
Those led to believe their putter previously belonged to Curtis sank more putts than the control group: an average 5.30 out of 10 versus 3.85, representing a small but statistically significant benefit. In addition, a computer-assisted experiment showed they perceived the golf hole to be bigger than those in the control group: 9.6 centimeters versus 8.75 cm.
“Maybe the things that we consider superstitious really aren't,” says Lee, whose study appears in the journal PLoS ONE. “Maybe they really are grounded in scientific reality.”
Interesting. Golf Digest enjoyed a visit from Dave Stockton last week. Based on what Stockton told us about putting, and on how he emphasized the mental aspect of it, I'm not sure he would be surprised by this finding at all. In fact, it wouldn't shock me if he said: "I told you so."
Stockton's teaching goes well beyond the psychological, of course. Check out these four Stockton tips
on putting. Might help even more than Ben Curtis' putter.