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Weekend Tip: Don't look at the ball when you putt

August 18, 2012

*Managing Editor

Golf Digest*

Dave Stockton's newest Book, Unsconscious Scoring, was just released, and you can find an excerpt in the upcoming October issue of Golf Digest. Written with Matthew Rudy, this book is a clear, succinct approach to simplifying your short game.

I will write a more lengthy review next week. But right now I want to give you a tip from Stockton that might really help your putting. I know it helped mine.

Dave says not to look at the ball when you putt, but rather to pick a spot a couple of inches in front of the ball, right on the putting line you have chosen. Then when you make your stroke, simply focus on rolling the ball right over that spot.

It's amazing how that simple tip helps you to not only roll the ball on your chosen line, but it gets you to accelerate the putter, hit the putt more solid and put a truer roll on it.

I was speaking to the Director of Golf at New Seabury on Cape Cod, Brendan Reilly, about this yesterday (Brendan is one of the best putters I've ever seen), and he said, "I do that on all my shots." That was a revelation for me. Suddenly, my iron shots were crisper (no more fat 7-irons), my chips started checking up next to the pin, my fairway bunker shots were nipped cleanly and my drives had some extra pop. *Note: this is not a good thought in greenside bunkers, unless you've been taking too much sand.

*Give this thought a try, and good luck this weekend with your game.

Twitter @RogerSchiffman