Putting is a vital part of our games. Various stats have been floated around the golfing world but most claim that around 45 percent of shots in a round of golf are on the putting green. Whilst this may vary from golfer to golfer I truly believe that any form of putting improvement will have an impact on our scores.
Scientists from the UK and Canada have explored the theory of "Quiet Eye" and the results are eye catching (pardon the pun).
Quiet eye is based on a theory that if your eyes are focusing on too many elements during the putting stroke you can be disrupting millions of neurons in the brain that convert visual information into movement.
Many people find golf to be more difficult than other sports because the ball is still unlike football or tennis where the ball is moving and we are able to react. In golf the ball is still so our eyes need to remain quiet.
Canadian scientists tested 7 golfers with handicaps between 8 and 16 on a 10ft putt. During the test the golfers wore eye movement helmets to monitor there gaze during the stroke. On the flat putt the golfers holed 50% of the putts.
After analysing each golfers eye movements the team of scientists noticed that each golfer scattered their gaze across the ball during the stroke.
The same golfers were then trained in quiet eye and re-tested on another straight putt. When re-tested the golfers holed 80% of putts! A huge difference.
What to do next
This weekend try putting a small dot on your golf ball and make this dot visible whenever you putt. The dot should be positioned at the back of the ball.
Then.... take a quick look at the hole. Make sure you look at a precise target in the hole i.e a blade of grass.
Before and during the stroke fixate on the small dot. After the ball has gone keep your eyes on a blade of grass under where the dot was positioned.
This Quiet Eye technique should improve your ability to initiate a good putting stroke whilst also avoiding other distractions.
What better players do
The same team of Canadian scientists also tested 7 lower handicapped players (0-6 handicap) and noticed a huge difference in where this group focused during the stroke.
The quiet eye technique is present in all good putters and could be the simple fix that improves your putting.
Enjoy your golf!!
If you would like help with your putting please see our lesson package options here.