I have another all time favorite myth for us to tear apart: Your eyes need to be over the ball at address.
I cringe every time I hear it. Everyone has heard it. And just about every amateur that takes a trip to my putting studio has mentioned it when we chat at the beginning of The Putting Experience.
It has been shared for for too long and it's about time it stopped. And as you already know, it's my job to put a stop to this mess.
Why It's Bad (For Some)
Imagine standing over a flat putt and nothing looking right. It could be the line on the ball, the putter face, a general discomfort, or most commonly, just not able to "see the line."
Sound familiar? Without any surprise to me, you keeping your eyes over the ball could be causing that.
I know you might have been trying to do it, but what if it just doesn't work that way for you?
The Closer Look
When you're looking down at the ball, you don't simply lean forward and expect everything to perfectly align. Because your setup is a complex structure of body segments that need to cooperate with your optics, we need to take the time to find exactly what does work for you.
If you took a look at the last myth we discussed about the letter Y (click to review if you didn't), you know that the ball position for most golfers is some amount forward of center. Your eye dominance can influence how far forward is too far forward, but there aren't any rules that I have noticed for players. Given that, I don't ask about eye dominance or teach a particular setup built around that.
And here's one to keep you on your toes. Did you ever think about ball position in terms of distance from the ball? I have. And it influences...
How upright or crouched you are at setup will definitely change where the head is positioned. And don't forget how about if it is slightly open or closed to the target line.
If you're struggling to see the line on some days, but not others, perhaps your setup could use a bit more structure.
As some of you may know, I am one of David Orr's Level 2 Flatstick Academy Certified coaches. He has shared a lot of information with me and his other coaches about 3D data and how the pieces are all connected. The head is one of the more complex pieces in this puzzle.
Rather than bore you with the details, here is the crash course. You have head bend (nodding yes), head turn (shaking your head no), and head tilt (like you're moving either ear closer to either shoulder). There is some combination of bend, tilt, and turn that allows you to see the line better in addition to some of the other pieces we have touched on so far today.
The Wrap Up
Phew. That was a lot of information to cover. I think everyone can safely say now that there are more than a few exceptions to the rule "Keep your eyes over the ball." There are only 3 Things to Know if you want hard and fast rules for putting. Get those HERE in my free e-book.
If you want to know how to apply this and other pieces in this post to your own game, schedule your Putting Experience here. It's a game changer, but you have to come check it out!