I am a firm believer that for your practice sessions to benefit you then actual learning must take place. I also believe you cannot learn during practice without feedback. This post will provide examples of how you can use feedback in your putting practice to facilitate learning and ultimately improve your putting.
There are many reasons why feedback is crucial to your putting practice. For example, feedback will help you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your putting. You can take confidence from your strengths and plan on how to improve your weaknesses.
A good example of receiving feedback when you practice your putting is to use a putting mirror to check on your setup. The one pictured is the mirror we sell at Clydeway for just £15. It’s made by Masters and as putting mirrors go it’s cheap but does the job just fine. The main reason I like a putting mirror is to check my eyes in relation to the ball. I often see golfers aiming their putters and/or bodies poorly. Sometimes the reason is their eyes are in the wrong place. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all for this as some do that claim your eyes should be directly over the ball. That is my correct eyeline because it is where I see straight lines to my target. The majority of the people I test with this during my lessons are best suited to an eyeline just inside the ball. I’ve not met anyone yet who’s correct eyeline is past the line of the ball and when I have come across golfer’s doing this they are usually aiming really poorly.
If you have a mirror or intend on getting on getting one I recommend starting your practice sessions on it for even 5 minutes or less. Take your setup and see where you are. It’s amazing how easy it is to slip out of position. Putting mirrors are very widely used amongst tour players for this reason. A lot of you might not know your correct eyeline so try over the ball or just inside and get a feel for what is best for you. Mirrors have other uses too so they are definitely a worthwhile investment. After all most golfers want more consistency so the least we can do is get consistent with things we can control like our aiming and eyelines.
Another effective way to practice your putting through feedback is by using gates. I love trying to putt through a gate made by tees if on a real putting surface or anything like ball markers, balls or even coffee mugs as I used in the picture to the right. Making a gate a couple of feet from your ball is a great way to get feedback. If you hit the left gate you know your putter face is pointing left at impact. It’s simple and easy to setup. The gate should only be just bigger than the ball remember, we don’t want to practice easy! In the picture to the right I have also made a gate just bigger than my putter head. If I hit my putt from the toe or heel I will move one of the gates; more feedback and this time related to my quality of strike.
So the next time you practice your putting please keep in mind you need feedback. I heard someone say recently that practising without feedback is like “sitting an exam without ever getting the results”.
I hope this post helps you improve on the greens, and elsewhere as this should be applied to all areas of the game. Please sign up to my blog via this website in order to ensure you never miss a post. Any feedback (see what I’ve done there??) would be welcome. Good luck and thanks for reading.