Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Aim Gaze

The Aim Gaze is a tip to help golfers setup beside the ball and determine accurately where in fact the putter face aims along the green. (This has never been taught before by anyone in golf, although in the 1950s and 1960s tour pros used an around-the-elbow approach that avoided most problems.) Over 90% of all golfers, pro and amateur alike, do not accurately aim their putters where they think they are aiming on a ten-foot putt, and the vast majority usually are aimed outside the hole from this distance and farther but are not aware of the problem. There are only two simple skills to learn in order for any golfer to setup to a putter and to determine accurately where in fact it aims: first, the skill of running your line of sight along the ground sideways in a straight line, and second, the skill of matching this line on the ground to the aim of the putter. The first skill requires the golfer to use a "gaze" that aims the eyeballs dead straight and level out of the plane of the face and head and combine this with the turning of the head and face on the axis of the neck like turning an "apple on a stick." The second skill requires only that the golfer in addressing the putter align the line of his throat or neck to match the top edge of the putter face. Then when he aims his face and line of sight at the sweetspot of the putter with a straight-out gaze and turns his head and face towards the target like an apple on a stick, his line of sight will run in a straight line sideways along the ground to the spot on the green where the putter face is actually aimed. (audio podcast, 5 minutes, 17 seconds). -- Listen


Ron said...

Your wrote: "...align the line of his throat or neck to match the top edge of the putter face..."
Could you please elaborate. How would you align your throat to your neck ??

Geoff said...

The upper torso is square to the line of the putt, which means that the shoulders are aligned parallel left of the target line. If your neck extends straight out of your shoulder frame (i.e., basic good posture), then squaring up to the line of the putt beside the ball and putter head and then "bowing" the shoulders, neck and head into your setup posture will position the line of your throat to match the top edge of the putter face. Quite a few very good golfers, however, have a posture of the head and neck out of the shoulder frame that I have termed "ballstriker's neck" -- a result of learning to set up on the tee box in a modified K posture with the head tilted back to the right a bit out of the shoulders. Untrained ballstriker's bring this flawed posture to the green, and that sucks. So check your posture on the green, square up beside the ball, and "bow" the upper torso, shoulders, neck and head into the setup position in a way that matches the line of the throat to the top edge of the putter.

Geoff said...

This link is to a Flatstick Forum post that contains some illustrations of what I mean about setting the throat line to match the top edge of the putter face.