ARRRR all your missed putts making you want to walk the plank?? Well lifting your head isn’t dangerous in the full swing alone. If you steal a glance at where the putt is rolling before you’ve completed the stroke, your body as well as your head will move, causing the putter to move off-line. The following drill, popularized by two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North and affectionately named the Pirate Drill by me, will train you to keep your head and body still throughout the stroke. It also will force you to keep your attention focused on the stroke itself, reducing the anxiety which arises from wondering whether the ball will fall into the hole.
Procedure: First (assuming you are right handed) make several practice strokes with your left eye closed. Now, address a 4-8 foot putt, making sure you are aligned correctly and that you have a good mental picture of the hole. Close your left eye. Note that you can’t see the hole with your left eye closed. To stroke the putt on the correct line and with proper speed, you’ll have to rely on the picture provided by your brain. Go ahead and hit the putt and several more, keeping your right eye glued to the ball until the stroke is completed.
This makes me think pirates would have made great putters!
By Travis Fish
Director of Golf
Leisure World Arizona
A Class-A PGA golf professional and is TPI Level I Certified. Travis has been a 3 time recipient of Golf World Business Magazine’s Best 100 Golf Shop Operations, and Junior Program Leader of the Year for the Southern Chapter PGA. He has had the pleasure to instruct beginners, college, and tour players.