Renowned instructor Mel Sole of the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, S.C., shows you how a revolutionary training aid can improve your putting stroke.
Hi, this is Mel Sole from the Mel Sole Golf School, and this is a monthly golf tip on putting. I’ve been talking recently with some of the top putting instructors in the country and they all tend to stress two particular things that are musts in putting. One is the eyes should be over the ball, because if your eyes are not over the ball, it’s very difficult to aim the putter accurately. If I’m standing far away like this, obviously, or if I stand too close with my eyes over here, it’s very difficult to aim the putter correctly. Number two is the forearms must be matching. If the one forearm is in front or the one forearm is underneath, it’s going to make the putter move to the left or to the right.
This teaching aid is one of the best teaching aids I’ve ever come across for putting. It is made by EyeLine Golf and it is a putting mirror. I have one down here on the ground. What you do is, once you’ve set the mirror up, it has some lines on it. It has a single line up the middle and the idea is that when I stand here, I’m going to get my eyes over that black line. Now I know for sure, once I started using this mirror, that I have a tendency to get too far out here. That was my original putting position was right here, where my eyes are way over. I’ve got the ball too far on the inside. When I move back and it’s still there. My eyes now are perfectly over the ball.
The second line that they have is behind the ball. That’s going to help me set my putter face so I know that my putter face is square. I’m also using the line on my putter to match the line that goes through the middle. Finally, I have two lines on the outside that will help me get my putter moving straight back and straight through. I also have, if I wanted to, some holes for some tees. I could also put two tees in which would create a little gate. I know that sometimes watching TV, Tiger does a drill where he puts two tees and he practices hitting the putter, not the ball, but the putter through the gate. That teaches him to hit the ball right in the middle of the putter face every time. This works for that.
Once you have it set, the forearms, what you want to do to have the forearms perfectly aligned is to start like that. Have your forearms and the putter and everything parallel to the ground. From here, lean forward from the waist without changing that angle. Now I have my forearms and the shaft all in one straight line and I have my eyes over the ball. All I have to do now is go ahead and make the stroke, and because the putter is going straight back and straight through and I have this mirror to tell me I’m in the right position, you can see I’m going to pretty much hit every putt in the hole.
This has a third benefit. The third benefit is confidence. When I’m standing here and I’ve got my putting mirror aligned and I’m hitting my ball in the hole every time, it’s telling me that I have a good putting stroke. It’s confirming to me in my mind that there is nothing wrong with my putting stroke. If I miss a putt on the golf course, I know it’s not my putting stroke. I know that it’s most probably that I misread the green. What does that do? It makes me take a little more time on the golf course to read each putt, because I now feel confident that my posture is correct, my forearms match which helps the putting stroke be more consistent, and every stroke that I make, the ball is going in the hole. It’s giving me a huge amount of confidence. I can stand here and hole 20, 30 putts in a row, my confidence level is going to go up.
I watched a video just recently and I think it was before the PGA Championship. The owner of EyeLine Golf was on the putting green with Rickie Fowler. Rickie Fowler was using this putting mirror and in a little interview he said every single day he uses the putting mirror to practice his putting. Five or 10 minutes before his tee time, he’ll always go to the putting green, take out the putting mirror, and hit putts for that five, six, seven minutes again, just to confirm his positions are correct before he goes out on the golf course. There are 15 players in the top 20 in the world currently, it’s now November 2015. Fifteen of the top 20 players in the world are using this putting mirror. That tells you something obviously.