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Use Dominant Eye to Make More Putts

Updated on April 23, 2013


Are you missing a lot of putts? Do you think you have a good putting stroke and can not understand why you continue to miss to the right or left?

If you miss to the right, do you start lining up more to the left? The problem with that is that when the green has a break to the cup you have to first line up for the break and then line up left of that to compensate for your missing right.

So, here is the initial see a break going to the left. You line up to the right of the cup to allow for that break. You have been missing right by half a ball's width. So, you move the putter what you consider to be a half ball width. Now, your mind's eye is seeing the break and your brain is remembering that you adjusted your line by a half width of your ball and suddenly confusion sets in.


I recently made a discovery while watching the PGA Tour on tv. A golfer was lining up his putt and was turning his head to one side so as to look at the line from only his left eye. It made me stop and think. Could my dominant eye be on the wrong side of my body in relation to my putting the golf ball? I had been missing putts to the right for years and especially the 3-4 footers.

Okay, so I am a lefty like this guy to my right. Problem is, I am actually right handed. I throw a baseball right handed. I write right handed. I kick right footed. I reach for objects with my right hand. The only thing I do left handed is swing a baseball bat and golf club. Go figure. But, then this guy to my right is exactly the same. And, I might add that Ben Hogan was left handed and played golf right handed.

So, what has this got to do with putting? As I said, I noticed this PGA player using one eye to size up his putt and I knew instantly that he was using his dominant eye. What clicked for me, however, was the fact that my dominant eye is my left eye. That would be fine if I putted right handed to go along with my natural tendencies to do things from the right (not referring to anything political here).

To make myself clear, when I am putting left handed my dominant left eye is furthest from the target and sits on the opposite side of my nose in relation to the hole in the green. I immediately picked a target on the tv screen and looked first with both eyes through a circle that I made with my fingers and then I closed my dominant left eye and guess what happened? The target moved to the right!

I jumped up from my recliner and went into my gym where I keep a putting cup and I grabbed a putter and ball and gave myself a test. I putted looking at the cup with both eyes and the ball went to the right of the cup. Next, I closed my right eye and lined up the putt with only my left dominant eye. The ball went dead center into the cup!

I took it to the course the next day and made putt after putt after putt. I even made long putts with breaking curves. It was very exciting to say the least.

Here is my point. If my right eye sees the cup two inches to the right of where my dominant left eye sees the cup then naturally I am going to line up right of the hole unknowingly and miss to the right. But, if I close my right eye and turn my head more towards the cup to allow my left dominant eye to get a good read I am then going to be looking at a true line to the cup and if I make a good stroke the ball should go dead center.

Do you know your dominant eye? Simply take a target approximately ten feet away and with both eyes open point your index finger at that target. It does not matter which hand you use. Now, close either eye. If the target stays in the same place, that open eye is your dominant eye. If the target moves away from your finger, that eye is the non-dominant eye. I would love to hear from you if you start making those putts.

Good luck and hit 'em long and straight!


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    • Jack Thomsen profile image

      Jack Thomsen 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Praire Wi.

      I hope there are old timers like me noting the beauty of this analogy, because Doug Sanders and John Daly are certainly juxtaposed (short and long) and they like all of us have a 'center' . I've designed an instrument I call " The Candy Stick". It is a simplified version of the Putting Rod, which is used in Junior Clinics. The simplification will/does provide an opportunity for everyone to test the advantages or disadvantages of the anchored system, but more importantly to know the factual relationship of every living being - without knowing the relationship - the golf experience is spoiled. One can train with the anchor, However, mechanics vs ' stroke ' or ' swing ' could glean from each other knowing when the trainer will lead the general mass of people to the right path. There is much to be learned here.

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      My response is short and simple. 4 of the last 6 major championship winners used an anchored putter. There definitely has to be an advantage. However, all PGA Tour players have the opportunity to use the same device just as all players can use an oversize driver, or a longer shaft in their clubs, or a Hybrid club, etc.. If available to all, then I find it fair. As long as everyone goes by the same set of rules, nobody has an advantage. Should we ban John Daly from taking a 360 degree backswing because it gives him an advantage in distance? Imagine what Doug Sanders could have done with that!

    • Jack Thomsen profile image

      Jack Thomsen 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Praire Wi.

      What's your thoughts on anchoring the putter?

      Golf: Find Center - Enter the Circle says........

      Chapter #38 A PGA Survey on Anchoring

      The posed question regards anchoring a golf club – yes or no

      a. __x_Yes, I favor a ban on anchoring a golf club.

      b. __x_ No, I do not favor a ban on anchoring a golf club.

      November 21 st, 2012, Jack Thomsen Golf Enterprises submitted its answer to the PGA Survey: “ Yes, I would favor a ban on anchoring a golf club”.

      Although JTGE makes tools that acquaint the player with the advantages of “ anchoring the golf club”, which are the Putting Rod and the Swing Doctor, the advantage is as a ‘trainer’ not a ‘provider’. Anatomical properties ie., people of tall stature may benefit from devices much different than those of short stature, or those wide vs those thin. To become efficient in the ‘art’, does one train with tools that fit one’s physiology? Hence the question, “Why is it teachers fit their students with correct sized equipment, or why is it the player seeks the shoe to ‘fit’ the foot ?”

      I’m reminded of a National Football League field goal kicker who wears shoe size 10.5, but in the field of play, his kicking foot is reduced to 8.5, for good reason. The instrument works best ( his foot ) for this design (kicking a football with length and accuracy). Could it be that there are those that train to become quality players may have advantage of tools that others may not? However, team sports have independent different roles, and each role will seek out its advantage that’s comparable to that position.

      In golf it’s not so complex (many people), yet in golf the irony is the field itself is most complex because of its natural setting, imposing its nature on one not many . Unlike almost all team sports, golf isn’t tempered by rectangluar and square shapes – level and enclosed.

      But what of the ‘art’? Why is the question being posed now? Is the survey to measure a quantitative response mainly? How many of the participants contribute comments besides “yes” or “no”? What do the Tour players say? Money feeds into their program. How does the Tour Player see the ‘art’ vs the materialism?

      One person had said, “ For years I have been anti the long putter and the anchoring technique. Had it been banned 20 years ago when its popularity just started to gain I would have been in favor. However, with the need to get more people playing and more people having fun and playing better, I think banning it would be a mistake. What do you think?”

      My reply designated another putter from another time that was banned. It’s the croquet putter from 1965. The time reference of coming and going was less than 20 years, but it did include, “…. the need to get more people playing, more people having fun and playing better.” The “fun” part was a definite plus, but banning the croquet putter was the choice. Straddling the ball had been taken away. However, Sam Snead discovered another opportunity through the use of the croquet putter, which I’ve written about in my book.

      An aspect of improved vision wasn’t thwarted by Snead because of the USGA and the Royal and Ancient ruling. Snead simply tilted and adjusted accordingly. He felt better about “playing better”, we all do!

      What are the costs when the ‘art’ form becomes of less importance than “fun’? Essentially what I’ve said in my commentary in the PGA’s survey is to have “fun”. Training away from the golf course brings the skill to the golf course. Understanding the arc in putting, whether one uses Tiziani’s ( The Railer ), or my Putting Rod, which is an anchor system, in my mind to improve within the art form and is analogous to Martial Arts - one does their kata.

      I don’t think the first need is, “ The need is to get more people playing”, because ‘more’ lacks support in both elements essential to golf’s total experience. Essence as a quantitative element only should have its qualitative partner. I like “….’playing better’ positioned first not last, followed by people practicing the art, and having fun. Lastly the end result is more people playing. I say,“ It’s because golf range revenue will indicate player development followed by speed of play on the golf course – good for the till, a four hour round, not five or six”.

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      More than welcome, BB

    • bbgolfer profile image


      5 years ago

      fascinating ideas, thanks for that

    • Jack Thomsen profile image

      Jack Thomsen 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Praire Wi.

      Knowing speed - feel - distance: Who is compromising?

      This in likeness to Daniel Ellsberg’s comment after sending the Pentegon Papers to seventeen newspaper publishers, starting with the New York Times publication, to be reviewed by the total U.S.A. population, and therefore educating the public enabling them to absorb the hypocrasy of ‘out of control’ politicians behavior, greed, and materialism. His comment was ....“the grand total of quantitative forces (the readers) singularly viewing the sham, but not able to resolve their total qualitative understanding in a quantitative energy form.” Materialism is not the way, yet we don’t speak out!

      Bhagava-gita says, “Therefore all culture of knowledge, austerities, sacrifice, and activities should be aimed at changing the quality of influence that is acting upon us.”

      Paul Yutka said, “Jack, the sixteenth green at Pet’s golf course, the two hundred yard par three, elevated hillside green has a severe break. How does one read the green?”

      Jack asked, “Are you one of those who follow the axiom “never up - never in!”, or “the ball won’t fall (in the cup) if you’re short!” If this is so you won’t play much break Paul, but then you may have long second putts, and many three putt greens.

      Jack had referred to Paul’s - Yutka Fencing Company being recipients of ‘plumb and level’ as common words in the fencing business.

      Jack said to Paul, “In the field of golf you experience the conundrum of your fencing business. You’re into ‘plumb and level’. Before getting to the green, eighty-five percent of golf is ‘crooked’. Reading break and speed on the green, 100% is crooked, Jack said, ...for you Paul, the cup isn’t four inches in diameter it will become five inches in diameter. Once Paul knew what that meant a smile came on his face. The ball will fall from the side of the cup (changing to a five inch cup) if the speed is right.

      Paul said, “I’ve been putting like politicians at election time! They’re trying to make us believe they can make those forty/fifty foot putts, (never up - never in)! Therefore, they hit everything hard, and none know how to read the break!!!!

    • Jack Thomsen profile image

      Jack Thomsen 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Praire Wi.

      Chapter 13 - 
“The Correct Putter will Work!

      (Validate Who You Are!)


      he I Ching says, “The only thing that doesn’t change is change.”

      Jack asked, “How would you like to be left eye dominant - use an offset putter, but play the game right handed? No, I wouldn’t either! “

      Doug said, “The standard one eyed theory is move the ball under the dominant eye. Thinking that right hand players are right eyed dominant, almost without exception, has driven this theory of the golf putting industry to manufacture an abundance of offset putters.”

      Late this afternoon as Doug and I were leaving the Golf Dome in Highland Park, Illinois, we walked past a father and son practicing their putting. I noticed the father had an unusual putter and commented about its uniqueness.

      Jack said, “You don’t see many like that one, but many players would solve their putting woes if they knew about that putter and themselves”.

      The gentleman asked, “What do you mean? What is so unique about this putter?”

      Jack said “Its an on-set, not off-set like your sons putter”. His son happened to be left handed. I asked, “What’s your eye dominance?” He said, “I don’t know!”

      Jack said, “If you were left eye dominant and putt from the right side as you’re doing you’d have the good fortune of having the correct putter for that particular situation.

      The gentleman asked, “How can I find out which eye is dominant?”

      Jack showed the two of them what to do and the end result was very interesting.

      The father said, “I’m left eyed dominant.”

      The son said, “I‘m right eyed dominant.”

      This proved to be true. The father asked, “Do I have the right putter?”

      Jack answered, “Yes, absolutely!”

      The son asked, “What about me?

      Jack said, “Unfortunately, no it is not correct, and you will miss most of your putts to the left until you make adjustments for the same repetitive miss! However, with the correct putter, one that fits you, then there will be no need for manipulation.”

      The father said, “That’s an expensive putter. I just got it for him. It cost over one hundred and fifty dollars.”

      “That’s too bad”, Jack said. “Had you been told anything about what I’ve been talking to you about when you were sold the putter?”

      “No”, was his reply.

      Our situation and the dialogue that afternoon at the Golf Dome was by accident. If I had not said anything no one would have been the better or worse for it. These people are like many others caught in the putting manufacturing thought process that follows: right handed, right eyed - therefore, offset putters. The father had found the correct left eyed dominant right hand putter for him without knowing how or why. Had he known, the son would not have fallen into error, and would have known the putter and the player make a correct fit because they’re in concert with one another. Taken from the book - Golf: Find Center - Enter the Circle

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Thanks for your comments, Jack. Interesting observation.

    • Jack Thomsen profile image

      Jack Thomsen 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Praire Wi.

      Great job, I've asked my students, " Why do you think that Bulls-Eye putter keeps hanging around? Or, "How is it that that cheap mini putting course center shafted putter works so well? The answer, of course is in likeness to this great article - " The tool fits the eyes" The misfortune is there are few On -Set putters for opposite eye dominance. Why do you think the advantage had gone to croquet putting in 1965?

    • Jack Thomsen profile image

      Jack Thomsen 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Praire Wi.

      Once one knows who one is teaching neurolinguistically - what of physiology? How much are you right handed? How much are you left handed? Are you ambidextrous? What is your eye dominance? Are you left eye dominant or right eye dominant?

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      I hear that! Thanks for your comments.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm a right handed golfer that's left eye dominant, eats left handed, writes left handed, throws right handed, bats right handed, dribbles a basketball left handed, hits a baseball right handed, and kicks left footed serves a tennis ball right handed then switches the racket to the left hand for the other shots. Try that for a combination!

      I always tended to aim the putter left of the correct line. I finally started making a line on my ball and once I determined the correct line of the putt I pointed the line on the ball down the correct line of the putt from behind the ball looking toward the cup. Then when I stepped over the putt I lined my putter up according to the line on the ball. Problem solved. When I miss now it's either a misread or a crappy stroke.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      I'll have to try that next time... hopefully I won't break another window.

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Hi Phoebe. Sounds like you swing down at the ball with your putter. Take it straight back and straight through. Hitting down makes the ball jump up!

      Stop by again....

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      Sounds like you really know your golf... personally, I have always been awful at golf. Truly a nightmare. I don't mind going with some friends to go miniature golfing, but for some reason all my putts end up jumping over the hole or going in the opposite direction... I think the golf club hates me.


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