To gauge the force needed for a putt, our brains use the information our eyes feed it.....

and unfortunately, that information isn’t always accurate. Here is a drill to discover how well your eyes gauge distance… and another to improve it.

Are your eyes lying to you?

All you need for this exercise is two golf balls. Keep hold of the first one, but roll the second randomly across the practice green. Take a good, long look at its position on the ground. Now close your eyes. Walk towards where you think the ball is, and try to drop the first one on top of it. If you get pretty close, your eyes are giving you an accurate picture. If you’re well off, they are not. Repeat this drill to see if any patterns emerge.

Ladder drill & Seeing straight

Ladder drill

To help your eyes get a better grasp on reality, set up a ‘ladder’ of three balls on the practice green, around 5, 10 and 15ft away from you. Now putt three balls normally. Try to get each one opposite a ‘rung’ of the ladder, starting with the 15-footer or the furthest one away from you. Have three goes at this.

Seeing straight

Now repeat the drill, but this time hit each putt with your eyes closed. Again, try this three times. Finally repeat this drill a third time, but this time look at your target as you strike each putt. Practising with these three elements – looking at the ball, eyes shut, looking at target – will begin to help your eyes tie in perception to reality… and that means better judgment of distance