Putt like Jordan Spieth

Should you look at the hole while putting? It works for Jordan Spieth. Could it work for you?

A DECADE AGO, ERIC ALPENFELS AND THE PINEHURST GOLF ACADEMY studied whether looking at the hole while putting could lead to better results on the greens.

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Ten years later, we’re now wondering whether a 12-year-old Jordan Spieth read that article.

Alpenfels’ original study concluded that test subjects who watched the hole on long putts (28-to-43 feet) rolled the ball 24 percent closer than those who putted conventionally. This is significant; it’s the difference between having a 4-foot putt for par or a 3-footer.

In the video above, Alpenfels, the director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy and one of the few Master PGA Professionals, explains why looking at the hole – instead of the traditional manner of looking at the ball while making the putting stroke – works for Spieth. He also explains how the amateur player could determine whether this technique might lead to a better performance on the greens.

Alpenfels’ original study (conducted with Bob Christina, the dean emeritus of Health and Human Sciences at UNC-Greensboro) concluded that test subjects who watched the hole on long putts (28-to-43 feet) rolled the ball 24 percent closer than those who putted conventionally. This is significant; it’s the difference between having a 4-foot putt for par or a 3-footer.

It also worked on short putts (3-to-8 feet), which is where Spieth uses the technique. The results of the study, published in GOLF Magazine in 2005 and revisited in November 2014 (see below), earned the magazine a National Magazine Award, making GOLF the only golf publication to receive magazine publishing’s highest honor.

From GOLF MAGAZINE (Click to enlarge):

SpiethPutting1 Thumb

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