How to Position Your Head and Eyes When Putting

By Jim McLean

The Position of the Head and Eyes in Putting

A very interesting piece of the set up is the position of the head and the eyes. There are all types of set ups, from narrow stances to tall, to wide stances, bent over, tilt of the shoulders, shoulders square, open stance, closed stance, square stance, all over the place. You have to get something that feels comfortable. What we do at our golf schools, our learning centers, our putting studios is we make it on a circular type of area. Not on a putting studio where it is on straight lines where people can set up easily because when you are on a putting green there are no lines out here. You have to get a way for you to see the line so that your eyes are positioned in the correct fashion.

Different Types of Eye Alignment when Putting

Let me show you what works for most people.

  • One, the most common, is when you put your eyes directly over the ball. You can hang your putter down from your eyes to get your eyes right over the ball, or take another golf ball and just drop it down from the bridge of your nose and see if it hits right behind your ball. That is something I do with Lenny Mattice, he always does that. That is a terrific way to do it.
  • People who tend to arc stroke will also have their eyes a little more inside the line, that is ok. Many great putters, in fact I would say most great putters, have their eyes inside the line. We have an angle on our putter shaft of at least 10 degrees, so it is on a plane as well. Justin Leonard, Brad Faxon, Ben Crenshaw all have their eyes inside just to mention a few. That tends to give you more of an arc stroke and many people see the line better when their eyes are a little more inside the line, maybe two or three inches inside the line.
  • What I do not see is the eyes outside the line. That tends to draw your putter to the outside. When your eyes are right on the line you are seeing theoretically right down the line the ball is going.

Experiment with Eye and Head Positions to Find the Best for You

To the inside it gives you a little better chance to have an arc stroke, that is how you hit all your other shots, and we are standing to the side of the ball. So experiment with the position where your eyes see the line that you are trying to hit the ball on. That can vary a little bit, some people need their head a little behind the ball, some need it on top of the ball where your weight would be a little left, some get underneath like Jack Nicklaus to see the line a little better. But it is the position of the head and the eyes that are absolutely crucial to really great putting.

Category: Putting
Sub Categories: Address/Set-Up, Alignment, Practice

About the Instructor

Jim McLean
Jim McLean
Jim McLean Golf School
Doral Golf Resort and Spa
4400 NW 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178
Tel: 800-72-DORAL