The Importance of Visualisation when Putting


Confidence is key when it comes to standing over a tricky 6-foot putt and it is common to think that the ability to hole these clutch putts are what denotes a successful golfer. However, even the most accomplished putter is as susceptible to a crisis of confidence as someone not so confident on the green. Furthermore, there are plenty of cautionary tales of golfers, that have played perfectly from tee to green, only to find that the decisive touch with the putter eludes them.

Lee Westwood is a perfect example of a modern golfer who has played many major tournaments almost faultlessly until he takes the putter from his bag. Time and again he has struggled to hole key putts at crucial times. This fallibility has denied Westwood a chance at claiming one, if not more, major titles. The Englishman has often finished behind one or more golfers who may not have been so accurate tee to green, but who have more confidence when it comes to using the shortest club in the bag and thus hole considerably more putts.

What is certainly clear is that putting problems don’t have to ruin a round or tournament. There are a number of different practice techniques, drills and exercises that can help any golfer improve the accuracy and consistency of their putting. But there is also a key mental process that is equally as important as any amount of practice. That skill is visualisation and it is this process in particular that the MLA range of putters helps golfers to develop, thus improving their accuracy with the putter on the greens. Golf coach and author Bill Kroen1 defined visualisation as the ability to see the ball going in’ but it is actually a little more subtle than that.

Visualisation is more than simply being able to imagine the ball going into the hole, it also incorporates many other facets pertaining to the putt. Such as noting the break on the green between the ball and the hole, whether the putt is uphill, downhill or relatively flat, judging the pace at which the ball must be struck and then translating this from the mental image in the mind, into practice via the appropriate muscle movements through the arm. That is a large amount of data for the brain to be able to process effectively for every putt and of course, it can be easy to let any one of these crucial aspects of a putt slip. The result is always the same, a missed putt. Every golfer has hit a putt either offline, too softly, or too strongly.

This is where the MLA putter technology can be so beneficial for the player. The built in Multiple Linedetector Activation technology helps the brain sort through the different paths for the putt, allowing the golfer to select the best line for the stroke. Its simple design means it is easier to visualise the shot and set the golf ball along that optimal line, at the required speed, more accurately than ever before.

One great tip for players to improve their visualisation skills is to stand over the putt and imagine the shot needed to get the ball dropping into the hole, taking into account the break and pace of the ball. Then address the ball and stand over it, closing the eyes just before the putt is struck. The brain will still be able to ‘see’ the image of the green and hole on your retina (this is called delayed retina imaging). If a golfer trusts their visualisation skills and the stroke is taken relatively quickly after closing the eyes, then golfers are often amazed when they hear the tell-tale sound of the ball falling into the cup, time and time again.

That is the power of effective visualisation and by using any of the MLA range of putters golfers can give their brains an even greater chance of finding the right line and pace to sink those vital putts.



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