Using a Putting Mirror - how to do it and what can you learn?
What does it do?
Using a putting mirror is one of the very few ways you can see precisely what your faults are.
Top pros use mirrors all the time to check their alignment and address position.
If you're having a rough time on the green, it's a good idea to know what
precise position you were in - relative to the ball - at a time when you were putting
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Why use a putting mirror?
Some of the fundamentals of putting are easy to check using this training aid
which you put on the ground underneath the ball. Most important of these are the
position of your eyes and the alignment
of your shoulders. In order to judge this alignment accurately, make sure you purchase putting mirror with
a set of parallel lines for the ball to target and shoulder alignment.
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Checking Eye Position
Opinions on precisely what position to have your eyes are divided. Dealing first
of all with how far from your feet to have the ball,
Luke Donald and putting guru, Dave Pelz all believe that the ball should be directly below your eyes, whereas putter-maker-extraordinaire,
Scotty Cameron and
Ben Crenshaw advocate a ball position that is slightly outside the eyes
(i.e. further away from your feet).
Nobody, however, thinks that the ball ought to be closer to your feet than a
line directly below your eyes and you can easily check this with this training
Similarly, having your eyes slightly behind the ball was thought of as a good thing by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson,
as this lets you see the ball to target line better. Nick Faldo,
on the other hand thought the ball should be directly below a point right between your eyes.
They were all great putters, so you can experiment using the mirror to find out
what's most effective and comfortable for you. Once again, there is a consensus
on what not to do.... Nobody thinks you should have the ball towards the back of your stance with your eyes above a spot in front of the ball.
Exact ball position, therefore, is personal to you, and you should experiment
with it. The great thing about seeing your reflection when setting up on a
regular basis is that when you have
found something that works for you, you can always come back to it.
A putting mirror is a reasonably-priced training
aid that most serious players own. Make sure you buy one with lines on it to allow you to check the alignment of your eyes and shoulders.
These products are fairly generic so one is more or less as good as the next. Price,
therefore, should probably be a guiding factor!