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See the Line Every Time! The EOB Putting System

Putting Routine and Marking the Golf Ball

Dear Dr. Putt:
I read your letter on marking the ball for alignment with a great deal of interest. It gave me an idea for an alternate putting routine to the one you show in your book, 5 steps to better putting. I tried the alternate routine, and it works great for me. So I thought you might like to share it with your other readers.

I was having trouble consistently making the move from behind the ball to the stance without moving the putterblade. Your idea of marking the ball really helped with that. I make the mark all the way around the ball because it really helps me aim the ball exactly where I want to. Then I realized that once the ball is placed, using the line on it, I really don't have to keep the blade behind the ball when moving from behind to beside the ball. The line on the ball and the line on your alignment device do it all for me.

Here is what I do. 1) I read the green. 2) I crouch behind the ball and carefully align the line on the ball up in the direction I want it to go. 3) Then I move beside the ball and take the practice swings just as you advise. 4) Then I place the blade so that the line on the ball and the line on the putting device are extensions of each other -- just like you show in the picture in your letter in marking the ball. 5) Then I place my feet parallel to the line. 6) Finally, I look, focus, and stroke, just like you say in your routine.

This really does not change very much, but it reduces any uncertainty I have about whether or not I accidentally shifted the blade in moving to the stance. Sometimes it did not look right when I got over the ball, and I began to doubt myself, and that hurt my stroke, I think. This reduces all doubt, because I know the ball did not move. The only thing I can doubt is whether I read it right when I was placing the ball.

Thanks for all your help. You got a great device and a great column.

My Dear JT:

Dr. Putt is highly gratified to hear from another satisfied client and is happy to share your suggestion with others. Indeed, he tried your routine and found it to be a most satisfactory variation on the "5 steps" method.

Your point about "doubt" is a most important one. Even in the ideal position of having one's eyes over the ball line and slightly behind the ball, the line will not look exactly the same as it did when aiming from the rear. One must have faith that the line is most accurately seen from the rear. Once established, one should make a commitment to that line and not change it. If you subsequently miss, then use this as a learning experience about reading the green. Do NOT castigate yourself for failing to second guess and make a last second adjustment.

Thanks again for sharing your suggestion.

Dr. Putt

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putting routine and marking the ball