It still fascinates me why do almost all PGA Tour golfers I have worked with only focus at the hole (or certainly were drawn to the front of the hole), and didn’t focus on what I regard as the true path of the ball, extending some 18 inches or so beyond the hole. As you can see here in the main photo (Face Hole location – no gates.jpg) focusing on the path of the putt to the front of the hole doesn’t give you the true representation of the path and the shape of the putt over the duration of its journey. I have placed a ‘PH Ghost Hole’ to serve as our imaginary hole) 18” from where the ball finished, directly over the track the ball had taken. You can now clearly see the correct entry and exit point of the ball (the true middle of the hole from the perspective of the ball’s path and also the position where the ball would have finished if the hole were covered in cellophane. This is the correct visual image, as this is the correct path of the ball (we know because the ball has taken this path!). The key point to note here is how much the ball has broken once it has gone past the hole – remember gravity acts at a consistent rate… the visual of all the balls lined up on the correct path presents a powerful visual image!
Pace Control Drill : I love this drill to highlight pace control and the added bonus of knowing the ball would have gone in. Find a breaking 12/15ft putt, place a PH Ghost Hole with a ball directly behind the hole and another ball a further 18” behind the hole. The position of the 18” ball is crucial! You need to position it so that the only way your ball would come to rest by the 18” ball WOULD be to run directly through the path of the Ghost Hole, the centre of the hole and the first ball. Try hitting six putts to the Ghost Hole, what is your spread pattern? where the balls finish up? long, short, left, right….
Your goal is to hole the putt with the ball going in through the Ghost Hole and coming to rest as close as possible to the 18″ ball. If, after a few putts, you need to readjust the position of the balls, then this will start to show your new perception of the putt is starting to take effect!
Remember – the apex is only where the ball is the farthest away from a straight line to the hole. For breaking putts, the aim MUST be HIGHER than the apex.