Looking at the Hole


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I love your weekly video; never miss it! What are your thoughts on looking at the hole as you putt? It seems to work. Is there any validity to this method?

Thanks for the feedback on the weekly video. I am glad you enjoy this added feature to the site.
Let me address the technique of looking at the hole when putting. First, you need a putter that you have a great deal of confidence in; one with a high MOI about both the vertical and horizontal axes (such as the Frankly Frog). To most of the students who visit our Putting Studio in Orlando, we promote this 'looking-at-the-hole' technique as a practice drill.
When you look at the hole during your stroke, your natural instincts with regard to distance come into play. It's like an underhanded pitch ' as in horseshoes ' of a ball to the hole on a green. The putter must first feel like an extension of your arms and hands so you can feel in total control of the putter and the speed of the head.
Practicing your putts with this method gives you a better feel for distance and builds confidence in your putter. When you are playing on the course you should make your practice swing looking at the hole. It should be part of your pre-shot routine. This will give you the feel for the correct distance, assuming you've calibrated yourself to the green speed on the practice green before going out to play .
Once you have gone through your pre-shot routine, commit to the distance you felt looking at the hole. However, unless you get a significant amount of feedback from your peripheral vision or your backstroke is all over the place, I would not suggest putting in competition looking at the hole. Having the best equipment is good but learning how to use it is essential. Click here to request my free Putting Guide to help your game.
' Frank

Three shafts and one head

I am looking for a new driver and one of the major manufacturers has what they call a box set. It is one head and three shafts. The theory behind it is that you change shafts according to the playing conditions. The head is only 415cc. I am a 6-handicap and carry my driver between 260 and 270 yards. Will the smaller head affect my performance and, if so, to what degree.

The 415 cc head will not detrimentally affect your game at all.
The 'box set' you refer to is good in theory, but not very practical. I do think that if you're interested in finding the shaft that best suits your swing, it's good to be able to switch out shafts using the same head. However, once you have found the magic combination, it really isn't a smart thing to do to switch shafts for a specific course condition.
If, on the other hand, you are a PGA Tour quality player who hits the ball consistently on the sweet spot ' and are therefore able to take advantage of the slight difference in performance of one shaft over another ' then having three or more shafts to work with may be something to consider.
I believe that the box set is one of the better 'fitting methods' available because it allows the fitter to limit the number of clubs in his inventory, during his 'trial and error' method of fitting. 'Trial and error' is one of the best methods used but it does often take a long time.
Nelson, try each shaft and the put the ones that you don't like in the garage.
' Frank
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Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to helping golfers. Frank is chief technical advisor to GolfChannel.com. He served as technical director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN system and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
Frank Thomas