Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 685 - November 10, 2021
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


"It is not the will to win that matters, everyone has that.
It is the will to prepare to win that matters." - Paul "Bear" Bryant

Tom's Featured Tip: Far Target Focus Putting

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
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Far Target Focus Putting

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Two Great Training Aids For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

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Far Target Focus Putting

I've always been a fan of Dr. Sasho Mackenzie. He's the research practitioner behind the world's top golf coaches - his work and theories have driven a scientific, evidence-based revolution in golf instruction and movement training.

His website is located here: and I visit it frequently for new research publications in the field of golf. The premise for this article is in one of his research papers there under "Recent Publications" - Evaluation of near versus far target visual focus strategies with breaking putts.

He's also an Engineering Consultant for PING and a Biomechanics Advisor and Software Developer for Footjoy.

An article I read entitled "Heads Up Putting" brought the subject of this newsletter to my attention.

When I conduct putting lessons, if I have a student that has a chronic "short" miss, I show them how to stroke putts while looking at the hole and instruct them to dedicate 60% of their putting practice to putting while looking at the hole.

This works so well to cure that problem, that several of my students have told me that they now always putt while looking at the hole.

I tried that for a time after Jordan Speith popularized that aiming method for short putts during his heyday. However, I eventually slipped back to my more traditional putting aiming method - a couple looks at the hole, then look back at the ball and stroke the putt.

However, I trust the science when something is proven to be advantageous. Dr. Mackenzie has done that enough in his research for me to have enough confidence to make a change.

His study addressed important issues in the previous comparisons of Near Target (NT) and Far target (FT) visual strategies of focus during the putting stroke. In particular, breaking putts were used and the far target was explicitly defined as a point along the target line.

Experienced golfers, who normally putt using a NT strategy, were found to putt significantly better - both in terms of make percentage and miss distance - while employing a FT visual focus strategy on moderately sloped putts inside 14 ft.

He also said that future studies should investigate performance differences at the individual golfer level to determine factors that may predispose golfers to putting better with one of the visual focus strategies. Research should also focus on breaking putts on outdoor greens from distances beyond 14 ft and should considering securing additional FT practice time for participants before testing.

I tried this right after I read the "heads up putting" article - by the way, heads up doesn't make sense to me - your head is actually swiveled to see the hole, it's not "up".

I used the FT focus method while playing a round with a couple of buddies and started out by rolling in a 45 footer for birdie on the 1st hole. Then I promptly missed a fast downhill 5 footer for birdie on the 2nd hole (which I turned into a bogie, don't you just love golf). My mistake was in not giving the speed enough consideration - I was honed in totally on my new target focus method, an understandable mental error considering the circumstances.

I continued to practice this method on my backyard green, and I like it but I think it will take a while to feel totally comfortable with it.

I did find it to be just as good on straight putts, and for all putts I focused on a target a little past the hole for slower putts and on a target a little shorter for faster putts.

I'm about 95% sold on using this focus method, I just need to keep practicing that way over the winter to get completely confident with it.

I would say that if you are already a decent putter, try it to see if you like it.

If your miss is always short of the hole, definitely try it - you'll definitely like it.


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link for Plum Creek info here:

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

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Plum Creek Driving Range and Simulator  Outdoor range and play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for simulator play or practice!

Batavia Country Club   (585) 343-7600
Great rates, the best greens in WNY.
Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State.
Tee times online or by phone in season.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection!"
~ Ben Hogan