What is ‘Quiet Eye’ and how could it help your golf?
Quiet eye is a gaze of an object immediately prior to movement in aiming and is seen in a multiple of sports such as snooker, darts, archery, and many more. In golf, when standing over a putt it is really easy to take too long looking at the target before taking the putt which can sub-consciously initiate more information than needed to be taken on board.
Who uses Quiet Eye?
Most professionals who play on the tour have been trained how to keep their focus on one specific point when putting as it is a vital part of the game and when it comes to potential income it could come down to either holing or missing one putt.
Samuel Vine who is a researcher at the University of Exeter carried out some research before The Open in 2010. He said “Putting is a hugely important part of golf – accounting for around 45% of the shots taken in an average round. It’s vital to success and requires high levels of precision and accuracy, making it susceptible to breakdown under high levels of pressure and nerves. Our research shows that assessing visual control, using state of the art eye trackers, and coaching golfers to use the Quiet Eye technique can lead to dramatic improvements in putting performance.”
The best putters in the world switch between quick fixations on the ball and then the hole before holding a steady fixation on the back of the ball for around 2-3 seconds before taking the stroke. Once the ball has gone they hold their fixation for a further half a second.
This is effective as instead of the focus being elsewhere it allows the golfer to take on board the necessary information to be able to make the correct stroke and putt.
How could quiet eye help your putting?
Mr Vine undertook an experiment by measuring the putting performance of a group of golfers with an average handicap of 2.5 both before and after they had been taught quiet eye, after the training, they sunk 6% more putts than before. They were then put into a high pressure situation competing for £100 against a group who had not been taught the technique and again the quiet eye came out on top with 17% more putts being sunk.
If you find that when your practicing or even having a friendly round with your friends and you putt great but when you go for a competition of a match your putting is more erratic or let you down, quiet eye is something that is definitely going to help you decrease the amount of 3 putts.
Check the link out below for some cool information on how ping pong balls can help train quiet eye.
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Assistant PGA Professional