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No Sight line / dot. What are the benefits?


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I used to own a Ping Anser F Ltd Edition which had no sight line or sight dot. I putted great with that putter and therefore did the stupid thing and sold it. Anyway, it got me thinking about alignment aids on putters.

 

I know there is a school of thought that no alignment aid on a putter actually improves aim. Can anyone expand on this? I believe David Orr is a proponent of this view, but I couldn't find a great deal more on it.

 

As an aside, I'm in the process of designing a custom DH-89 and am definitely thinking no line / dot is the way to go.

 

 

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From my experience, if a putter has a sight line, the eyes will be drawn to it and will attempt to use it for alignment. If the sight line is on the flange, the eyes are drawn away from the putter face. Oftentimes, positioning the sight line square to the line of the putt makes the putter face appear to be closed. Thus I find a sight line distracting and if I use a putter with a sight line, I will cover the sight line with a strip of lead tape. All I want is a sight dot that marks the center of the putter face. I align by squaring the putter face to the back of the ball. It is easy and simple to align to the back center of the ball instead of aiming at a point in the distance beyond the ball. That's how my eyes work and how I putt.

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From my experience, if a putter has a sight line, the eyes will be drawn to it and will attempt to use it for alignment. If the sight line is on the flange, the eyes are drawn away from the putter face. Oftentimes, positioning the sight line square to the line of the putt makes the putter face appear to be closed. Thus I find a sight line distracting and if I use a putter with a sight line, I will cover the sight line with a strip of lead tape. All I want is a sight dot that marks the center of the putter face. I align by squaring the putter face to the back of the ball. It is easy and simple to align to the back center of the ball instead of aiming at a point in the distance beyond the ball. That's how my eyes work and how I putt.

 

Interesting.

 

I actually like the look of a sightline but have found not having one actually helps. Not sure if it's because I take more care over aiming the face, but the results were there. I also agree that sometimes when the line looks square the face is not. I don't know enough about it, but I imagine eye dominance is also a factor.

 

Does anyone have the link to the David Orr work in this area? I've heard there is a detailed report on his website about the various merits of putting without a sight aid, though I've so far failed to find it..

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From my experience, if a putter has a sight line, the eyes will be drawn to it and will attempt to use it for alignment. If the sight line is on the flange, the eyes are drawn away from the putter face. Oftentimes, positioning the sight line square to the line of the putt makes the putter face appear to be closed. Thus I find a sight line distracting and if I use a putter with a sight line, I will cover the sight line with a strip of lead tape. All I want is a sight dot that marks the center of the putter face. I align by squaring the putter face to the back of the ball. It is easy and simple to align to the back center of the ball instead of aiming at a point in the distance beyond the ball. That's how my eyes work and how I putt.

 

 

I agree with this. I line up much better looking at the face instead of a line. I have always putted the best with either a dot or nothing.

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WOW, great post.

 

I have been gaming my SNAKE EYES TOUR PLATINUM 7803 lately. No dots or sight lines, BUT the cut out portion on the back of the face is the same size as a golf ball. This is a mild help to assist with square contact, but I generally square the face to my aim point (usually a spot on my target line about a foot in front of the face) and pull the trigger. I have played putters with just a dot and some with a dot AND a sight line. I don't think I have a preference in this area.

 

Great post, interested in the ideas that are posted on here.

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It pretty much has to do with linear vs non-linear when looking at a putt. One thing I do with customers really amazes them and I suggest everyone does it. I will take 6 or so putter heads with different offsets,designs, and lines and laser every one of them square to the hole. When you stand over them, even though they are all perfectly lined up, certain ones will look open or closed...is really cool.

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You have had a few excellent responses to your post.

I'll add that no site dot or site line promotes using the face itself. This is more relaxing, less stressful, than using a site dot or site line.

 

I used to own a Ping Anser F Ltd Edition which had no sight line or sight dot. I putted great with that putter and therefore did the stupid thing and sold it. Anyway, it got me thinking about alignment aids on putters.

 

I know there is a school of thought that no alignment aid on a putter actually improves aim. Can anyone expand on this? I believe David Orr is a proponent of this view, but I couldn't find a great deal more on it.

 

As an aside, I'm in the process of designing a custom DH-89 and am definitely thinking no line / dot is the way to go.

 

Eagle

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When I did my SAM putter fitting with Carl at Haggin Oaks (Morton's golf, a sponsor here), he took my rife Mid400 mallet (with 3 site lines), and gave me a putter with a site dot. I aligned the site dot up perfect every time, and my stroke was smoother and the proper arc. Apparently when you have ADHD like I do, your eyes follow the site lines on the back stroke and your subconscious tries to keep the putter on line, leading the hands to manipulate the club head.

My putting has improved immensely now. Each putter I get, I cover up the site line, add a site dot. It sounds crazy, but the results speak for themselves.

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Some really interesting responses here, thanks to everyone for their input.

 

I was watching one of Pat O'Brien's Youtube videos and in that he says that he states something to the effect that having a sightline behind the topline of the putter, i.e. on the rear flange can be a hinderance in that your perception of where that line is pointing whilst stood vertically over the putter is not always a true reflection of where the putter face is actually aiming. This can result in pushed/pulled shots (I'm paraphrasing). Sounds like some people here have definitely had that experience.

 

Someone also mentioned following the sightline back with your eyes and subconsciously trying to manipulate the path of the stroke. I definitely sometimes do that. Not good!

 

It would be interesting if everyone masked the alignment aids on their putters and went out and played 1-2 rounds, just to see if there is any difference.

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Eagle,

 

At the United States Golf Academy we have measured over 30,000 putting strokes - about 2000 players on our PuttLab system.

 

92% perform better with their eyes closed during the stroke. (Elimination of visual interference)

Less than 40% can aim the putter within 2 degrees of their chosen target with an alignment aid on the putter. (Putt missed at 12 feet) This improves to 70% without the visual references on the putter.

 

Only 60% can match the line on the putter to a line on the ball (within one degree). It is much worse when the sight line is in the cavity behind the face. The number improves to over 90% when there is a line on the ball no line on the putter and they square the face to the line (again within 1 degree). I am not familiar with David Orr's work but maybe these numbers will help you.

 

Good Luck with your new putter. Byron does great work.

 

Bargolf

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Bruce -

 

How would a sight dot create visual interference v. a naked putter? It seems to me a dot is only good for lining up the sweetspot and not aiding in aiming to your target.

 

 

Sorry - we have seen so few putters with just a dot I forget to differentiate. We put dots in the plain category and we have found no evidence they influence the stroke or aim. Straight lines are the problem as we see it.

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Bruce -

 

How would a sight dot create visual interference v. a naked putter? It seems to me a dot is only good for lining up the sweetspot and not aiding in aiming to your target.

 

 

Sorry - we have seen so few putters with just a dot I forget to differentiate. We put dots in the plain category and we have found no evidence they influence the stroke or aim. Straight lines are the problem as we see it.

 

Interesting.

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Eagle,

 

At the United States Golf Academy we have measured over 30,000 putting strokes - about 2000 players on our PuttLab system.

 

92% perform better with their eyes closed during the stroke. (Elimination of visual interference)

Less than 40% can aim the putter within 2 degrees of their chosen target with an alignment aid on the putter. (Putt missed at 12 feet) This improves to 70% without the visual references on the putter.

 

Only 60% can match the line on the putter to a line on the ball (within one degree). It is much worse when the sight line is in the cavity behind the face. The number improves to over 90% when there is a line on the ball no line on the putter and they square the face to the line (again within 1 degree). I am not familiar with David Orr's work but maybe these numbers will help you.

 

Good Luck with your new putter. Byron does great work.

 

Bargolf

 

Thanks for your input Bruce. They are some pretty amazing stats and pretty much reinforce what I thought.

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I had always had a sight line on the flange of my putters (mostly Anser style) and my putting was very inconsistent. Last year I bought a putter from Byron with only a sight dot and my putting has improved dramatically. The main thing I noticed was that I have a more natural arc stroke with just the sight dot on the top line and I don't have to worry about trying to line up a sight line with the line on the ball. I won't have a sight line on any putter after this...not that this one is leaving the bag. :good:

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that really is quite interesting. i am very inconsistent on the greens and i find myself to focus way too much on getting the line on my putter to match the line on my ball and my distance is terrible. i definitely might have to give one of these no sight line putters a shot...couldnt hurt...

 

can you guys give me some examples of putters that have no sight line...thanks guys

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that really is quite interesting. i am very inconsistent on the greens and i find myself to focus way too much on getting the line on my putter to match the line on my ball and my distance is terrible. i definitely might have to give one of these no sight line putters a shot...couldnt hurt...

 

can you guys give me some examples of putters that have no sight line...thanks guys

 

The Cameron Studio Select Newport has no alignment device. Same with the older Gun Blue and Oil Can Newports. Also, you can order a putter from Byron Morgan or C&L with no alignment device for about the same price as a new Cameron.

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Great thread guys, some really interesting responses and statistics. I read the thread earlier today before playing a round. I usually use the sightline but today I ignored it and just focussed on the face angle. I ended up having my best putting performance of the year so far - thanks for saving me some shots! I'll definitely be perservering with this method, it'll be interesting to see what long term effect it wll have on my putting and scoring.

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I've gamed a Ping Anser F with copper insert for about two years. At first I thought I would miss having a sight line, but to be honest I really haven't thought about it for sometime until I saw this thread today. I think not having a sight line gives the putter an uncluttered, simple look at address. Putting is one of the strengths of my game, and I have no complaints about my Anser F. Maybe one of these days I'll run across one of these with the titanium insert :D

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Using a marker, I added a dot on my white hot XG #9, and based on indoor putting only, it's improving my aim tremendously. Seems like it's much easier to line a dot that's so close to the ball and on the same level, as oppose to the aiming line on the flange.

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