ALBANY, The Bahamas — Bryson DeChambeau is one of my favorite players in golf. Sure, he may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but he’s smart and unique — a breath of fresh air. And above all else, he’s a hard worker who will do everything in his power to improve.
Needless to say, it’s working. He’s won once in 2017, four times in 2018, and sits at No. 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings. His improvement on the greens has been one of the drivers of that success: He jumped from 146th in SG: Putting in 2017 up to 41st in 2018. He’s hoping to take that improvement a step further with a renewed focus on his aim.
Bryson has been grinding away on the practice green all week at the Hero. Lining up putts from behind, using a laser to make sure to make sure it’s aligned correctly, setting up over the ball and then re-checking his aim. I caught up with him after his two-under opening round 70 on Friday to ask him about it, and it’s all about training himself to aim more effectively.
“I’m trying to see lines correctly,” he said. “For the past year I haven’t. Even though I’ve been able to conquer those improper looks, I’ll line it up behind it perfectly, but when I get over it looks aimed right. There’s a difference between binocular looking vertically and horizontally, so I’m trying to make it so it looks correct from behind it, and looking correct when I’m over it. I’ve done it, it’s working, it worked today.”
When you line up your ball on the spot you want it, but it nevertheless feels uncomfortable when you’re over the ball, it’s the result of you angle of your head — and thereby, your eyes — changing position as you move into the ball, and tricking your brain into thinking it’s aiming elsewhere. Bryson’s working hard to sync those two things together, and he says he’s making progress.
“I’ve got left-eye dominance,” he told me. “I’ve got convergence of the eyes, so I’m working with some doctors to get it sorted out. And look, everybody sees lines differently. I’m unique, you’re unique, I’m just trying to get a deeper understanding of that so I can see things properly.”
YOUR TAKEAWAY: If you feel like you’re aimed incorrectly even after you’ve lined up your ball, remember that it may be your mind playing tricks on you. Learn from Bryson and take time on the putting green to practice your aim. Line it up, step into it, then step back out of it. Do that a few times until what you see matches how you feel over the ball.