Dr's Casebook: Using your dominant eye can help you play precision sports

I spent a lot of last weekend watching the US Master’s, the first of the four grand slam tournaments in golf.

By Jane Chippindale
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 5:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 10:58 am

Dr Keith Souter writes: I spent a lot of last weekend watching the US Masters, the first of the four grand slam tournaments in golf.

The course at Augusta is renowned for the difficulty of its greens, which usually means that the golfer who putts best over the four rounds has a good chance of taking home the coveted green jacket.

This year it was Scottie Scheffler.

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Scottie Scheffler putts on the 14th green during the second round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8 (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Putting is almost a game within the overall game of golf and some people seem to be naturally better putters than others.

That is true of a lot of sports, some folk may be butterfingers who drop catches, miss shots and generally don’t get things on target.

In precision sports like golf or snooker where you have to aim, part of the problem may be that they are not using their dominant eye.

Your dominant eye is the one you tend to use when looking through a microscope, telescope or small hole.

You may be same side dominant (right-handed and right-eyed) or cross dominant (right-handed and left-eyed).

The dominant eye processes information 14 to 21 milliseconds faster than the other eye.

You use the dominant eye to determine where a ball, target or line of a putt is.

Thus it may be an advantage to have the dominant eye closer to the action.

In putting, golfers should try to have their dominant eye over the back tip of the ball with the eyes directly over and square to the line of the putt.

Also, when plumb bobbing, holding the putter as a vertical line to determine the green’s slope, you should use the dominant eye and hold the putter shaft in the corresponding hand.

For example, a right-handed, left-eyed golfer (cross dominant) should hold the putter in the left hand and sight with the left eye.

A simple way to determine your dominant eye is to extend one arm and make a circle with your thumb and forefinger.

View a distant object through this circle, keeping both eyes open.

Then alternately close one eye.

The object will appear to stay in the centre of the circle with your dominant eye, yet be outside it with the non- dominant one.

Have a go, you might find you can improve your aim and your game.

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