Eye Position Key for Putting Success
One of the main ingredients to a successful putt is proper alignment. Your feet must be aligned properly, your hands and clubface need to be aligned properly, and your eyes also need to be properly aligned. Proper eye setup is a key fundamental in your aim.
I know of two different "schools of thought" when it comes to eye alignment and putting. One, which I believe most golfers concentrate on, is to keep your eyes positioned directly above the ball in your stance. Keeping your eyes directly over the ball promotes a "straight line" approach, that is everything is on the exact same straight line from your eyes to the ball to your clubface, backwards and forwards. Keeping your eyes aligned over the ball will promote a straight back-and-forth swing, and should help most golfers follow through straight to their intended target.
The other eye alignment technique I've heard of is where you set up your eyes inside of the ball. So that if you look straight down, you would actually be focusing on a spot an inch or two on the ground closer to your body. This creates a swing that is more of an arch. As you take your backswing, the club is pulled into your body. On your forward swing the clubface moves away from your body and after contact with the ball, it moves again towards your body. The result is a circular sort of swing. The object is to make sure you make contact with the ball when the clubface is at the farthest point away from your body which is the "top of the arc". This is where the clubface will be perfectly aligned with your target.
A putter with a centered shaft is probably best used in the first scenario above. The shafts on these putters are connected somewhere in the center on the top of the putter clubhead. "Hocky stick" like putters, where the shaft is connected to the end of the clubhead, are probably best suited for the arced swing.
The trap many golfers need watch out for is when you are trying for the straight line approach, but are not lined up properly! What ends up happening is that you think your eyes are aligned directly over the ball, however they are on the inside of the ball. So, in order to prevent an arced swing, you unknowingly are "pushing" the club away from your body on your backswing in order to maintain a straight swing path. The frustrating result is a ball that never seems to go straight.