Dominant Eye and Alignment

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

Today I'm going to discuss the relationship between your dominant eye and your alignment. Your dominant eye is the eye that you get your maximum focus with. For a lot of people, it's the same side as their dominant hand. That means most right handed golfers focus best with their right eye.

Unfortunately, a lot of people pick their head up to take a last look at their target instead of rolling it. This is bad because it distorts the mental picture of the shot you want to hit, right before you're about to hit it!

Ron Wettlaufer wrote in and referenced an earlier video I shot titled, "Alignment Tips: Check Your Toes". He wasn't sure what eye he should be using to line up to his target.


I watched and listened carefully to your comments! All made sense except at the outset you mentioned initially that it makes a difference as to whether one is left handed or right handed when positioning the Body. I believe you need to explain this somewhat. Perhaps I'm wrong but unknowingly since I'm Right Handed, for some reason, I've been used to lining up the club with my right but looking with my left. Should I be using my right eye when lining up to the target??


You need to use whichever eye is your dominant eye when picking out a target. But, it's the process of walking into the shot (making the "H") and setting up parallel to your target line that will determine if you're aligned properly. This is where you MUST CHECK YOUR TOES. If they are parallel to your aiming line, you're good to go. Now, the urge your must fight is moving your feet when you're waggling the club. It's okay to waggle the club like Jason Dufner, you just have to make sure you're lower body is not dancing and getting you into bad alignment.

For the best alignment tips from me, check out The Ultimate Alignment Video here.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

P.S. I'd like to thank Dave Simkins for his kind words. To check out a list of upcoming golf schools, click here.

P.S.S. If you can't view the YouTube video above try CLICKING HERE. You must allow popups from this site for the link to work.


shortgamewizard's picture

Submitted by shortgamewizard on

90-95% of problems caused by faulty eye alignment? I don't think so. Try 99%+. I have been teaching this for decades and don't ever remember anyone whose eyes align parallel left of the aim line. If you can get the toes to line up parallel to the aim line you have a much better chance to get the knees, hip shoulders and eyes correctly aimed. If you have not obtained the "Ultimate Alignment" video, do so. This is the secret to successful golf.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

I always appreciate your daily videos. Co-incidently emailing my golf mate in the South Island of New Zealand this past 48 hours and yesterday I was asking him which eye was his dominant one, telling him it is vital to know for a variety of reasons-then Lo! and Behold! todays video is that very topic. I understand that the toes must be aligned correctly,ie, the set up determines the motion etc,
For once I didn't think the video didn't answer the question on eye dominance in my case : - ( boo!hoo! It seemed to wander off the eye dominance and onto toes. I am a right handed golfer who is left eye dominant. My dilemma is, do I use only my left eye when I take my grip on the club and complet the set-up procedure or do I use both eyes?
Puzzled DH in NZ

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

The eyes have it, or not? Hello DH, hope you and DL are enjoying your fall weather (or do you have a fall there?) Hopefully you're getting a break from rainy days and golf is on the menu.
Interesting subject concerning the eyes. Agreed that Surge wondered a tad. He has so much to say it's challenging to stay focused I'm sure. Any how as far as eye dominance while lining up and playing shots I to am a puzzle now a days. I am normally right eye dominant but my right eye is currently fuzzy and failing me as of late. I am scheduled to see a sight specialist in a couple of weeks. Already was tested and got a new set of glasses that were meant to correct the problem but they didn't help at all thus the specialist in two weeks. Mean while I golf on using my left eye now to line up all shots and putts. To be honest it has been quite challenging- really weird but I have been making it work for the most part. The biggest challenge is on the greens where precision is more vital. I still use the same routine of determining the break and the finding a spot (or speck) to roll the ball over on my line to the hole. Still get it right (left eyed) most of the time but on some putts I am way off (high or low). Trouble is my left eye is slightly off too. LOl!! Need to laugh or cry so I laugh about it most often! Again, still playing okay and around 79-84 on most days or 38-42 for nine. Could be better but until I get the eye(s) figured out can't expect much better.

Honestly, I think you may be at an advantage as left eye dominant. Jack N. is right? Greg Norman too so your in good company. I think you are best off using our dominant eye to line up.

The following article notes that left eye dominant tend to close their putters and right eyers open the face. Other cool points follow that you may find of help. I think the opening and closing happens after we set up and then from the side turn our heads and then question our alignment at the last second and then the pull or push ensues. Our lying eyes!! That's why I do my best to pick a spot from behind and stay with it- trust it.

Ans Surge says

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

I am left eye dominant and it really doesn't make any difference at all in my alignment.

If I close either eye I can still set parallel to a line at my feet just the same.

It does make a notable difference during the swing. I play the ball a little further forward than most right eye dominant players so it's in more plain view of my left eye. I also felt much more comfortable getting out in front of a baseball for the same reason.

Even though I don't think Nicklaus ever attributed his recommendations on ball position to left eye dominance (because he didn't stipulate) it's probably not a coincidence that his recommendations are what comes naturally for a left eye dominant player anyway.

Of course if the ball is too far forward it's hard to effectively make it work with the shorter clubs but I basically play right up against that limit.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Hi to the Surgite Nation,
Thankyou very much for the comments on eye dominance Robert Meade and Steve Smith. I stopped wearing my glasses while playing a wee while ago and was surprised at the results.My wife usually gets a good line on my ball after I have struck it. The surprise is that I usually am able to see the flight line of the ball myself without her help. Now that she is playing alongside me, I have to watch more carefully as she has her own ball to take care of ; - )
We got out the day before yesterday [Friday here] and had a full 18 holes on a very sodden course-but hey! golf is golf and we both enjoyed the outing. My driver shots off the tee were reasonably good, with only a couple of mediocre ones. Apart from the couple of mediocre ones the rest were straight down the middle of the fairway and slightly longer than usual, so smiles all around. One thing of note was taking more care in my set up and paying particular attention to the 'lying eyes' made a distinct difference IMHO. Ball striking was very good considering the ground conditions with my short game chipping and pitching helping a lot.
The part which needs more attention in my swing is the weight transfer! Why is it I start well with it and then forget it???! As soon as a mediocre shot occured, more attention to the through swing and 'bingo' down the middle with ease. Looking at the links posted by Robert and Steve taking me back to last year, brought back some things forgotten about : - ( This morning [Sunday here] I searched for 'The Torture Drill' the one I saw originally-for anyone interested it is: a 1minute 28second one by Jason Bruton of the Biltmore Golf Club. Even convinced DL to watch it this morning with me ; - ) You have no idea how hard that was hahaha!
It is my intention to write down the drills I have previously used and refer back to the list when problems occur as NeilofOz has done with his 14 tips from the video and his lesson with Surge.
A new introduction on Friday was I had 2 putters in the bag-the ancient Ping Zero3 one and my G2 Ping Pal one. Have been having some problems with distance on longer putts with the Zero3 one for some un-explicable reason [to me]. I used the Ping G2 one and was overjoyed at the results with it. On our [DH versus DL] post round putting competition it performed very, very well indeed. My wife has 'her own way' of putting and is hard to beat on the course or the practice green. One change to my routine was using a softer ball-Srixon Soft-Feel. Wonder if the harder ball I had been using in wet and cooler conditions may have contributed to my erratic distance putting?We will see next time out.
For Robert Meade-we do have Autumn [Fall] here in NZ. From the top of the north island to the bottom of the south island the weather and seasons are quite different. As said before here-you can snow ski in the morning-then -play a round of golf then soak in a volcanic thermal pool drive to the beach and go surfing, all on the same day. This idyllic country [when the weather behaves hahaha ; - ], remember has the largest number of golf courses per capita population than anywhere else on earth.With a fairly large population of older and retired golfers too, it would be a perfect place for Surge to visit and enlarge the Surge Nation. On Friday an older member on the course was given the website address and he was VERY interested.
Almost noon here so must get off my rear end and go out onto the front yard driving range for a swing session.
Looking forward to the weather clearing and we can get out and spread the word and abide by it ourselves.
Keep on hitting them more Consistently [I am] straighter [mostly] and longer[a little] where ever you are.
DH and DL in NZ