Witt et al. (2008) have recently shown that golfers who putt with more success perceive the hole to be bigger than golfers who putt with less success. In three experiments, we systematically examined whether this phenomenon, labelled action-specific perception, depends on directing visual attention towards the action target. In Experiment 1 we replicated previously reported action-specific effects on perception in golf putting. In Experiments 2 and 3 we directly assessed whether action-specific effects on perception in golf putting are dependent on focusing visual attention on the target. To this end, the participants performed the putting task while visual attention towards the target was either completely withheld (Experiment 2) or divided over the target and other task-relevant objects (Experiment 3). No action-specific effects were found when visual attention towards the action target was occluded or partially diverted from the target. Together, our results provide evidence to suggest that focusing visual attention on the target while performing the action is a prerequisite for the emergence of action-specific perception. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.