It's in the hole!
Do you wish more of your putts were ‘in the hole’?
Putting is an art. If you look at the players on the PGA and LPGA tours it is those who can make the putts that see success.
How can you putt like a pro?
First break your putting practice into two segments – short putts and long putts.
Being repetitive on your short putts requires precision and confidence in your stroke. Building a stroke that will repeat itself starts with a step-by-step process you can depend on under pressure.
1. Read your putt and decide on your line. Then commit to it.
2. Place your putter behind the ball focusing on placing the putter face perpendicular to the line you chose. Then leave it there.
3. Your body will set up comfortably to the putt once you have placed the club into position behind the ball.
4. Trust your line. If you feel uncomfortable with it – read it again and re-commit to a line. Right or wrong – commit to a line.
5. Once your putter is placed on line and you have stepped up to grip the club and take your stance – focus on a stroke which will be shorter in length and keeping the clubface perpendicular to the target line. In a short putt this will be easier to do.
6. The stroke – being kept shorter in length – will always be as short back as possible always allowing the golfer to accelerate during the stroke. A stroke that goes back too far will tend to decelerate causing a loss of confidence and a lot of missed 3 footers.
The short putt is what we will call a “left brain” activity. Mechanical, repeatable stroke. Short back. Short through. Clubface stays on the line.
The long putt is more of a “right brain’ experience where the creativity and skill of visualizing come into the equation. The putter face staying on line is not nearly as important as the pace of the stroke (more long and lazy) and how far we roll the ball is important.
To develop a sense of control in the distance one must practice the art of putting a good roll on the ball.
1. Stand tall so the arms are longer and engage the shoulders into the stroke.
2. Rather than trying to control the length of the stroke it is OK to let the putter swing on a longer, more rhythmic stroke.
3. After picking the line like in short putts – put the putter down and commit to your alignment choice.
4. On longer strokes it is especially helpful if you keep your head down (eyes on the ball) until the ball is gone. Mishit putts can lead to loss in your touch and much less chance of being able to consistently control how far you roll your ball.
In a round of 72, at least half the strokes are attributed to putting if you hit every green in regulation. 2 putts per green equal 36 and that’s half your strokes.
So work on your putting as much as you do the other parts of your game.
Drive for show and putt for dough.
To improve your putting contact Tony Simpson, PGA Professional Golf Teacher – located at Chi Chi’s Sports Complex in Clearwater, Florida. www.villagegolfpro.com