We all know that hitting greens in regulation or chipping it close for a 1-putt is the goal for success on every hole. The real difference between a good round and a bad round is sinking more of those 3 to 10 foot putts. We are all searching for ways to be more consistent. Here are some recent tricks that I found to improve our putting.
Learn to “Feel” the Green
Reading the break and putting with enough roll to pass the hole by up to 18 inches is all a matter of feel. Every green is different so you can never practice enough to learn the break for every putt. The length & type of grass, the grain of the grass and the firmness of the surface caused by a recent rolling, top dressing or watering of the green all affect the speed of your putt.
You need to “learn” on the practice green for the course that you are about to play and hope that the practice green has been groomed exactly the same as the 18 greens that you are about to play on. You have to visualize each putt and “feel” the right swing with your practice swing before you execute the putt.
Things You have Little Control Over
As a green dries out and the grass grows during your round, you have no choice but to adapt to the changing conditions. You can’t determine the impact of the last person who walked over your line or the IDIOT who used the end of his putter to boost himself after he removes his ball from the hole OR THE INCONSIDERATE SOB WHO IS DIGGING UP THE GREENS WITH METAL SPIKES. That is why putting is more than a talent. Putting is primarily art and a bit of luck.
What You Can Control in your Putts
1/ Putting with the rocking action of your shoulders will take the smaller muscles in your arms and wrists out of your putt. This will minimize any shaking of your club during your stroke. Practice locking your wrists using your GOLFSTR+ and seeing your success.
2/ Choose a target point and putt directly at that target is the only thing that YOU CAN CONTROL in your putt.
3/ Your practice swing should be exactly the same swing as your actual putt as that is the only way you can “feel” the right DISTANCE.
4/ You need to deliberately swing with your shoulders and swing your putter like a pendulum up your target line at the point of impact or you will slice or draw your ball. Jason Day finishes swinging his putter up his target line in a pendulum arc and you should too.
5/ At least reach the hole with your putt. 100% of putts that don’t reach the hole never go in!
6/ Putt with enough speed to pass the hole by up to 18 inches so that the speed will minimize any misdirection caused by the last person to step on your line or the person who created the cup placement with a slight rise around the edge of the hole.
7/ After you learn to hit every putt 10 to 18 inches past the cup make sure that you plan for less break as most of the break will happen if your ball passes the cup.
[Note: Impact with the ball only lasts for a fraction of a second so your total focus should be on looking down at the SQUARE HIT IN THE CENTER OF YOUR PUTTER FACE as well as duplicating your practice swing for DISTANCE. This tip came from a 75 year old golfer who sinks about 8 out of every 10 putts between 6 and 15 feet.]
Our Swing Tips next week will focus on ways to identify how YOUR mind and body is most effective to make YOUR putts. In the meantime practice with GOLFSTR+ for flat wrist putting by rocking your shoulder. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com