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Putting Guide

The putt is without doubt the single most important shot of any golf game. On average, when playing 18 holes, around 40 per cent of all shots involve the use of the putter. This means a player who learns to putt well has an excellent chance of beating someone who has superior skills for the long shots but putts badly.

In order to perfect your putt, you need to learn how to read a green so that you know whether the shot is moving uphill or downhill and whether the ball is likely to move to the left or the right. The more skill you develop in this area, the more accurate your putts will be and the more your handicap will fall.

Begin by looking at the general lie of the land as it is highly likely that this will affect the slope of the green and therefore the forces on your ball during your putt. In particular, look out for any water features as balls tend to break towards ponds, rivers or lakes whenever they are present. Note whether the water feature is on the left or the right and be prepared to adjust your putt accordingly.

Check the condition of the grass on every green as to how wet it is. Putts break more on dry greens than wet ones but this can change from one green to another during the course of a game, particularly if you begin playing early in the morning or late in the evening when the grass is more likely to be covered with dew.

The next step is to stand behind the ball so that you are in line with the hole and then crouch down as low as possible. This will help you determine whether the green slopes to the left or right. Follow this up by moving to a spot halfway between the hole and the ball and crouching once more. This perspective will enable you to work out if the green slopes up or down.

When it comes to actually hitting the ball, be sure to make your putt as smooth and fluid as possible. Try to use a gentle rocking motion with an equal amount of swing and backswing, creating a movement which is rather like the pendulum on an old fashioned grandfather clock. To help maintain correct body position, do not look up until after you have hit the ball.

As with all aspects of golf, practice is the key to perfection. Confidence-boosting drills like placing a series of balls around a hole at a distance of three feet and hitting one after the other in sequence, or placing a club on the ground behind a hole and hitting balls towards it to ensure your strokes have sufficient power are excellent ways of developing your game.

Practicing your putts with a friend helps create an atmosphere of competition which can help push you to try harder and gives you the benefit of objective feedback on your progress. It also allows you to take advantage of the many 2 fore one deals that are available on many greens, meaning you can cut the cost of your games in half.

Today I watched Tiger Woods play at pebble beach and it just reminded me that the most important part of a good score is your putting.

I have put together 5 important tips to help Tiger and you putt.

5.  Set aside 40% of your practice time to putting

Since 40% of your score comes from putting would it not make sense to practice 40% of your time on putting.  Come up with a practice routine for your putting and stick with it.

4.  Learn how to read the green.

Reading the green is important to get a feel for how it moves.  The best way is to play the course in different positions so you get to know how the green moves.  Remember the slope and the grain.  Learn to control your speed.

3.   See the ball going in the hole before you make the stroke

Visualize the putt before you strike it.  Have you ever seen the tv play before the putt drawing a line.  Draw that line in your mind and imagine your putt going in the hole.

2.  If you miss a putt, debrief yourself and focus on correcting your mistake but don’t dwell on it.  Fix it and move on.

Finally, remember you are the best putter and putting is easy!

1.  Confidence in yourself to make all your putts is the key to success.  Doubt breeds failure.

PGA Pro D.A. Points has a great tip for you using a yard stick.

There you are 3 feet from the cup, putting for par or birdie. You line up perfectly, you take your practice stroke and then you miss the putt.

How do you feel when you miss from that range? I feel terrible. I hate when I miss a 3 foot putt. It is such a waste of a good hole.

If I find myself missing a lot of 3 footers, I ask myself if I looked up too early. This is probably the most common reason for missing from that range. Your head moves and the alignment of your putter seems to change as well.

One drill I use to correct this on the practice putting green is to take about 10 balls and perform the following actions:

  1. Line up a ball about 3 feet from the cup just like this were a real round of golf
  2. Align my body into the position that I think will sink the putt and take a few practice strokes
  3. I then close my eyes and stroke the ball and I don’t lift my head until I hear the ball going in the hole or I miss

If you keep putting like this you will gain confidence and build faith in your stroke of the short putt.

When putting, the confidence you have in your stroke is your key to your success.

Until next time,

John

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I know, you’ve heard it from me before but I’m going to tell you again. To lower your score, you need to hit more putts. Almost half your strokes during a golf round are your putts. Today I am going to discuss hitting the ball when you putt.

Hitting the putt

The harder you hit the ball the less it will curve or break. When analyzing a putt and let’s say you think it will break 6-7 inches then you must factor in how hard to hit it. If you hit it too hard it will only break maybe 2-3 inches and opposite if you hit it too easy it may break more.

Speed of the Putt

It is clear that the speed of the putt is probably the most important factor to consider to improve your putting. Now the problem is how hard to hit the ball. To make it easier let’s figure out that we need to at least get the ball to the hole for it to have any chance of going in. So you need to hit it hard enough to get to the hole. But you do not want to hit it too hard or you will have a bigger problem coming back. I will make it simple for you, hit it hard enough to go no more than 2 feet past the hole.

Practice Hitting it Hard Enough

How do you get this control to hit it hard enough? Practice! Go out to the putting green and hit 20 putts from 10 feet, 20 putts from 20 feet, and 20 putts from 30 ft.  This will program your mind to develop a feel for the distance and it will become automatic on the green.

Summary

In Summary, to be a good putter you need to control your distance, you control your distance by how hard you hit the ball and practice will develop this feel for the putt.

until next time,

John


Have you ever watched the professional golfers on TV and see them look over a green? What are they looking for?  What do they study?  To read a green like the pro’s do takes into account a number of factors.  This article will address those factors.

As you are walking up to a green, the predominant factor you want to address first is the slope of the green.  This will give you a clue as to the way the ball will break when you strike your putt.

Once you are on the green, look from behind the ball down the line,  if you crouch down you can see the subtle slopes more easily.

Another place to take a reading of the green is on the low side of the hole.  Stand a few feet back, midway between the ball and the hole.  From this spot you can figure out how the ball will break as it rolls down the slope.

Also look for unevenness right around the hole.  The ball is most affected as it slows down right before the hole, the undulations may kick it right or left so look for them around the hole.

Finally, remember this factoid, the ball will break more on a fast green than it will on a slow green.  So when the grass is closely mowed and fast read more break than when the grass is longer and thicker.

until next time,

John

The following guide will help you when thinking about putting. As you may know, we waste so many shots by not putting to the best of our ability and in reality this may be one of the easiest things to perfect. I have put together a few tips for you to use as a guide.

  1. When taking hold of the putter, be sure to have palm side of each hand lined up parallel to the face of the putter
  2. Develop a stroke that accurately returns the putter face to the same angle it was placed when you addressed the ball
  3. As you approach the green, look at the high and low points to get a feel for the contour
  4. Look for the actual line of travel your ball will take to the hole, picture how water would flow on the surface of the green
  5. Place the putter face square to the line then take a look from ball to hole to pick up the distance, then strike the ball with the required force your mind has told you to strike the ball with and trust your instincts

Putting is easy if you have a routine.

Now from now on make yourself a promise not to lose strokes by putting poorly.

Until next time,

John

We have all done it.  Yes, even pro golfers do it.  Miss those Short putts.  It is very frustrating.   My advice to you today is this.  GET OVER IT!

That’s right.  When you miss an easy putt move on and start thinking about the next shot.  Do not linger over missed opportunities.

So, the golden rule of putting,  think about this shot as the only shot you will ever have control of,  stop chastising yourself whenever you miss a few putts. It happens to everyone, yes, even to Tiger and Phil and all top professional golfers.  The fact is that  any problem you have with putting is much more likely to be psychological than with your technique.  The bottom line is that you should never get down on yourself for missing an easy putt as this will only make matters worse.

What can I Do to Improve?

  • Make sure you are properly aligned so that your stroke is being hit to a spot just beyond the hole on a straight putt
  • Make sure you align to the point where it starts to break on a breaking putt
  • Practice 3 and 4 footers every time you are on the practice green and don’t  leave until you have sunk 4 putts  (This is a way you build confidence)
  • Think positive and your results will reflect your thought

That’s it for today,

See you on the links,

John


Did you realize that you have 2 to 3 more putts then any other stroke during a round? With that knowledge it should be clear that putting may be the most important part of your game. To putt well you must control 2 simple factors, direction and distance. So with that knowledge you should controlling the speed of your putts and reading the direction it will go.

Most greens are lower in the front part and higher in the back part. This is to allow for drainage, So if you know that the green is lower in the front and you hit the ball under the pin you have an uphill putt. If you have an uphill putt you can hit the ball a little harder depending how steep the incline and the grain.

Distance can be controlled by length of your putting stroke and speed of the stroke
and this is different with each golfer. To find your speed close your eyes and make continuous strokes until you feel maximum comfort.

Now pick the type of putting stroke you want to hit. Four types are described below:

1. Pendulum stroke- the back swing is equal to the forward stroke
2. Short to Long – the back swing is short and the follow-through is long
3. Long to short – the back swing is long and the follow-through is short or pops off the ball
4. Short to short – the back swing is short and the follow-through is short hit it with feel

Drills to use on the putting green:

1. This drill will help your feel in the stroke. Hold the putter in the right hand and allow the whole arm to swing and do not move the wrist at all. Feel the right shoulder turn. Make several continuous strokes and allow the tension in the arm to dissipate. When hitting balls, practice at different lengths to feel the
speed of the stroke.

2. Another drill to help with short putts is to place 2 balls 8 feet or less from pin at a distance that allows your putter head to travel through the balls. Make several practice strokes between the balls and then place a ball inside the two balls and hit it. If you strike one of the outer balls then your stroke should be adjusted until you only hit the inside ball without touching the outside golf balls.

3. Place a ball 1 foot from the cup, 3 feet from the cup, 6 feet from the cup and 10 ft from the cup. Start with the shortest and hit the put in the cup. Go to the next ball and repeat. If you miss any you need to set them all up until you can hit all the balls in the whole

These drills will increase your consistency with your stroke and improve your game.

Yes, you can improve your putting stroke.
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