Keeping an eye on the golf pros touring this year you will see a variety of tools and styles being used for their short game. From the large variety of putter designs, styles of stance, grip styles, and more, it can be tough to know what really is important for improving your own putting. Following these tips and mastering these three simple principles of putting can help you consistently sink more putts.
First, you want to develop a consistent stroke that makes proper contact with the ball. To visually check if you are consistently hitting the ball squarely with your putter’s face, draw a line around the middle of the golf ball and roll the line end-over-end. Take a stroke and if the line wobbles, keep practicing! Allow yourself adequate time to practice this tip to develop muscle memory.
Inside the Lines
Second, learn to roll the ball along the intended line you desire. This is managed by the putter face position at impact. An elevated putting line string or alignment sticks can be used to track your results. Using these aides will help you gain confidence in putting along your intended line.
Gain a Feel for the Greens
Third, learn to hit the ball with the proper distance and pace you desire. This is a result of the length and force of your putting stroke. Start by putting from one edge of the green to another (not at a hole) to gain a better feel of distance and pace and the stroke required. A 4 foot putt will require less length and force of the stroke compared to a 12 foot putt. Lay a string or alignment stick down and putt to it from 4,8, and 12 feet until the ball rolls no more than 12 inches past the string. If you practice from 12 feet and in, you are well on your way to making more putts. Next, get to work on the longer putts like 20, 30, and 40 foot putts. Begin by working toward finishing the longer “lag” putts within 4 feet of the cup. Then, with continued practice, you should seek to be inside 3 feet of the cup. Now you are working to minimize your 3 foot putts.
It’s arguably the simplest part of the game to practice and often least practiced by the average recreational player. Practice these putting tips in two 20-minute sessions per week for four weeks and you will find your golf scores will drop the next few rounds on the course.
Personal instruction and golf lessons from a PGA or LPGA Professional is also a great way to improve your golf game. If you’d like to set up a golf lesson, contact us.