The simplicity or complexity about putting
When we are looking at TV and see golfers playing the Tours or just by being at the driving range at your own club, we can relatively easy determine a “good” swing. We are seeing players hitting it hard like Tiger Woods and easier swings like Ernie Els. And this have been so for many years. Another great champion that was a hitter of the ball was Ben Hogan and a swinger was Sam Snead.
And the norm has been to swing in that way during the years and to describe the golfswing and looking that up in Google you are only getting tips to make the perfect swing etc. etc. But this is something that I will get to back to later in another article.
Which is the easiest club to hit the golf ball? This question was put by Jackie Burke Jr. (US Master and emeritus in teaching) at a clinic and how many answers do think he got? Yes many, but when someone said, “the Putter”, he just said: “yes and it is the first thin an aspiring golfer should learn”. And that is exactly what I will talk about now.
What is the basics and fundamentals in learning to putt. Well it is two factors and I will high lite them here and then I will talk about the three feet putt that we sometimes hate.
No 1. The Grip
Is the Grip and there is a large variety of ways to hold the putter, but there is only one that is correct for you and should ask your PGA professional in assisting you here. A good grip will take the tension away.
One way is to make sure the back of the leading hand which should be for a righthanded golfer the left hand is facing the target.
If you are holding the club with the right hand underneath the left, make sure you don´t grip it to hard with your right hand. This can lead to that it takes over and the left wrists break down and will kill the tempo of the stroke. This would then be considered a death move according to Jim McLean.
No 2. The Setup
Even here you should consult you PGA pro to get the set up correct. Eyes over the ball, weight favoring the left foot (righthanded golfers), ball a bit forward in the stance.
And before you are getting into your position, make sure you have a good routine for every putt you are going to make. From behind the ball take out your line and find an intermediate target just 1 foot in front of the ball. This will then be your aim line.
When you are stepping into the setup, make sure you are steady, this is a pure arm and shoulder swing, no need for turning. Just straight back and through. And this is the only swing that the words: “Keep your head” still has a bearing and this goes for the whole body.
And, when you master these to parameters I am sure you will improve your putting stroke.
Practice tools and aids: Mentometer to get rhythm into your stroke.
3 Factors to get the ball on line
- Impact is the no one factor and that means to hit the ball with the putter 90 degrees to the intended line. This factor stands for app. 70-80% and needs to be practice a lot. Tip: take a board that is 2″ high and put yourself in the position of hitting a putt. Practice getting the clubhet square when it hits the board.
- The next important thing is to hit the center of the face, stands for app. 20%
- The third factor is the path that has almost no influence, maybe 5 – 10%
So what yuo should practice is Face and centerness
The dreaded 3 feet putt
How many times haven´t we been standing over the 3-feet putt and thought “I mast make this” and we miss them. Here is a tip from Gerina Piller from the LPGA tour, who once hated those, but now has something she will share to you and I will add a little tip that also can be of help.
“Don´t look for the ball going in the whole, a lot of time you will then miss the hole to the left. No listen to the ball hitting the bottom of the cup. But first do as I mentioned above. Find a mark one foot in front of the ball in the direction you have decided. Then take your set up and make the putt and listen to the ball going into the hole”
And here we are keeping our head still.
Practice drill: Make them with your eyes closed, and you will really feel the Putt.
Next article will then be about the short game and how to add and take away spin on your wedges and different ways to chip