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  1. #1
    Competitor Hank Hill is on a distinguished road Hank Hill's Avatar
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    Help with Putting

    My putting game is okay but not great. I usually take around 36 putts per round but feel that I should be holing more 6-15 footers. By missing from these ranges I am missing out on birdies and more often pars. Also it would help on those occasions when I have misjudged a long put and need to hole a testy one to save bogey.

    Any tips (mental and physical) from you putting gurus out there??

  2. #2
    Singles Match Play Champ 2009 Team Match Play Champ 2013, 2014 leftylucas is on a distinguished road leftylucas's Avatar
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    IMHO, it is difficult to give advice when I am not sure of what part of your putting is off. It sounds like your speed/disctance control is off but alignment might be off as well. There are many drills you can do to improve this. I always try to ensure that my stance/set-up is correct. For me, its eyes just over the inside of the ball, shoulders straight down over hands, hips s/d over feet, all parallel to the target line. Here are a couple of drills that I read and use, one for feel and distance control, the other for grooving the putting stroke:

    1) Take as many balls as you want and from a designated area putt them to reach but not pass the target (i.e. middle of the green to the fringe). Try to get them to the same spot. Do this on the practice green before a round or on a carpet at home. You can repeat this at different distances. This gives you a "feel" which is necessary to have since all greens vary and hopefully the practice green will be somewhat like the greens you will play on that day (HA!).

    2) At home, I use a triangular box as a guide for my back and through swing for the putter. The box is set parallel to my stroke line and set-off the ground to allow the putter to go back and forth. The up angle of the box should be set parallel the angle of the putter shaft. This grooves my stroke very well. Of course, only if you have a straight back and through stroke!
    Lefty Lucas
    I am abidextrous, I once golfed right-handed and now I shoot left-handed just as badly!

  3. #3
    Bogie Marmotte is on a distinguished road Marmotte's Avatar
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    In my experience, my putting improved drastically after a throruogh reading of Dave Peltz's book (Putting like a Pro). I have found that when you understand the theory behind putting skills, you can diagnose your problems and work on the solutions. ...
    I does not cure the "yips streaks"
    [COLOR=Sienna][SIZE=2][FONT=Palatino Linotype]If you bury my ashes on a golf course, just make sure that they are out of bounds, that will be a natural continuation to my life[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]

  4. #4
    5 Wood Thom Panikorn is on a distinguished road
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    Putting 101

    I am not a great putter by any mean but i made my share of six footers (the pros only make 50% of those). There are two parts in putting: the science and the art. The objective of the science is to get the right "speed & direction". This is the part you have "some" control. It's all about your setup, how to hold the putter, ball position, your stance, body alignment etc. Your stroke of your choice is the next element. You just have to pick one. The goal is to hit the ball on the "sweet spot" all or almost all the time. And it doesn't matter "how" you do it. Most problems at this stage comes from "body movement", either the head, or the sway of the body. That just kills all your effort to hit the sweet spot. Next time out, play special attention to your playing partners, specially the bad putting one. You will see some movement during the stroke.
    Dave Pelz's book gives all the "possible" setups so that you have the most chances of hitting the sweet spot and there are as many as there are golfers.

    What makes the great putter is the "art" side of putting though. It's the "feel" for the speed and direction. This is the "How" part. The first part is the "what" and this is the "how". You have to have both to be a great putter. And this comes from "doing" it a lot and "learning" from it. If you three putt a lot, your problem is your "lag". If you miss a lot of 6 footer-and-in, then your problem is, maybe, direction. Anything inside 6 feet, you have to aim at the back of the cup and hit it firm, unless the slope is very obvious to your eyes. Dave Pelz said the perfect speed for the putt is 17" past the hole. That will eliminate all the "invisible" break around the cup.
    If you don't play or practice a lot, it's very hard to develope the "feel" so don't be to hard on yourself. Very good putters i play with all have excellent feel for speed AND they all look different at setup but they hit the sweet spot almost all the time.

    Practice, practice, practice!

  5. #5
    Hall of Fame jvincent is on a distinguished road jvincent's Avatar
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    For the short ones, one of the best tips ever is to LISTEN to the ball going into the hole. I.e. force yourself to NOT lift your head.

    Any movement of your head, typically starting BEFORE you actually hit the ball, causes your alignment to shift, and results in pulls/pushes.

    I've been trying to use this one religously this year and have been making a lot more of the short ones.

  6. #6
    72 Divots
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    In order to putt my best, I do the following:

    1) Light grip throughout the stroke. This allows me to feel the putter head and helps me avoid hitting at the ball (as opposed to stroking through it). This felt very strange at first but I am now a believer.

    2) Eyes over the ball. Some prefer to have their eyes right over the ball but I prefer my eyes to be closer to the back side of the ball as opposed to right over it.

    Couple of other things to consider:

    a) Practice as much as you can. I putt to pennies or dimes on my carpet at home. Because the target is smaller, it requires greater precision in alignment. Moreover, when you get to the course, the hole looks huge!

    b) Consider an alternative grip. I have putted left hand low for many years now and I would never go back to a conventional grip. With belly putters and the "saw grip" for example, there are my ways to putt. Find what feels most comfortable for you.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Golf Canada Rules Official L4 LobWedge is on a distinguished road LobWedge's Avatar
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    Short putts are mainly about line. Long putts are mainly about speed. You need to learn to trust your first instinct when reading putts, it's usually right. The more time you spend reading a putt the harder it will be to make a good stroke.

    Break longer putts into 2 or 3 segments, particularly if there's a change in elevation/ speed/direction throughout the putt. Try to get an idea in your mind of of what the putt will do from A-B, B-C and so on. Medium length putts, 15-20 feet, focus more on what the ball will do in the last 18" to the hole. Short putts inside 10 feet, don't fuss, just pick your line and go.

    Make sure you hit a few practice putts before your round, just to get a feel for how the ball will roll on those particular greens. Don't be concerned too much with making them drop as watching how the ball runs.
    When applying the Rules, you follow them line by line. You don't read between them.

  8. #8
    Must be Single mberube is on a distinguished road mberube's Avatar
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    A great drill is practice putting with your eyes closed.

    Take two balls, pick a target, take two practice swing trying to feel the right swing speed for that distance then address the ball, close your eyes and putt the ball to the target. Hold your finish while keeping your eyes closed. Know guess if the ball is short, long, pushed, pulled or perfect.

    You will be amazed on how off you will be.

    Mike
    Strive for perfection, but never expect it!

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