Putting can be one of the most infuriating aspects of golf. Sure, you can drive the ball hundreds of yards to the green, but getting it into the cup is another story. It is enough to make a grown man or woman throw their clubs across a fairway. We have all been there before, some of us have been there more than a few times.
The skill it takes to putt a golf ball several yards or just a few feet is difficult to master. But once you do, it is like riding a bicycle. Consistent putting can be achieved, it just takes a few skills to get you there.
The short putt
The short putt isn’t as cute and cuddly as it sounds. Golfers spend thousands of hours practicing the skills it takes to make putts from within five feet. It sounds easy, but once again, few things on a golf course are easy to do without the right preparation.
Preparation is the key to making short putts. Golfers without a short putt routine set themselves up to fail. Too often, golfers simply walk up to the ball on the green and hit it towards the cup without any thought. It is a mindboggling maneuver as they have, in no way, prepared themselves for the shot. Watch any PGA tournament and you will see professionals scrutinizing over the position of the ball in relation to the cup. To be a better putter, you have to think like a professional, even though you aren’t. If you walk straight up to your ball and set your feet without aiming the putter, then your shot is already set for failure.
How to improve short putts
The best way to prepare for a short putt is to aim the “putterface very carefully down your intended start line”. This will line the shot up perfectly. Once you have done this, you can set your feet and putt. You should see more putts go in.
The long putt
When you putt, do you find your hands burning from the grip on the club? If your answer is yes, then it is due to the pressure you are exerting on the club. Don’t strangle the club. Too often, amateur, beginners or inexperienced players think they have to squeeze the club until it pops. This is a big mistake when it comes to sinking long putts.
Why is a tight grip bad?
A tight grip prevents you from feeling how hard, or softly, you have hit the ball. It also keeps you from “feeling the distance” when you make contact. This could be the reason your long putts go skimming across the green like a stone on a lake’s surface. A light grip allows you to feel the weight of the putter, which is a good thing. Once you have a light grip, it is important to keep the same pressure applied to the club throughout the putt. To get the proper distance on a long putt, a longer stroke with light pressure is key .
Putting drill to master
Tiger Woods has used a simple putting drill to improve his alignment over the years. All you need is a ball, your putter and two golf tees. Place the tees into the green slightly wider than the putterhead. Place the ball in between the tees. Now, do your pre-putt routine and set your feet. The idea is to make the putt without touching the two tees. If your putterhead isn’t straight, you will hit one of the tees. If you hit the ball squarely with your putterface, then you are doing the drill correctly. In the end, you will sink more putts than you miss.
Professional golf teachers and golf schools
If you are struggling to improve your putting or another part of your golf game, then perhaps it is time to seek out some expert advice. You could even tie it in with a golf holiday away. Florida golf schools are renowned for being some of the best in the country; and these schools can all help make you a better golfer in the end.