The putter is the most important club in your golf bag.
Why? You use the putter more than any other club in the bag. It does not matter whether you hit the ball 200 yards or 2 feet, it still counts as one stroke. The only difference is that you should never miss a 2 foot putt. Putting is the most influential part of golf in terms of scoring. If you want to play your best golf you have to be the best putter.
Improving your putting stroke and confidence with the putter is the fastest way to improve your scores. Putting is the most preferential part of the game. This means however you choose to putt and make the most putts consistently, that is the best way for you. Granted there are some obvious characteristics and similarities that good putters have. The preferences are completely individual: length of putter, size of grip, type of grip and so on. The ultimate goal for a putt is of course to get the ball in the hole.
There are two D’s in putting distance and direction… which one do you think is more important? The answer is distance, and this is why. Lets say you have a 30 foot putt for birdie, and you leave the putt 10 feet short or 10 blow the putt 10 feet bye, either way you have a 10 footer to make par. Then lets day they you have the same 30 footer, your direction is way off by 6 feet but your distance control is perfect, you will be left with a 6 foot putt for your par.
I like to have the student repeat this saying over and over, “ Distance is controlled by the length of your backswing”. First thing I like to do to simplify the whole putting process is to walk here and toss a handful of balls one at a time and underhand (a pendulum motion) to see the relationship between length of back swing and distance the ball will travel. Tossing a ball tends to be a natural motion and since we learn by relationships I feel this is a good starting point for putting.
Here are some typical characteristics found in most good putters.
These principles listed below can help put you in a position that will allow you to be more consistent with your set up and make more putts.
- Shaft in line with the forearms…. GRIP (in the palms)
- Hands hang directly under the shoulder line
- Eyes directly over the ball
- Weight balanced over the middle of feet
- Putter shaft perpendicular to the ground
These are the major set up characteristics of most tour players. You must have a light grip to enable feel, aim the face properly, position the ball slightly forward of center in the stance, and have weight balanced.
Very often a player will have a putter that does not fit them so it is always a good option to get a putter that not only looks good to your eye but one that fits your set up characteristics. During your lesson we can fit your putter with length and grip adjustments in 1-2 days you will have your putter fitting you perfectly.
To / The Stroke
The putting stroke moves in a natural arc. This is a natural motion and one that can be felt with the use of a putting plane. The only parts of the body that really move in the putting stroke are the shoulders this is the engine of the stroke. During the stroke the shaft maintains its relationship with the forearms.
The Finish Position
Instead of being anxious and tracking the ball with your eyes, keep the head nice and still. Looking moves the head, which in turn promotes a bad stroke. “Head still hold finish!!!”
If you listen for the ball to go in the hole… you can really focus on your stroke. If you understand that distance is controlled by the length of your backswing, and you should always accelerate through the ball you can become an excellent putter. It is a simple pendulum and you can compare this motion to the way you tossed the ball in the beginning of this lesson.
After we become comfortable with the stroke we can talk about the pre shot routine and reading the green. When you kneel down behind the ball to get more on plane with the ground between your ball and the hole. This is your best vantage point and from this position you are allowing yourself to envision or imagine the break of the putt. Take practice strokes while looking at the putt you face, this will give you a sense of feel. As you are doing this still picture the path the ball will roll on right to the back of the cup. The key to this step is whatever you see from kneeling down behind the ball. The key is to trust your read when you are standing over that putt.
The Start to Finish Golf approach evaluates the student’s body type and finds what type of putting style will best fit the individual and help you improve. The Start to Finish method utilizes proven drills and set up routines that work for most of the professionals on the PGA tours. Sound fundamentals that will be described in the above text will help you to become more confident to putt like a pro! Confidence is most important when you are putting. Practice with a purpose and you will see results.