Golf Tips

3 Common Denominators of Putting

There are 3 common denominators for every putt in golf. First, every putt is a straight putt. If a putt breaks left or right that is a result of the grain and gravity. We putt to an apex which is a straight putt and allow gravity and the grain to direct the ball to the hole. Second, every putt is make able as long as the speed is right. If the speed is too fast, the ball will roll past the apex and finish above the hole. If the speed is too slow, the ball will not make it to the apex and finish below the hole. Third, you can only control the first 3 feet of any putt. When the ball is 25 feet away from you, its on its own. Is the speed correct? Is there a divot or obstruction in the pathway that kicks the ball left or right? The list goes on and on.

A great drill is to lay down 2 alignment sticks, parallel to one another on either side of the hole. This should create a pathway to the hole 4.25 inches wide. Practice putting the ball to the hole without the ball touching either alignment stick. Alignment sticks are approximately 3 feet in length. Once you are able to consistently roll the ball in to the hole without the ball touching either alignment stick, move the sticks back 3 feet from the hole. This will create a 6 foot putt. The goal is the same, roll the ball between the 2 alignment sticks without touching either alignment stick with the ball. As long as the speed is right the ball should roll in to the hole. Continue to move back in 3 foot increments. As long as the ball does not touch either alignment stick and the speed is right, each putt should roll the ball in to the hole.

Hint: If you finish the putt stroke with the putter head approximately 4 to 6 inches above the ground on the follow through, this will create top spin and roll the ball to the hole with what my Tour players call 4 wheel drive. Try 3 different forward stroke thoughts. First, during the forward stroke point the back of the forward hand at the target. Second, during the forward stroke point the palm of the rear hand at the target. Third, during the forward stroke point the forearm of the rear arm at the target. One of these putt stroke thoughts will roll the ball perfectly between the 2 alignment sticks with top spin. The other putt stroke thoughts will typically roll the ball left or right of the hole striking either alignment stick. Once you find the correct putt stroke thought, use these 2 swing thoughts during your pre-shot routine. For example, back of the hand to the hole and finish high or palm of the hand to the hole and finish high or forearm to the hole and finish high.
The last tip is to either look at the hole when you putt or follow the ball gracefully with your eyes as it rolls to the hole. This will allow you to free up your upper chest to turn toward the hole.