There are hundreds if not thousands of books and articles about the importance of the short game and green game in golf, but for some reason the majority of players still believe that the best thing they can do to improve their game is gaining more distance with their driver.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a golf player than getting to the green in fewer shots than their competitor and then see how the other player holes more putts and win a game in the green. To be outplayed by a good putter who is not that good from tee to green can make any player lose focus and serenity.
Now the million dollar question, why such an easy movement can become
From the technical point of view, the answer is quite simple. The movement with the putter is so “uncomplicated” and short that is pretty easy to introduce last-second auto-adjustments to direct the ball and ruin everything.
The best putters in the world only focus in their positive thoughts and maintain an unalterable concentration. They train under pressure because they know that any distraction can cost them a tournament. The thing is that their good putting game is not based only in the
confidence that they will get the ball in, but also in the confidence of their technique.
The first thing any person who’s serious about golf must learn is the
art of putting.
Here’s how to improve putting in 3 easy steps.
1. Reading the Green
To align correctly, a player must first know where he’s aiming. Start every session practicing green reading. Here are some clues to learn how to read the green.
-Observe the edge of the green and the course in general before starting. Look for uphill and downhill areas and obtain sensations of the basic slope that surround the zone.
-Before determining the aiming point, determine the speed and then choose the aiming point. When you have doubts choose minimum speed with a maximum break. After playing the outline of the green and rolling the ball compare your reading with the way the ball behaved. When you misjudge a break, stop for a moment and see where the mistake was by evaluating the slope. A good habit is to align the logo of the ball aiming towards the required break. This will make the alignment easier and you’ll be able to see the problems.
The objective of a good putt stroke is to consistently impact the ball solidly in the direction the putter is aligned with the right rhythm. This is the essence of putting. So according to this, focus in these main areas:
-Positioning and alignment: Usually a putter with lines or marks helps to visualize the alignment. Make sure your arms are hanging freely, that your eyes are on the ball and most importantly that your shoulders are aligned toward the objective.
-Body Stability: During the putting movement it’s imperative that the body remains serene. Any shift will make your putting inconsistent. Just imagine a little coin under the ball and after the shot, don’t look up until you can determine which coin it is. Keeping your eyes focused on the area of impact will limit any tendency to move the body.
-Arms Swing: In a good putting stroke the arms must move freely from the shoulders. Also, make sure to do the swing without any wrist activity. A good tool to check this is to put a tee at the end of your grip. In a good movement the golf tee, your arms and the head of the club will move toward the objective. The problems come when the head of the putter moves forward while the tee moves backward.
-Rhythm: A successful and consistent putt stroke must have rhythm. It’s vital to understand the need of creating an equal length forward and backward. The best way to practice rhythm is to use a pendulum. Set it between 54 to 64 repetitions per minute. Experiment until you find a rhythm that adapts to you. Then try to make some shots with the end of the backswing in one click and the end of the forward movement in another click. Do this until the swing rhythm gets into your system. With practice, the time and rhythm will become a natural part of your swing.
As mentioned earlier in this article great putters believe in their ability to read greens and judge distances correctly. They also have a solid aligning routine and solid foundation in mechanics, their rhythm has no flaws and is consistent. But all these things together wouldn’t make them great unless they get the ball in the
cup frequently and receive this feedback sensation of watching their balls getting in. There’s only one way to develop security and this is by holing more putts. End your practice holing as many short putts in a row as you can. Practice from different angles and distances and think of each putt as if it was the decisive
shot to win a tournament.
These are only three steps to improve your putting and green game, but there are many other exercises and techniques you can work on. Remember, determination, confidence, and practice is what separates a great golfer from the rest.