The putter is the most important club in your golf bag
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.
I like to have the student repeat this saying over and over, “ Distance is controlled by the length of your back swing”. 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
- 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
Putting || Start
Driving || To
Driving || Finish
To / The Stroke
The Finish Position
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 back swing, 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.