Perfect putting tips: Part 3

Published 15/09/2009 06:52:00

In part 3 of our putting tips series we discuss more quick hints to help knock strokes off your game and take your putting to the next level. Scroll down to the bottom for links to parts 1 and 2.


Perfect your putting posture

Good posture is as important for putting as it is for the long game. When you create a good spine angle, your arms can hang freely from your shoulders and away from your chest, which then makes it easier to rock the shoulders to control the stroke.

If your posture is rounded and slumped, your arms become jammed in against your upper body and they have very little room to swing freely back and through.


Putting flaws mirror swing flaws

A putting stroke is a miniature golf swing. If you watch any player, be they good or bad, you should see the same physical characteristics in both the full swing and the putting stroke.


Putt like a pendulum

Many of the world's top golfers control the putting stroke with their shoulders, because they believe that the largers muscles of the upper body are more reliable and consistent than the hands and wrists. They rock their shoulders up and down in a pendulum-style movement to swing the putter back and through.


Look to hole every putt

Many pros say that you should attempt to lag long putts into a small, imaginary circle around the hole but trying to hole each one may help as it will minimise your margin for error.


Vary length of stroke, not speed

Good distance control on the greens stems from a rhythmical putting stroke. To maintain good rhythm, keep your backswing and follow-through approximately the same length.

On short putts, your backswing and follow-through will be fairly short, while on longer putts the length of the stroke will increase either side of the ball. Never consciously try to hit the ball harder to hit it further.


Use the whole of the putter face to strike the ball

WHen the putter rises too far off the ground during the stroke it becomes difficult to strike the ball cleanly, and very often the putter face becomes deflofted at impact.

Keep the sole of the putter as low as possible to maximise the loft and to ensure that as much of the clubface as possible makes contact with the ball.


Leave the flag in on long putts

Leaving the flag in the hole on longer putts could help to improve your depth perception and judgement of distance.


If in doubt, aim straight

If you're getting yourself in a twist over which way the ball will break, aim a positive putt straight at the heart of the hole.


Check distance from the side

Simply looking at the putt from behind the line often has a foreshortening effect, leading you to believe that the putt is shoreter than you think. Always take a look from the side on putts that you aren't comfortable with the distance of.


Never second-guess yourself on the line

Once you've read the green carefully and selected your line, commit to your decision. Conclude your putting routine with one last glance at the hole before starting your stroke. Don't stand over the ball thinking about technique. Keep your putting as instinctive as possible.


Greens run faster in the afternoon

Greens tend to run a bit faster in the afternoon when the sun has been beating down on them, or the wind has dried things out. The green will also be flatter as more people have walked upon it - take this into account and make a slower stroke.


Miss breaking putts on the "pro" side

Top professionals always allow a little extra break on putts with lots of break because the ball then has a chance of falling into the hole at the front, from the top side or even at the back edge of the cup.

Once your golf ball falls below the perfect line, it will always be moving away from the hole and will never have a chance of dropping in.


Path of putter must match line

Although striking the ball out of the center of the sweet spot is a foundation of consistent putting, you still have to strike the ball with the putter head moving down the intended line of the putt with the face square to that line.


Check out the rest of the Perfect Putting Guide below:


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