How many of you can putt well?

Posted in the Golf Forum

Since: May 12

Los Angeles, CA

#1 Aug 16, 2012
Through a series of articles that will help your game, we will begin with putting. I am sure that many of you have had help with your putting. You may have had a lesson, or read a book, or just watched a good putter and tried to emulate their actions. If you have done at least one or more of those, you at least understand that you can be a better putter, and have taken some action to become just that!

As many times as I have heard that putting is mental, it always takes me back when all of my students always want to improve the mechanics of the putting stroke. The mechanics of the putting stroke for most players can be improved, but may not be the best way to improve your putting.

The basic mechanics that should be followed by most amateur players, is to keep the wrists firm. The first step to actually firming your wrists, is to take the grip more in the lifeline of your hands. This allows the shaft of the cheap golf clubs to then form a straight line into your forearms, and helps to neutralize the wrist motion. The stroke should then be performed with more of rocking of the shoulders and the arms and hands will remain quiet. The stroke that should be pursued for most amateurs is more of a straight back and straight through action, keeping the head of the putter square with your target line.

That is the very basic mechanical technique to begin with. The grip is very important to help neutralize the hands and reduce the opening and closing of the face during the stroke.

Now that you have mastered that, how are you going to putt better? You will become a better putter by working to develop good speed control. Speed control is the path to better putting! If you think back to your recent rounds, and recent 3-putts, you will realize that a majority of your 3-putts will be a result of improper speed, rather than improper line. You didn't 3-putt because you were 5 feet right or left, you 3-putted because you were 5 feet short and long. That being said, it is very difficult to ever find the correct line, if you do not have reasonable control of your speed. The break of the putt is always dependent on the speed the ball carries through a putt!

There are a plethora of ways to work on speed control, and I will cover those as we move through a series of informative articles to help your golf game! But for now, work on a lifeline grip to reduce wrist motion, and work on your speed control. Start to develop an equal stroke that is the same length back and through, and equal pace back and through. Do not fall victim to the idea that the forward stroke is faster than the backstroke. They should be equal. It is a misunderstanding of the essence of true acceleration that leads to a faster forward stroke, which leads to poor speed control, poor putting, and higher scores!

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