Fundamentals * Lag putting * Short Putts

1) Relax hands, forearms, and shoulders.

Good putting requires feel and a delicate touch. As my childhood idol Bruce Lee once said “don’t think feel, it is like a finger pointing to the moon, If you concentrate on the finger you will miss all that heavenly glory.” If your hands are too stiff from gripping the putter too tightly it restricts free movement of the putter head and takes away your feel. Hold the putter softly but firm so you can feel the putter head swing freely

Key Thought

Hold your putter as if you were holding a ripe tomato, soft yet firm.

2) Eyes are directly over the ball.

This is an important fundamental because it lets you see the line of the putt and sets up the putter head square to the target line.

Practice drill

Take your putting stance and drop a ball from your eyes, it should hit the ball you are putting

3) Always pick a true line.

If a putt breaks left to right, pick the spot where you think the putt will start to break. Then putt it on that line. You must trust your decision. Confidence is the key. If you think you’re a good putter you probably are.

4) Accelerate through the ball.

It's very important to have the putter head gaining speed as you make contact with the ball. This will promote solid and consistent contact. What happens when you are cruising along on a bike and all of a sudden you hit the brakes? If you are like most people the bike will start to swerve a bit as you slow down. It's the same with the putter as you slow the putter head through the ball the heal of your putter starts to lead and the result is usually a week putt missed to the right.

5) A firm left (for right-handed players) wrist through out the stroke.

Have you noticed the increasing number of touring pros that have switched to cross handed putting? The main reason they do this is because it keeps their left wrist firm through impact. When the leading wrist breaks down it causes the putter head to twist and turn.

Lag Putting

The most important element in long putts is speed, but often this is the most over looked aspect of putting. For most golfers 2 putts from 25 feet or more is a welcome event, so give yourself a nice big target. Visualize the hole being 3 feet in diameter 5 feet deep and glowing bright red! Giving yourself a nice large target will help you to relax and bring feel into your hands. Finally try to rid yourself of any mechanical thoughts and just visualize the hole and stroke the putt, just like you would shoot a basketball or throw a baseball.

Practice Drill

Take 3 or 4 balls and find two holes about 20 to 30 feet apart with some undulation. Practice putting the balls back and forthwith only the speed of the putt in mind. Try to stop the putts exactly even with the hole, don't worry about the line. You might be surprised to see how many putts go in the hole.

Short Putts

A firmly stroked putt in the back of the hole has the best chance of going in. Pick a spot in the back of the hole and aim for that spot. This will help you to stroke the ball firmly. Another advantage of a firmly struck putt is that you can play less or no break in the putt.

Practice Drill

This simple and time-tested drill will promote confidence and firmness to those testy 3 to 6 footers. Take 5 balls and place them 3 to 6 feet away from the hole. Practice making all 5 in a row from 4 sides of the hole. Start with a flat putt to really gain confidence then move to a hole with some break in it.