FRIDAY, MAR. 30: There are many ways to improve your putting, but here are three of the best:
First, work with a PGA Professional on finding the right putter for you.
Belly Putter, Long putter, blade, mallet, center-shafted — there are so many options to consider. And then, just the look of the putter can make a huge difference.
Looks are important. But there are some basics that don’t change.
You need the correct length putter in order to get your eyes over the golf ball and to get you in the comfortable posture and provide a better feel.
This is an example of how pros pick their equipment and how you should too.
Next, work on a putting routine. Top pros follow a definite routine every time. Look at the target while making practice swings.
Then take one more look before making the stroke. Whether it is a 40 foot lag putt or the two footer at the end to win, a solid routine means nerves don’t play as much a part.
And finally, the third key is to stay steady or solid over the ball. Keep body movement to a minimum.
I coach players to be solid in the lower half of the body. This really helps on windy days, and we have more than our fair share of them. Hitting the sweet spot of the putter (on the sight line- center of putter face) is critical for distance control.
If your lower body is quiet you can swing the arms/shoulders in one piece and hit the ball solidly on the sweet spot.
Your handicap is directly proportional to how well you hit the ball out of the middle of your putter, all things being equal the quickest way to improve your handicap is to improve the quality of your strike with your putter.
My advice to players, whether I am working with a mid-high handicap player or a junior player or a touring professional — if your current putting style is not working — change it! I know this sounds so obvious, but I see players of all levels stubbornly practising their old styles and trying to force it to work.
If you putt a certain way and it’s not working, go to a PGA Professional and make a change.
I teach players the correct putting method and then let them adjust to fit their comfort level. For example, I want my students to take multiple looks at the target. Some pros look twice, some look four times. Find out what is comfortable for you.
The thought is that looks turn into better feel. And then I tell them to experiment with the width of their stance for stability purposes. Nick Faldo has a wide base, Y.E Yang doesn’t.
As long as you are solid that is all that matters.
The adage that you drive for show, putt for dough is not just a slogan — it’s really a truth.
Paul Adams is the PGA director of golf at Rosewood Tucker’s Point.