Golf-Golfing.com wants to help you become a better golfer. Learn how to putt and understand the best way to putt. Putting accounts for 50% of the golf game and sinking a few more putts can dramatically lower your score. Most of us want to hit the long ball, stick a shot on the green, correct our slice, fix our hook, when putting can make all of the difference in shaving points off your score.
A simple excersise that can help you determine and show you where you may need to work on your game, is charting shots. The next time you play, keep your own score card. Track these items:
Knowing these simple numbers can help you determine what you should be working on in practice. When it comes to putting, you should be in the 30's or below. Anything above this, you can shave strokes off your score and improve your game with ease. Putting is the simplest way to lower your score and all it takes is practice.
- Number of fairways hit
- Number of greens hit in regulation
- Number of putts
All greens have different characteristics and depending on hole location can have an infinite number of ways of aiming your putt. Golf-Golfing.comwants to give you advice on what style of putting is right for you and tips on how to sink more putts. Reading a green, knowing the right speed, and consistently hitting the ball where you aim takes practice and concentration. Our advice is only as good as you practicing what you have learned.
What are the different styles of Putting?
Problems and solutions!
- Conventional This style has been around for years. We all have seen it and most golfers prefer this method because it is traditional. This style of putting resembles our normal grip and most putting motion is in the shoulders.
- Claw Grip New style of grip normally associated with those of us who are looking for anything to help us improve our putting style. This grip is very uncomfortable and awkward, and can make the longer putts more difficult to control.
- Long Putter Takes the motion away from the shoulders and transfers it to the club. This style changes putting from a hitting motion to a swing motion and can help eliminate wrist break which can cause problems. This style of putting will help you with control, direction, speed, and alignment.
- Cross-over Changes the conventional grip and puts more control into the lead hand. This grip will help keep the shoulders square at impact, giving more control to the lead hand, helps eliminate wrist break, thus keeping the putter square at impact.
- Body Putting This style of putting uses a slightly longer putter and tucks the butt of the putter gently into the stomach. This style is pure pendulum motion and helps eliminate wrist break and minimize forearm rotation. You will notice a stable stroke and good control of distance and speed.
Most of us find the most difficult part of putting is the aim and then hitting the shot where you aimed it. When you are aiming your putt, you must contend with, the speed of the green, the break of the putt, and the distance to the hole. Once you have decided on where to aim, how do you make it stick? With any style of putting you choose the most important part of putting is hitting the ball where you have aimed it. Your putting motion should resemble a pendulum of a clock with a back and forth motion. You should not stab at the ball or swing at the ball like you would be hitting your shot off the fairway. Most of us have some very simple problems when it comes to putting and getting our putts to go where we aim them. Most of us use the traditional putting method and should look for theses problems:
- Turning our head as we hit the ball.
We all want to see where are shot is going. By turning your head you can cause your body to slightly turn away from where you are aiming causing your putt to go off to the left, (opposite for lefties). Try looking behind the ball as you swing which should keep your putter square to where you have aimed.
- Breaking your wrist as we follow through.
Another common problem that we all experience is breaking our wrist. If we remember that the putter swing is as a pendulum, our wrist cannot break at all. If we do break your wrist, we will find the ball being it off target.
- Turning our fore arm on our follow through.
As with breaking your wrist, this action of turning your forearm will cause the ball to drift to the left, (right for lefties).
- No follow through at all.
Not having a follow through swing means that you are stabbing at the ball hindering your speed control and the control of the putter. Remember, a good putting stroke is like a pendulum of a clock. A good follow through will help you putt the ball where you aim. Also, your follow through should finish pointing at your target. Any other position of the putter will mean that the putt will go in that direction.
A simple way to determine if we are having a problem with your putting stroke and are not hitting the ball squarely every time, draw a line around a golf ball. Line up the line on the golf ball with where you aim your putt. Strike it as you normally would and watch the line drawn on the golf ball. If the ball is not hit squarely the line drawn on the ball will be off center. This simple exercise will help you to hit the ball squarely and hit your putt where you aim. If you watch most pro's on the green, they line up their shot with the logo on the golf ball. This helps them concentrate to hit the ball squarely and hit the ball where they aim.
Speed is one problem that will always be changing. Knowing the speed of a putt is known as touch and can only be accomplished by practice. Here are some factors that can help you determine the speed of a green:
- Time of day
Most golf courses will be watered in the evening. This means that greens will typically be slower in the morning and speed up towards the afternoon as they dry out.
- How the green is cut
The grain of the green can effect the speed of your putt. Putting with the grain will be a faster putt, slower putting against the grain. You can feel the grain by gently running
your hand over the green and feeling how the grass lays down. If the grass comes up as you move your hand on the green, means you are putting against the grain.
- How short is the green cut
The shorter the cut, the faster the speed. Also the more often the green is cut will effect the speed. A green will be faster right after it has been cut and slow down as it grows.
- A wet green
After a rain, the green will have a slower speed.
- The tighter the growth
This will also speed up your putt.
Putting is all about touch and control. The only way to really determine what kind of surface you will be putting on, is to take some time on the practice green. Remember that 50% of your score is determined by putting and the only way to get a good feel for the greens that you are playing on, is to spend at least 10 - 15 minutes on the practice green. If you decide not to, it could take you a couple holes to really get a good understanding and feel on what kind of green you are playing, costing you valuable strokes.
- Long Putts
Long putts are something that we all have problems with and need to practice on continuely. There is nothing worse than leaving a long putt short or have the putt go by the hole and leave us another potentially difficult putt to finish the hole. Reading the green on a long putt can be very deceiving and knowing the correct speed to hit the ball can be difficult to calculate. When practicing on your long putts, always try to have the ball stop within three feet of the cup. This will always guarantee you a two putt green.
- Reading the green
Reading the green is an acquired skill and takes a lot of practice. You cannot expect to go out, aim your putt and the the ball to go in every time. You have to contend with the little nuances of the green. Which way will the ball break? What is the speed? Where should I aim? Knowing how to read a green is a very important part of being a good putter. The only way to get good at reading the green is practicing. Most pro's will have their caddie map out the greens before a tournament, then play a practice round not only to get a feel for the course but to learn how to read the greens.
What can make you a better golfer? What can help you sink more putts? What can give you the feel of the green and help you with your putting touch? Practice! Unless you are extremely lucky, practice is the only way that you can become a better golfer. Here are some drills that can help you better your aim, read greens with more accuracy, judge the speed, and get those longer putts closer to the hole.
- Fanning Circles
Starting at 12 inches from the hole, place six golf balls evenly spread, in a circle around a hole. Practice putting the ball into the hole and hitting the shot at least 4 times before moving to the next distance. As you become consistent, move to the next distance in 12 inch increments, 2, 3, 4, and so on, to about 12 feet. This will help you with aim, speed, control and consistency. For even a better feel, find a hole that is cut on a slight slope and watch how you can begin to get a feel for the break of the green and your touch of the putt. This drill will help give you the confidence that you can sink the shorter putts every time, and sink those slightly longer putts with ease.
- Hitting Square
Take a range ball or draw a line around a golf ball. Place the line on the golf ball perpendicular with the face of the putter. Take some shots and watch the line on the golf ball. If you are hitting the ball squarely, the line will evenly spin around the ball. Any other hit, and the line will disappear as when it leaves the putter. You can practice hitting your shots squarely at home and take what you have learned back to the course.
- Feel For Speed
Take 10 golf balls and place them on a green fanning the out evenly, and in a slight curve, making sure that you do not hit in your same line. Start out at 3 feet and ending at around thirty feet. Practice putting and get a feel for the speed of the putt. As you become more skilled the longer putts will get closer to the hole. Your goal is to have the longer putts either go in every time or stop within 2 - 3 feet of the cup. This drill will help you with the speed of your putts, aim, and if the drill is done with a hole cut on a slight slope, can help you practice on reading breaking putts.
Anytime you practice your putting, not only will you sink more putts and increase your skill, but you will increase your confidence on the green. Having more confidence is half the battle, because you know that no matter where the ball is on the green, you have the mechanics and know how to sink that putt.
Golf Tips...Get back to Basics
Whether you are a beginner or have played before, knowing the basics will continue to help you become a better golfer. But knowing is not all, you must practice, practice, practice. What looks good on paper or on the Internet, is only as good as you applying it on the golf course.
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