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best way to learn how to putt?

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I am a pretty mediocre golfer, and after analyzing my game a bit, it's clear that I'm leaving A LOT of stokes on the course due to my poor putting. It's very common for me to 4-putt, and 3 is pretty frequent. 1 and 2 putts are rare.

How can I learn to putt? Any good books or videos? Any other options?

Since I'm not very good at getting the ball on the green close to the hole, I'm often left with a long putt. I'm working on that, but I need to learn how to putt.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Go to a bookstore or your local library.  No doubt there will be lots of books on golf, and probably a few solely on putting and the short game.  Read a few, try the tips, see what works for you.

I would suggest you start with Pelz, Utley, Sones, Stockton, but there are many others.

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How often do you practice putting? I'm guessing not very often..... No magic pill. Putting is a lot about feel, especially the longer putts that you struggle with. Get out there and work on it. Leave the rest of the clubs at home.
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I'm not sure if I'd suggest all those authors as their views differ greatly in how to approach putting.

Pelz is very scientific and all about the mechanics of the putting stroke .  Stockton is complete opposite, he believes putting should be like signing your name, something you just do and not think about.

I've read both, I learned more about putting from reading Pelz, but improved my putting more by reading Stockton.

Originally Posted by Harmonious

Go to a bookstore or your local library.  No doubt there will be lots of books on golf, and probably a few solely on putting and the short game.  Read a few, try the tips, see what works for you.

I would suggest you start with Pelz, Utley, Sones, Stockton, but there are many others.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

How often do you practice putting? I'm guessing not very often.....

No magic pill. Putting is a lot about feel, especially the longer putts that you struggle with. Get out there and work on it. Leave the rest of the clubs at home.

I practice about once per week, but I believe a big part of the problem is that I'm practicing bad habits. You've certainly heard the saying

"Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect".

Thus the request for advice.

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I'm not sure if I'd suggest all those authors as their views differ greatly in how to approach putting.

Pelz is very scientific and all about the mechanics of the putting stroke .  Stockton is complete opposite, he believes putting should be like signing your name, something you just do and not think about.

I've read both, I learned more about putting from reading Pelz, but improved my putting more by reading Stockton.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll look at both of those books.

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Before spending money on books, spend 30 minutes with a putting lesson from a pro.  Until your setup and stroke are solid, you will constantly struggle and all the books in the world won't help.

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Originally Posted by wadesworld

Before spending money on books, spend 30 minutes with a putting lesson from a pro.  Until your setup and stroke are solid, you will constantly struggle and all the books in the world won't help.

You need to get the two main fundamentals down but most pro's don't even know what these are.

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Originally Posted by TakeItOnTheChin

You need to get the two main fundamentals down but most pro's don't even know what these are.

Not sure I agree, but you're saying he's more likely to discover those by reading a book?

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I'm not sure if I'd suggest all those authors as their views differ greatly in how to approach putting.

Pelz is very scientific and all about the mechanics of the putting stroke .  Stockton is complete opposite, he believes putting should be like signing your name, something you just do and not think about.

I've read both, I learned more about putting from reading Pelz, but improved my putting more by reading Stockton.


Which is exactly why I suggested he read from a variety of authors.  I take something from each one, as well as from people whose opinion about putting I respect.

I wouldn't begin to suggest that one is better than any other.  Each offers a different insight. i had a chance to talk with both Todd Sones and Dave stockton Jr. earlier this year.  I gleaned good ideas from both.

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Originally Posted by wadesworld

Not sure I agree, but you're saying he's more likely to discover those by reading a book?

No, he only has to adopt a grip where the two most important fundamentals will be put in place, a bit like Bernhard Langer did to win two Masters titles.

I would however have my right arm down the shaft and hold the putter grip against my inner forearm with my left hand. Langer of course had most problems from a twiching/yipping motion that came from his right hand.

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What helped me the most was practice and a consistent routine. I went to the putting green everyday for a month on my lunch break and putted and chipped for 45 mins. Then I started using the lines on my balls to line up my putts, I've gone from consistent 3 putts to 1 to 2 putts every hole.

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1)  Practice with some sort of guide to help you know were your aiming. A lot of people think they know, i've seen it alot of times at scrambles. I point a spot were they should aim, and they were completely off. For me, i like picking out a spot in front of the ball to line up to. Some people like using a mark on the ball, when i did this i became a perfectionist, and i would keep adjusting the ball. Sometimes imperfections in the green will cause the ball to move slightly, i t was driving me nuts. So i don't like to look at anything but a white ball, no markings facing me.

2) What ever grip you try, stroke, set up.. Stick with it for a while. If your constantly changing from one thing to another you will never learn feel

3) PUTT A LOT!!! Only way you will get better, no book, no advice, no magic bullet will fix your putting with out you practicing. honestly, i rather practice putting than full swing, i find it more fun. You can create games, have putting contest with your friends.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

1)  Practice with some sort of guide to help you know were your aiming. A lot of people think they know, i've seen it alot of times at scrambles. I point a spot were they should aim, and they were completely off. For me, i like picking out a spot in front of the ball to line up to. Some people like using a mark on the ball, when i did this i became a perfectionist, and i would keep adjusting the ball. Sometimes imperfections in the green will cause the ball to move slightly, i t was driving me nuts. So i don't like to look at anything but a white ball, no markings facing me.

2) What ever grip you try, stroke, set up.. Stick with it for a while. If your constantly changing from one thing to another you will never learn feel

3) PUTT A LOT!!! Only way you will get better, no book, no advice, no magic bullet will fix your putting with out you practicing. honestly, i rather practice putting than full swing, i find it more fun. You can create games, have putting contest with your friends.

I like to use the lines on the ball to help me line up square to where I want to put, my biggest down fall in getting the ball where I want to go is lining up to the correct spot. Once i started doing that I dropped quite a few strokes off my game. For me it takes alot of the thinking out of the putting, once im set up to the ball all i have to worry about is the distance, and that is it.

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See that was opposite for me. If i had the line it would force me to concentrate on the line, and i might doubt if the line was off. So looking at a blank ball forced me to trust my line because i am not relying on anything to aim with. This frees me up to just putt with feel from there.

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Although I'm bad at both, my distance is worse than my direction.

Picked up 2 books, Pelz and one called "The Putting Prescription" by Craig Farnsworth. Going to take a lesson or two also.

We'll see how it goes...

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The single biggest correlation between good putters and poor putters?

Good putters like to practice putting and consequently do so a lot.

Being a good putter means mastering three skills:

  1. Starting the ball on the proper line.
  2. Hitting the ball the proper distance (speed control).
  3. Reading the green properly.

The end.

For the latter, I recommend AimPoint. For the first two, consider an Edel putter as it will help you avoid compensations for aim and distance control.

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I agree that putting is the most individual part of the game, so you have to find what works for you. For me, it's all about 3 things: still head, putter face control, and distance control. Now, get on the practice green and hit 1,000 putts to get those elements down!

BTW, just IMO, I think way too many golfers pay way too much attention to the line at the expense of distance control...

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