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inthehole

Please share your PUTTING ROUTINE in 100 words or less

47 posts in this topic

I struggle with putting something awful ... it's the only part of the game I don't enjoy - more I play, more I find myself disliking putting.     I'm trying to develop a repeatable routine.    My mechanics are pretty solid - I've spent alot of time developing a putting stroke (firm wrists, SBST, nice tempo, hold the follow through), but can NOT read greens to save my life.      So far,this routine seems to work fair at best  ...

  • I look behind pin on the path of the ball - I try to get a feel for the slope of the green behind the pin and translate that as a starting point to how the slope lies between the ball and hole --- AND --- note where the pin is relative to the edge of the green, again noting the slope.
  • stand 10-15 ft behind the ball, squat down & get a lower view of the green on the ball path - sometimes if it's really wonky,  I'll walk behind it to get another perspective.
  • take a mental note if it's uphill or downhill & adjust speed accordingly.

I'd love to hear how everybody else approaches putting & routines that work for you ... thanks.

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- With my ball marked, I pace off the putt to the hole and take that opportunity to look at it briefly from behind the hold to determine which way the ball will break. I also try to notice if there's a huge spikemark I need to avoid or a subtle ridge on my line.

- I pace the putt back to my ball to confirm the distance and try to fine tune my general read to include a line that I visualize the ball traveling on. I actually seem to watch the ball roll into the hole.

- Behind the ball, still looking at the line and hole, I make one practice stroke and watch it roll in the hole.

- Repeat (or at least try to) my visualizations with a real golf ball

Obviously, if the putt is longer than about 30 feet I will skip the pacing of the putt just for the sake of speedy play, but I focus on distance a lot since I like my putts to just die on the edge and fall in.

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Rather than a routine, it sounds like you are looking for help in reading greens.  I'm making the assumption that your putter is aligned where you think it is.

First, I'll walk up to the hole to find the fall line at the hole.  Plus, I'll check the grain direction (probably not an issue in PA, but definitely a factor in FL). I'll check the severity of the slope and whether I'm putting downhill, uphill or sidehill.

I then pace back to the ball, counting the steps to obtain the distance. For my home course, the average slope is no more than 2%, so I figure about 2" of break per pace at 90° to the fall line (Vector putting, sort of) for a starting point.  Then I'll look at the hole to verify that it looks about right.  I may add or subtract an inch or two depending on grain. Once I have figured the amount of break, I find a point about 1-2' in front of the ball as a starting point.

Then, two practice strokes while looking at the hole, or until I feel the stroke matches the length.  Then step up to the ball and go.

It sounds confusing as I write it down, but it really isn't.  And it seems to work OK for me (30.6 putts per round, 1.85 putts per GIR). But always room for improvement.

I

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My routine:

as a warm-up (or just before playing a round), I simply play about 20 balls from +15 feet, and 20 from about 6-7 feet, just to get a feeling for the speed of the greens.

I suppose straight lines (no break) up-and down-hill are no problem for you?

when it comes to breaks, I like to keep it simple.

looking at the slope, I try to determinate where (specific place) and how much the ball will break when it loses 50% or more from it's original speed (to consequently drop in the hole off course).

this depends on slope percentage, but also on the way the grass bents (if it bents at all).

I imagine that specific place being the hole at the end of a straight lay, and I try to adjust the speed in such a way the ball will pass that point only about 1 - 1.5 foot.

this technique usually brings my ball in or very close to the hole.

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- Visualize lay of the land while walking onto green.

- Imagine a chip landing before, and rolling through, point where ball is resting while swinging putter one handed down target line (hey - it is what I do)

- maybe look at putt from mid-point and low side if unsure.

- stroke putt with chip-like thoughts (trying to hole it without being too agressive)

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1.)  crouch down behind the ball so that I can see the slope of the green.

2.)  take a few practice strokes to get the feel for the stroke that I want.

3.)  set up to the ball and get myself lined up properly

4.)  hit the ball

I try to keep my putting routine as quick and simple as possible because I find that if I take too many looks at it, all it does is create doubt in my mind and tension in my stroke.

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(1) crouch down behind the ball (about 20 ft.) to get the line and visualize where the ball is going to go;

(2) pick a spot on the green I want to aim at;

(3) line up the putter head.  During this time I will literally wiggle my feet a number of times so that my upper body is in perfect position to align the club face perfectly perpendicular to the line I want the ball to travel on;

(4) take two practice strokes besides the ball while looking at the hole, focusing on a straight back to forward clubface;

(5) step up to the ball, double check my alignment;

(6) hit a smooth stroke, focusing on committing 100% to the firmness/softness of the stroke I decided on during my practice strokes.

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Thanks to all - really appreciate the tips & I'll incorporate it !!

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hope and pray.

seriously, i try to get as much out of the feel of my feet as i can.  then i hope and pray.

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I'm going to take a wild guess here and suggest that your problem lies less in the reading of the greens and more in the act of putting a proper stroke on the ball. Let's be honest, even if you were awful at reading the break and slope, it's rare that your going to misread break by more than a foot or two. My suggestion is simple. Play an entire round where you focus on grading your 1st putts, not by how close to hole they end up, but how they feel as they leave your putter. But the key is, you have to give yourself the grade BEFORE you look up to see the results. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll notice that your "A

s" and "B's" usually end up pretty darn close to the hole, and you'll realize that you aren't that bad at reading greens after all.

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I mark the ball.  Clean the ball, use the line on the ball for aim, no practice strokes, step in looking at the hole, set the putter behind the ball, one look at the hole, gone.  I might read the putt depending if its a green I know or not.  I trust my feet and my eyes for the read.  If I'm confused then I might take a look at a different angle.  But 9 times out of 10 the way I read it initally is the way I will try to hit it.

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Actually, I'd say its VERY often that someone will misread a break by a foot or more...
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  1. Put my beer down next to flag and no less than 3 wedges.
  2. Take side bets.
  3. Signal beercart girl to wait at next tee box.
  4. Fart.
  5. Stroke.

Routine works to varying degrees ... YMMV.

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Originally Posted by colin007

Actually, I'd say its VERY often that someone will misread a break by a foot or more...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. That said, I stand by my unqualified diagnosis that the original poster's problem lies more in his contact than in his green reading ability.

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  1. Evaluate green from fairway while walking to putt.
  2. Determine how much uphill or down hill the putt is during approach.
  3. Walk to mid-point of the putt from the low side if possible while not stepping on others lines or my line.
  4. Find where straight up hill is a estimate angle in relation to putt and slope with my feet. (10-15 seconds max)
  5. Walk to ball and mark.
  6. Check Aimpoint card for amount of break from #4.
  7. While others are putting or approaching green, squat down from behind and examine line and look for pitch marks, etc.
  8. When it's my turn to putt, look down line from behind the ball and take practice swing while looking at the line.
  9. Walk up to ball, aim putter head to aim point of break amount, settle feet, forward press and putt.
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Originally Posted by boogielicious

Evaluate green from fairway while walking to putt.

Determine how much uphill or down hill the putt is during approach.

Walk to mid-point of the putt from the low side if possible while not stepping on others lines or my line.

Find where straight up hill is a estimate angle in relation to putt and slope with my feet. (10-15 seconds max)

Walk to ball and mark.

Check Aimpoint card for amount of break from #4.

While others are putting or approaching green, squat down from behind and examine line and look for pitch marks, etc.

When it's my turn to putt, look down line from behind the ball and take practice swing while looking at the line.

Walk up to ball, aim putter head to aim point of break amount, settle feet, forward press and putt.

I love the way your routine assumes you're the first on and closest to the pin. I guess confidence is also a factor.

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putt.  swear.  repeat.

In all seriousness, though . .

I stand about 10 feet behind the ball and see the path I want.  I align the brand name or arrow so it points where the ball should start.  I take a few loose back and forth strokes - to feel the putter "hang" from my shoulders.  Then I make a practice stroke as if I were going to hit the putt.  Then I step up to the ball and try to repeat my practice stroke.  Then I swear and repeat.

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Originally Posted by WWBDD

Put my beer down next to flag and no less than 3 wedges.

Take side bets.

Signal beercart girl to wait at next tee box.

Fart.

Stroke.

Routine works to varying degrees ... YMMV.

This.

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