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Moppy

Any good rules of thumb for putting?

41 posts in this topic

I have been trying to work it out myself, working on accuracy on a putting mat, and working on putting on a practice green near my house.

I have come up with a couple.

I always walk the putt down to the hole and do a half circle from the high side, trying to feel the slope with my feet. I figure out the "fall line" but I don't know how to figure it in.

I always crouch and look for any ridges etc behind the ball.

I try to keep my lower body still.

I try to keep my wrists firm on impact. (this is big for me.)

I figure that break is a function of slope and distance, so the longer the putt, the bigger the break.

I dont have any good way to translate how a slope on the green feels and looks into an estimate of the break.

Aimpoint is out of the question. There are none anywhere close to me, and I would think I would need to be more skilled in the first place to benefit.

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I think the best thing a golfer can do is to be able to truly hit a straight putt. All putts are straight putts to an aim point on the green. That aim point may, or may not be the cup.

Of course there are many variables that the golfer has to look at to identify the correct aim point, but if the golfer can't stroke a straight putt, they will need some lucky rolls.

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I think the best thing a golfer can do is to be able to truly hit a straight putt. All putts are straight putts to an aim point on the green. That aim point may, or may not be the cup.

Of course there are many variables that the golfer has to look at to identify the correct aim point, but if the golfer can't stroke a straight putt, they will need some lucky rolls.

I have also been lining up the line on the ball with the putt, and they roll pretty straight on the line, and I am pretty accurate on my putting mat from seven feet in. I just have no idea where to aim.

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I try to keep my wrists firm on impact. (this is big for me.) I figure that break is a function of slope and distance, so the longer the putt, the bigger the break. I dont have any good way to translate how a slope on the green feels and looks into an estimate of the break.

Putting is so personal you will likely get a lot of different answers. Most all golfers struggle with it, even the tour pros, and I am not a wonderful putter by any means, but I have been improving slowly. Here are a couple of my thoughts. A smooth stroke is mighty important and many say you need to be accelerating the club through impact. I'm not sure acceleration is necessary, but I do believe you must not be decelerating at impact. I think it is critical to consistency that you not manipulate the club face with your hands or wrists during the stroke, but swing from the shoulders with a quiet lower body as you mention. This will generate a curved putter path, though it may feel straight back and through. DO NOT FIXATE ON THE SWING PATH! It will drive you nuts. All that really matters is having the putter face aligned at impact. A lot of people are finding the fat grips help to control this hand manipulation. I would like to give Aimpoint a try, but a lot of good putters have gotten there by practicing. Learning how much break to account for is similar to learning how hard you need to hit the ball for a given distance. I agree that break is a function of slope and distance, but velocity is also a factor. A putt that is rolling pretty fast won't break as much as when it is slowing to a stop, it is inertia at work. So if you are confident, you can "take some of the break out" by putting the ball a bit harder, but of course there is a risk/reward factor there; miss and you have a longer putt back. Finally, I struggled a lot with proper alignment until I learned to get my eyes directly over the ball while aligning. I generally settle in for the actual stroke standing straighter with my eyes somewhat back of the ball rather than immatating Michelle Wie. But I was far less consitant with alignment trying to set up without being over the ball. Hope this helps. I apologize for typos, I'm even worse on an iPad than a real keyboard...

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also keep an eye on what everyone else's putts do. A lot of the time I see golfers, high and low, doing anything but watching the guy putting or chipping.

What happens a foot or so from the hole should be very telling and will help you a lot with your line.

If you are the first to go then you are SOL.... ;)

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@Moppy

Aimpoint is absolutely the best thing you can EVER do for your putting. No contest, I used to think my putting was decent but Aimpoint has made it WAY better. Mind blowingly better.

However, I understand your position and not being ready to take that leap. I still think you should take it ;-) , but I understand.

Having said that, I would start here:

And then I would buy this: http://lowestscorewins.com

It has a lot of great putting info, but much, much more as well.

In the mean time:

  • get some knitting needles and string. Find a flat spot on a practice green and stretch the string out between the needles. Practice putting under the line of the string until you can hit your start line consistently
  • on a flat area of the practice green, place a tee about 10' away and another one 40' away. Now putt a ball just past the 10 footer, then putt a ball just past the second one. Keep putting balls just past the last one and see how many you can fit between the 10 footer and the 40 footer. Start over if you hit one short of your last ball or hit one past the 40' tee.Do the same thing in reverse. This will help you learn to control distance, make it a contest.
  • Learn Aimpoint, seriously, just do it. If you aren't ready to lay out the cash for Aimpoint at least start trying to feel the break with your feet. Your eyes suck at green reading, even the pros' eyes suck at it. How many times have you seen a Tour pro miss a putt and then seem totally bewildered that it broke the wrong way? Happens all the time, they get away with it because their distance control is phenomenal so the usually have a tap in left.
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The first rule of putting:

99% of putts left short don't go in!

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The first rule of putting:

99% of putts left short don't go in!


100%. ;-)

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100%.

Not according to Yogi!

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This might fall into the not very helpful category, but I highly recommend not putting on greens with more than 5 ball marks between you and the hole. This did happen to me last week.

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The first rule of putting: 99% of putts left short don't go in!

[quote name="MS256" url="/t/77004/any-good-rules-of-thumb-for-putting/0_30#post_1051460"] 100%. ;-) [/quote] Second rule: 100% of putts that go past the hole don't go in either. ;) [quote name="mcanadiens" url="/t/77004/any-good-rules-of-thumb-for-putting/0_30#post_1051488"]This might fall into the not very helpful category, but I highly recommend not putting on greens with more than 5 ball marks between you and the hole. This did happen to me last week. [/quote]You know you can fix those, right??

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Second rule: 100% of putts that go past the hole don't go in either. ;)

You know you can fix those, right??

If I fixed every ball mark that day, I'd still be out there. I did fix quite a few.

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@Moppy

Aimpoint is absolutely the best thing you can EVER do for your putting. No contest, I used to think my putting was decent but Aimpoint has made it WAY better. Mind blowingly better.

However, I understand your position and not being ready to take that leap. I still think you should take it , but I understand.

Having said that, I would start here:

Yep that thread is "beautiful science"

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I have noticed that my putting game has improved in the latter part of this golf season. The thing I give the most credit to for my improved putting is that the first thing I do is to stand up straight beside the ball and line my shoulders up to the hole. Then I center the ball on my putter so that the line on my putter is dead center with the center of the ball.

Well, it works for me.

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@Moppy

Aimpoint is absolutely the best thing you can EVER do for your putting. No contest, I used to think my putting was decent but Aimpoint has made it WAY better. Mind blowingly better.

Yep 100% agree. I use to be pretty good at reading greens, but now I am REALLY good at reading greens. Especially midpoint, it just made my long putting much better. I think I've drained more 15+ ft putts this year than I ever had.

I am making 20% of putts from 15-25 feet. Making 50% of putts from 10-15 feet.

And then I would buy this: http://lowestscorewins.com

It has a lot of great putting info, but much, much more as well.

Yep, it is a book a golfer can not live with out. Just amazing insight into the game of golf.

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Any good rules of thumb for putting?

Putting is so personal, what often works for one person, does not work for another.

What I recommend is reading a few good books on putting. Two of the better ones are Dave Pelz's, "Putting Bible," and "Zen Putting" by Dr. Joe Parent.

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Putting is so personal, what often works for one person, does not work for another.

I dunno if I agree with that. Depends on what level you're talking about. Cross-handed grips? Sure. But that's a variable, or a preference, not a commonality.

The best putters all do three things, as I've said: 1) hit the ball on-line, 2) hit the ball the proper distance, 3) read greens well.

That's all there is to it. How you do that is up to you, but again, 1 is pretty straightforward, 2 is covered here , and 3 is AimPoint. :)

So, IMO, the only "rule of thumb" for putting is to work to improve those three things. If you do those three things well, you'll be an excellent putter.

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That's all there is to it. How you do that is up to you, but again, 1 is pretty straightforward, 2 is covered here, and 3 is AimPoint. :)

Which was given Brandel Chamblee's Gold Seal of Approval.

I think that should be a badge :-D

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