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Advice needed on putting

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I played my first round of golf this past July so I'm fairly new to the sport. I have brought my long game a good ways since then. I have always been a natural athlete and played college baseball so I have good work ethic. I picked up golf because I shattered my left ankle and I cannot not run anymore. My handicap is not showing how much I have improved because of my putting. I am able to hit about 50% of fairways and I'll have,on average, 2 putts for birdie and 10 putts for par in around but I never seem to capitalize on them. I played 4 rounds this past week and shot 90, 92, 92, 96. I average about 40 putts a round. I am looking to break the 80s soon does anyone have any advice or drills that I could work one. I use a heel shafted putter and putt on an arc stroke. I tend push putts and I am horrible with judging speed.

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElDubya08 View Post
 

I played my first round of golf this past July so I'm fairly new to the sport. I have brought my long game a good ways since then. I have always been a natural athlete and played college baseball so I have good work ethic. I picked up golf because I shattered my left ankle and I cannot not run anymore. My handicap is not showing how much I have improved because of my putting. I am able to hit about 50% of fairways and I'll have,on average, 2 putts for birdie and 10 putts for par in around but I never seem to capitalize on them. I played 4 rounds this past week and shot 90, 92, 92, 96. I average about 40 putts a round. I am looking to break the 80s soon does anyone have any advice or drills that I could work one. I use a heel shafted putter and putt on an arc stroke. I tend push putts and I am horrible with judging speed.


I can only say what I do.

 

Draw a line around the ball I am using for practice so I can get feedback on whether the line on the ball has any wobble as it is rolling.

 

Practice rolling the ball down a chalk line on the practice green or a line on my living room rug at home.

 

Practice putting at a dime instead of at a hole.

 

Pick an intermediate spot in front of the ball to roll the ball over, and imagine that line if no spot is obvious.

 

Line up parallel to a line from my ball to the intermediate spot and make sure to not be hole conscious during alignment so my feet, hips, shoulders and eyes are parallel to my start line.

 

Drill: Roll four balls down the chalk line to a dime 6' away with the goal being to have the first ball stop touching the dime and each successive ball touching the previous ball. Perfect is all four balls finishing on the chalk line with the lines around all four balls in a straight line on top of the chalk line and all four balls touching each other.

 

As important as anything: Make the best read I can make and the best roll I can make. Roll the ball like I don't care if I miss...And, above all, truly not care if I miss.

post #3 of 14

Wow!  Get that putting corrected and you'll be shooting low 80s in no time.  Here are a couple of suggestions:

 

1. My wife was a new player 5 years ago so she got an Adams women's full bag of clubs complete with everything and a putter.  Putting was definitely her weak suit after 3 years of playing.  Never dawned on me to take her to a shop and pick out a new putter.  After she quit looking at the price tags and found a putter that felt really good to her, she started making a lot more putts and getting the ball much closer to the hole on the long ones.  Go shopping for a new putter.

 

2. Short game is a strength of my game.  It's because I spend time practicing.  Probably 2-4 hours a week.  Putting is all about feel and a good bit of 'been there and done that.'  One stat I look at after each round is how many 'makeable putts' did I miss during a round.  A 'makeable' putt is anything 5 feet and closer.  At the end of an 18-hole round it's usually only one or two misses from that distance.

 

A drill I do before every round is with two balls on the practice green and prior to hitting #1 tee box.  I putt both falls from 4 sides of a flat hole from distances of 2', 3', and 5' and go around the hole twice.  Then I move to a hole on the practice green that isn't quite flat.  This gives me left- and right-breaking putts and uphill and downhill putts from the four sides.  Total putts taken is 64.  I might miss 2-4 of the 64 attempts. Also, I don't use the ball alignment stripe during the drill.  This really helps me focus on straight back and straight through to keep the ball on proper line and getting the ball in the hole.

 

After this drill, I lag about a dozen putts from 20' and 30' to get the speed down.  The speed is more important than the line.  The theory is that even with decent alignment you won't miss a putt more then a few feet left or right of the hole.  If the distance is good on lags you should almost always be within that 5' 'makeable putt' range.

 

Sometimes when you hit a green you can be in what appears to be 'automatic 3-putt range.'  Happens to me at least 2-3 times a round.  Sometimes you just have to take your lumps and expect that a golfer who shoots in the 90s, (heck even 80s) is going to 3-putt at least two greens during an 18-hole round.  Since I only hit 5-6 greens in an 18-hole round, you can see why I spend so much time around the practice greens!  Having a decent short game means mid-80s on a good day, low- to mid-90s when I'm stinking up the place.  Always good to be able to count on ONE phase of the game.

 

dave

post #4 of 14
I consider myself an ace putter (its the other 60 strokes that give me trouble). I have a lot of people at my club come to me when their putter turns its back on them. Most of the time if the miss is a consistent pull or push its the result of the toe of the putter being up. You can get away with the toe being down (it's actually what I recommend on slick greens) but not up. Make sure your putter fits you properly and practice the drills posted. I practice putting everyday even if its just a few strokes on a mat at home. It's the one part of your game that you can be as good as the pros at. It just takes a lot of correct practice. Keep the heel of that putter up and practice and I think you'll see some changes.
post #5 of 14

A neutral setup works. Look from 1:40-2:40 where Pat talks about being parallel - your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, eyes, are all square to the ball. He holds the putter in front of him so it is centered... etc.

 

Setup is almost everything... when you have a fit putter.

 

post #6 of 14

Here is a good drill for alignment and seeing the line.

 

Get some BBQ skewers and 8 feet of string then align the ball and your eyes over the center of the string, follow the diagram.

 

post #7 of 14
One of the better self help things I have ever done is borrow one of those little mirrors that have alignment lines. It helps correct the error of feeling like you eyes are on your line versus where they actually are, and helps ball postion relative to the square zone of the swing path and your setup.
post #8 of 14

Lots of good advice in this thread. Don't be afraid to switch putters, just make sure you put the time in practicing with a new one. Make sure that whatever putter you decide on, sole it level and square . By that I mean flat so that the toe isn't pointing up(common fault of mine). Square to the line, I like putters with a line on them that I line up with a line I draw on the ball and point that in on the path I want the ball to go. Be careful not to add loft be tilting

the shaft too far to the right at address, ball will tend to hop off of your putter.

 

I'm a more or less straight back and through putter. For me its all about being able to swing the putter back and through freely on the intended line. here are my keys;

 

1.stand tall- when I tend to crouch a little I don't "swing" the putter well

 

2.don't sole the putter- I try to hold the putter completely off the top of the grass...makes a   huge difference in swinging the putter freely...takes a lot of practice

 

3. keep my head still through the putt- when I'm on I can hear a 3-4 footer go in in the whole

I don't see it go in.

 

4. hold my finish- I try to hold my follow through after the putt....seems to help with tempo

 

That's it! The rest is just learning to read break and speed. Oh and practicing endlessly!

 

Here's a good drill. only takes 2 balls and you can do it anywhere.

Instead of putting to a cup or jar or whatever. Practice putting to a ball. Place 2 balls

X feet apart. Putt one ball into the other one. Hit it hard enough so that you move the first

one off of its spot. You'll be surprised how well you can hit the other ball dead center with

some practice. If you can putt and hit another ball from X feet away, your putts are being to be dead on line. Good luck!

 

Randy

post #9 of 14

My advice is to not get too caught up in perfect posture, alignment, etc. Jack Nicklaus was one of the greatest putters of all time and the set up open to the ball, crouched over, closed to the line, etc. His philosophy was that he set up how he was comfortable and felt he could make a solid stroke. He admitted that his putting stance/stroke could changes 10 times over the course of a tournament. There are but a few keys that everyone needs to do to putt well.

1) limit the face rotation on the putter. Wherever the face is pointing at impact is where the ball will go, no if, ands or butts about it.

2) Consistent tempo/rhythm. Whether its quick or slow, it needs to stay the same. Usually most pros will maintain a 1:1 count. (backswing 1, through swing 1).

3) Swinging with the big muscles. Just like the full swing, the putting stroke should be accomplished by the shoulders. The hands and arms should just be holding the putter.

 

As far as speed goes, this just take times and effort. Go to your home course, find a flat spot on the practice green, or a real green if you don't have one (and with nobody behind you), and start rolling putts. Start at 20 feet, then 15, 10, 5, 3 and so on. Find how far back the putter goes to make each putt. This is where feel comes into play. Practice and time will improve this aspect.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gophinmedic View Post
 

My advice is to not get too caught up in perfect posture, alignment, etc. Jack Nicklaus was one of the greatest putters of all time and the set up open to the ball, crouched over, closed to the line, etc. His philosophy was that he set up how he was comfortable and felt he could make a solid stroke. He admitted that his putting stance/stroke could changes 10 times over the course of a tournament. There are but a few keys that everyone needs to do to putt well.

1) limit the face rotation on the putter. Wherever the face is pointing at impact is where the ball will go, no if, ands or butts about it.

2) Consistent tempo/rhythm. Whether its quick or slow, it needs to stay the same. Usually most pros will maintain a 1:1 count. (backswing 1, through swing 1).

3) Swinging with the big muscles. Just like the full swing, the putting stroke should be accomplished by the shoulders. The hands and arms should just be holding the putter.

 

As far as speed goes, this just take times and effort. Go to your home course, find a flat spot on the practice green, or a real green if you don't have one (and with nobody behind you), and start rolling putts. Start at 20 feet, then 15, 10, 5, 3 and so on. Find how far back the putter goes to make each putt. This is where feel comes into play. Practice and time will improve this aspect.

Well, that's nice, but none of us are Jack Nicklaus...

 

and we don't practice like a pro.

 

For regular guys, fundamentals are important, imho, as it keeps you somewhat consistent. A neutral setup, etc, helps set you up for success.

 

As to your 1,2,3, yes that can work, although I  think it needs to be clear on face rotation - if you're trying to open and close the face, you'll always have trouble. I think the current mantra is that the club face remains square to the path (one does not open and close the face, the path of the putter does that during the stroke).

post #11 of 14
One of my putting problems is powering the ball and over hitting kinda like trying like playing pool and hitting the cushion hard.
I lip out a lot or hit the back edge and it keeps going 10-15 feet past the hole
I figure it more like basketball free throws where the angle and soft touch is more important
So I been practicing with one arm only and it's help my speed so much and the ball roll so much better
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchoye View Post

One of my putting problems is powering the ball and over hitting kinda like trying like playing pool and hitting the cushion hard.
I lip out a lot or hit the back edge and it keeps going 10-15 feet past the hole
I figure it more like basketball free throws where the angle and soft touch is more important
So I been practicing with one arm only and it's help my speed so much and the ball roll so much better

 

Here is a good putting drill for acquiring a feel for distance on shorter putts.

On a practice green, place three Tee's in increments of 4 feet starting at about 8 feet. (8'-12'-16')

Roll a putt to each Tee, then roll a putt to a longer target (pick any target on the green)

Change the distance periodically of the tee's (10'-14'-18')

Change the line (uphill to downhill, across different slopes)

Use your imagination in stetting up the practice area.

The goal is to acquire a feel for the varying distance's.

 

I see guys practicing (one arm technic), personally think it is a bad drill for distance, good for keeping left wrist proper position.

 

Club Rat

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post
 

Well, that's nice, but none of us are Jack Nicklaus...

 

and we don't practice like a pro.

 

For regular guys, fundamentals are important, imho, as it keeps you somewhat consistent. A neutral setup, etc, helps set you up for success.

 

As to your 1,2,3, yes that can work, although I  think it needs to be clear on face rotation - if you're trying to open and close the face, you'll always have trouble. I think the current mantra is that the club face remains square to the path (one does not open and close the face, the path of the putter does that during the stroke).


Im not insinuating that any of us are, that's obvious, lol. However, I do believe in practicing like a pro. That dosent mean we need 4 hours of range time every day with a thousand dollar instructor. It means we need to have purpose every time we pick up a club, whichever it may be. My point with Nicklaus was that as one of the greatest, he never got wrapped up in intricacies. He figured out how HE had to set up to consistently start the ball on the line he had determined. I say this because its my experience. When I started playing, I tried to set up like Tiger Woods. Feet parallel to the line, perfect posture, arms dangling in front, perfect overlap grips in the palms etc. However, my body isn't that of Woods, lol, its more like Daly or Stadler. So I had to find the grip, and stance and setup that allowed ME to start the ball on my intended line. When I did this, I shaved 5 putts a round immediately. As far as face rotation, your right, that is natural, but usually when someone is pushing or pulling putts, a lot of it has to do with them manipulating the face of the putter, not the natural opening/closing to the line that the putter makes. What I was getting at was that you need to limit or better, completely remove any manipulated rotation. Sorry, this wasn't clearer, that's my fault.

post #14 of 14

The best two things that lead to improved distance control are, in my experience:

 

  1. A properly weighted putter (head, counter, mid-shaft, etc. weighting matters, and affects how you feel the pressures in your hands that help tell you how much force you're applying to the putter).
  2. A stroke that has zero or negative acceleration (deceleration) at impact. Poor distance control often stems from a stroke that's accelerating at impact.
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