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XxKevinxX

What does it take to become a good putter?

12 posts in this topic

Hello,

After practicing and making changes to my stroke, I have a very "good" putting stroke. Normal size putter, I do not break my wrists, I rock my shoulders, I have good ball placement, I have good speed, and I am good at reading putts. How come then, at the practice green, after playing a pretend 18 holes, I cannot get lower than 36 putters? It seems like they just dont drop? Please help me with this.
Thanks so much and may god bless you all! ^_^

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I'm not totally sure what you mean when you say you have a "normal" putter, and I have no clue what you mean when you say you have "good" ball placement. There are a variety of theories about what placement is best for what kind of putter and what kind of stroke you have.

What kinds of putting drills do you do? How often?

How much of this thread have you implemented? >> http://thesandtrap.com/t/53161/the-apex-of-the-putt/36

How many GIRs do you average in a round? How many putts do you average in a round? Not in a pretend 18 on the putting green but in a round?

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If you are playing 18 pretend holes where your first putt is over 10 feet, it's doubtful you would take much less than 36 putts.

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(1.) Keep a steady head.  Do not move it even a millimeter.  I notice that when I keep my head dead still - I putt my best. Especially on long - lag putts... A steady head is crucial.

(2.) Pick something to stare at - on your intended line - and lock into it - really focus and be deliberate - in your focus.

a.) You should be able to get to a point where nothing else is in your head except for making the putt - and hitting that line / spot / dot.

b.) As Dave Stockton states... The mental aspect to putting is critical to becoming a successful putter.

c.) You have to be confident. Almost cocky with your putter IMO.

d.) Do not second guess yourself.

e.) Be positive - even if you miss or 3-putt a hole.

(3.) Alignment is key.  Get the proper alignment aids (ball, putter) to eliminate the guessing if you are really lined up appropriately or not.

a.) I picked up the TaylorMade Spider Ghost because it has one of the best alignment systems for my eye - it is so easy to setup.

b.) I use the GoPro alignment tool to get a nice line drawn onto my ball - it helps me line up my putts and takes guess work out of ensuring the ball is on a proper center line with my putter

Seriously though, if you are having issues with breaking 36 putts in a round... It has to be a mental mind block IMO.  But to ensure you have the proper stroke that becomes second nature like signing your signature on a piece of paper (read Dave Stockton's book Unconciuos Putting)...  Get a Putting Alley http://puttingalley.com/ .  And practice just making putts on it for 15mins a day.  I guarantee that it will improve your make % from 1, 2, 3, 4ft... Even 6ft.  In fact, I'd say my make % from inside 10ft is significantly better than it was a year ago after making some subtle changes to my equipment and practice routine.  The great thing about the Putting Alley is it is so easy to setup and use anywhere at your home or office.  And it will ingrain a solid stroke so that you increase your makes - and the putting stroke becomes second nature.

For instance, over my last 20 rounds... I'm 1.7 putts per hole and 1.9 putts per green in regulation (GIR).  That's not too shabby... I've had less than ten 3-putts over my last 20 rounds.  And only one round where I had more than one 3-putt within the 18-hole round.  I'm not perfect with my putter... I still have a some room for improvement... But my point here is that if I can get down to 30.6 putts per round average... Then you can too.

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Choose a line and trust it completely, nothing is worse than second guessing your line during your stroke and missing a putt you would have made otherwise.

Never rush, not even on those easy 3 footers.

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Closer approach shots.

I don't care if you can 2 putt every green when you're 50 feet away.

Get more 8-10 footers and watch them drop

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So the key to lowering your putts/round is to miss a bunch of greens and have a good short game? You would have 34 putts per round if you hit  all the greens. That is pretty good. To get down to 30  you need a short game that gives you a lot of makeable (<6 ft) putts.

Simple math. Take the best putter in the world and putt him feet from the hole. He will have about 19 putts. Put him 20 feet from the hole and he will average about 35. Put him at about 10feet and he will average about 27. Without knowing the OP's game, it is hard to say if 36 is a good result or about what you expect.

As far as getting better, figure out why you are missing putts. Are you misreading the break, is your speed off, or are you not starting the putt on the line you expect. Figure out your weakness and attack them. Then reevaluate.

Originally Posted by Beachcomber

For instance, over my last 20 rounds... I'm 1.7 putts per hole and 1.9 putts per green in regulation (GIR).  That's not too shabby... I've had less than ten 3-putts over my last 20 rounds.  And only one round where I had more than one 3-putt within the 18-hole round.  I'm not perfect with my putter... I still have a some room for improvement... But my point here is that if I can get down to 30.6 putts per round average... Then you can too.

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Many, many years ago, I caddied a Chartiers Country Club just outside Pittsburgh. Our Pro was the legendary Bobby Cruickshank.

I got a chance to caddy for him a couple times and was amazed at how great he putted. I asked him about it and he stated that he was

sure that we could all be better putters, but that some people will never be good putters. all the technique and practice can only help a lot of

people to a certain point. There is a basic sense of rhythm, timing and touch involved that some people just don't have.

Having said that, he stressed that during practice it is more important to watch the ones you miss. If you are missing the same way all the time, that

is something you can work on.

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It's all about the 5 inch fairway between the ears. My putting got better when I changed my mentality about it.

  1. "Paint the picture" and by that I mean see the ball going into the hole. In fact hear the ball falling into the cup. I will even try to think about previous putts I have made at a similar length to imagine making the putt. You need to think about the ball going into the cup even if you're not playing golf.
  2. Don't care whether you make the putt or not. Just focus on lining up the putt and from there making a good stroke. If it falls, it falls. If it doesn't do the same thing with the next putt.

I can't remember where I read it but I remember reading that a good putter could be given a broom stick and be able to make putts. That has always stuck with me, not sure why.

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You have to see the ball drop in the hole and believe that it will happen. Once you get past all the mechanical thoughts of the practice green, putting on the golf course is a lot like making free throws in basketball. Find your line, set up, and then let it happen. Measure the results by how well you hit the putt not if they go in or not. If you continually hit good putts they will start dropping.

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Famous old timer putter, Willie Park, Sr, practiced putting on his linoleum floor. He imagined a tack set into the rear of the ball and he hit that tack each time with the exact center of his putter. He kept his lower body very still, saw the tack and swung the clubhead into the tack. Always putt in a straight line with a square putter face.   Avoid any person who casts blame for failing putts onto the green, the wind,  the break, the temperature, the time of day, the mental fatigue, the crowd noise...etc.  It's you and you alone who makes or fails each putt.  Sure, there are factors outside our control like eyesight, coordination, but these are few.

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