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redandwhiterob

Basic putting tips for a beginner

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Been playing for a year or so now, betting out on the course once a week or fortnight. As a beginner my main concern was getting use to get some height on the ball from tee, fairway, ruff etc. Now this is coming along ok but I have really neglected the putting side of my game.

Tend to three putt all the time from any thing you may call mid to long range, any tips anyone could offer as to how I could improve it when on a practicing putting green or maybe something I could do in my own home?

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This is my recommendation. First make sure you putt on the intended line and aim your clubface square to where you aim. This can be done with an elevated string on a flat slope, make sure you can make the ball roll under the string, make a gate with two pegs at the beginning of the string so you make sure the ball starts where you want. Then try it with some break and notice how much you have to aim outside the cup to sink the putts. With break the ball starts under the string but leaves the string ofcourse. Once you are aware of the true aim, learn some about different putting techniques, the technique where the clubface is square to the target all the time and the more common one when your clubface turns in an arc, also read about different putting grips. Try some different techniques and decide for the one that feels best. Now learn some basics about green reading, how downhill and uphill affects the break etc, also check some videos about aimpoint and maybe take a course if you wanna learn more about greenreading. Next thing is to get the right speed, I don't recomment you to try to learn lot of techniques, this is imo mostly feel and training. I'd train lot of long putts like 10 yard putts from different slopes and combine that with the green reading skills you learned. Then make sure the 3 feet putts is in the cups atleast 90 % of the time. Should be few or none 3 putts after that.

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Find the nastiest slope on the putting green and set up the Mickelson 3 foot drill and hit 100 putts.  Keep doin that until you are in the 90 percent range.  Pros make about 97 percent of putts within 3 feet and I bet you won't even make 80 percent when you first start.  That is alot of strokes given away that can be avoided with a lil bit of work.  Working your way around the circle will expose you to all the possible breaks that any putt will have and that will make you much better at reading putts. The drill will also teach you how to marry the right amount of speed and break which will help tremendously as you move further away from the hole.

After I finish with that drill then I take out my alignment rod that I have marked with electrical tape like a ruler and work on my distance control.  If you you learn to putt at the rhythm of the putter then you will quickly learn what size stroke you need for each putt.

You have to have a plan when putting and form a baseline to work off of and that is why I find the alignment rod work to be very important because a 10 foot putt is not  a 10 foot putt and by that I mean:

From a level lie a 10 foot putt is probably in the range of 6 feet and then the ball begins to decelerate and come to a stop at 10 feet.

From a downhill lie a 10 foot putt is probably in the range of 4 feet and then the ball begins to decelerate and come to a stop at 10 feet.

From a uphill lie a 10 foot putt is probably in the range of 8 feet and then the ball begins to decelerate and come to a stop at 10 feet.

So in esscence a putt is read like a chip or a pitch because you are predicting how much roll out the ball will have as it decelerates.

Any putt outside of about 6 feet is pretty much distance control work because the percentage of a make drop off bigtime outside of this distance  and I like to practice making putts.

Here are some good videos:

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something simple someone told me a month ago that helped me a lot

with your putting, don't try to push your stroke but initiate your swing by pulling your stroke

by that i mean, try leading with your left hand towards impact and keeping your trail hand as passive as possible

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A big thing for you right now is probably speed control, which you can work on at home.  Practice rolling putts to a target (a cup, the wall, a club shaft laid on the ground, etc.) at different distances.  Working on gently hitting your target from various distances, without banging into it or stopping short.  Focus on the amount of backswing and downswing needed for various distances and speeds.  Getting a better feel for speed control will help you get better at getting it close, turning your three-putts into two-putts (and sometimes one).

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All of the above puts the cart before the horse, IMO.  For someone three-putting out of his mind, he doesn't need to hear about the 'trailing hand' or go hit 100 putts.  He's got some fundamental problems that need to be addressed first.  The first thing to note about putting is this: it's just tapping a ball and rolling it.  The ball doesn't slice, or duff, or skull....you're bumping the ball to make it roll in the hole.  It's dead easy......in concept.  However, it is unquestionably the most unforgiving part of the game; you can't change that, so you just need to realize the expectation.  I think too many amateurs get freaked out about a 30-foot putt.  Pick a line, you're probably pretty decent at it, and then you're just hitting it a certain speed.  Two questions need to be answered: 1) why are the pros so deadly lethal at it, and 2) why are many amateurs so god-awfully bad at it?

1) They're that good because they practice INCESSANTLY.  Their putting strokes are so consistent, their aim so pure, and their feel so good, that they make the ball hit that 4" wide target more often than you ever will.  They haven't found some secret to putting, they simply do it A LOT.  Forget 'pro-level' putting as your standard.

2) A lot of amateurs are that bad for one main reasons, IMO: they do not TRUST themselves.  It's very hard to become a deadly putter.  It is VERY EASY to become a 'pretty good' putter.  There's a good explanation for why the students of Dave Stockton (considered maybe THE authority on tour right now) adopt the following approach: get behind putt, get a read, get over the ball, hit it.  I can virtually guarantee, with any putt I show you, you could easily figure out how to hit it too far left, or too far right, or way short, or way long.  The right putt is simply something in the middle of all those.  The ball has to end up somewhere, it might as well be right around the hole.  It's all about trusting that fact, and just going with it.  If I had to bet, I would be willing to say that 90% of amateurs miss putts because they change their mind about some aspect of the putt while they're over the ball.  You can't do that.  Read the putt, pick a nearby spot to aim, and set up.  Once you set up to the ball, YOUR LINE IS DETERMINED.  All that remains is deciding how hard to swing the putter.  You can't wonder if you're aimed right, or if you read it right, it's too late.  If you're unsure, back off and reset.  But get over the ball and just hit it.  I don't think many amateurs have issues with the putter face opening and closing wildly.  A consistent three-putter is making it way too complex.  Simplify the concept, clear your mind, trust it.......and just roll the ball.

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It would help to know how you are missing when you 3-putt.  Is the issue distance control or is your line bad?  I agree with SonicBlue that a simplified approach can work well for most people particularly when trying to determine the line of the putt.

But if you're 16 feet away from the hole on your first putt, and wind up 10 feet past the hole, or 6 feet short, you need to work on distance control.  A drill that I like is the "ladder" drill.  Grab a few balls and set them along a line at 3, 6, 9, and 12 feet (approximately), preferably on flat ground. Go up to the shortest ball and putt, then putt the next ball, and so on.  Realize that the length of your backswing should determine the distance of the putt.  Longer putts should have longer backswings.  You'll want to feel the clubhead accelerate through the ball...but don't rush your stroke.  Make sure all of your strokes are done with the same rhythm regardless of the length of your stroke.

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Originally Posted by nevrino

This is my recommendation. First make sure you putt on the intended line and aim your clubface square to where you aim. This can be done with an elevated string on a flat slope, make sure you can make the ball roll under the string, make a gate with two pegs at the beginning of the string so you make sure the ball starts where you want.

This is what nevrino is talking about if you need some visualization.

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/golf-fix-tip-sink-more-putts-073012/

Sorry I can't embed it, because they don't have this video posted to their youtube channel.

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Note: This thread is 2692 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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