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3 Keys to Better Putting


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Well now, saevel25, let's not get carried away.  Even if started on correct line, as you say in the first inches, those few inches  say nothing about the merit of the total line of putt.  But i could agree that there is no stronger predictor of success than the first 8 inches.

I'm gonna buy a chalk line today and get out early tomorrow morn to 'lay down my line', at least the first foot.

I saw a lovely slo-mo putt on the TV an hour ago.  MAJimenez from 6 inches off the green, strongly down hill, 16 feet away. The camera was looking at the ball only, very close up, and in slo-mo we could see the putter head slowly approach the ball, the contact moment, the further clubhead movement and the resulting ball motion.  What impressed me mostly was the extreme constancy of the arc of the head, moving along precisely one-fourth inch above the grass blades from behind the ball, on through to finish.  Mechanical, very mechanical.  Putt missed by half inch, stopping inch away.

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I've said this a few times (well, more than a few…), but I didn't realize we didn't have a specific thread for it until now. Apologies for the brevity of this post, but the concepts - I think - are fa

Stretch string between two knitting needles. Line up under the string and hit puts along that line. You'll know right away whether you push or pull them.

Great summary  Erik. Would add that in skill #1, Bead,  'hit your putts online' does not mean via computer.

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I need to find some time to work on my putting a bit. It's early in the season, only 4 rounds in, but I'm averaging about 2.5 putts per hole. :yucky: Hard to say which key, or how many are off. Those occasional 3 putts are generally all within about 6" or so, sometimes short, sometimes burning the edge, sometimes stopping right on the lip. Pretty frustrating.
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I need to find some time to work on my putting a bit. It's early in the season, only 4 rounds in, but I'm averaging about 2.5 putts per hole.

Hard to say which key, or how many are off. Those occasional 3 putts are generally all within about 6" or so, sometimes short, sometimes burning the edge, sometimes stopping right on the lip. Pretty frustrating.


Time for some LSW drills. :-)

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Time for some LSW drills. :-)

Yeah, I know. I could probably shave 2-3 stokes off by improving my putting, but I have very limited practice time and I could probably shave off 7-8 strokes by improving my ball striking so that's where I need to spend the time. Plus, I'm generally a good enough putter that I feel confident that my putts per hole will drop as I get warmed up, only four rounds in after all.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Have found only a small relationship between putting practice and putting for real.  On the practice green, i'm great.  On the course, not.  Something in the mind, some uncertainty or excess mental activity which tightens up my hands and forearms.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The line drawn at the green helps. I also find most people think they are going back straight but arent. I have to almost push out on my baCk stroke. Its helped a lot. Only 1 3 putt on my round today.
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The line drawn at the green helps. I also find most people think they are going back straight but arent. I have to almost push out on my baCk stroke. Its helped a lot. Only 1 3 putt on my round today.

Virtually every good putting stroke is an arc stroke. Not sure you were saying that you try to do straight back/straight through and it's not one of these three keys but it's just one of those geometrical preferences (unless your upper back is horizontal).

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Yea i was referring to direction. I was constantly pulling my putts so i starting guiding my stroke "away" from me more and my bead has been better.
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Been finding that eyes over the ball for uphill putts with little break helps me. I tend to read left to right breaks accurately and I think I pull my putts enough to "hold the line" to the cup. I been really poor on right to left putts Sometimes if I have a line on the ball it keeps my eyes on top of the ball rather than wandering to the edges of the ball
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  • 2 months later...

Hi all,

Newer to the forum and sorry if this has been discussed before.  This is my first year taking golf seriously (taking lessons, playing at least weekly, etc.).  I've learned a lot about the golf swing and made big strides.  I've ordered the 5SK dvds and am strongly considering evolvr lessons.  I feel the worst part of my game relative to others at my handicap level is putting.  Although all golf swings are unique, most here would agree that there's certain things about good swings that are common, weather that be the 5 simple keys or any other definition you look at.

My question is, is that also true for putting?  Is there certain traits all good putters have in common.  I seem to struggle when I think too much about things I've read about putting.  For example, the take back and follow through being the same length.  I start thinking about that, and then my distance control seems to suffer.  I seem to putt best when I don't think about anything except rolling it to the hole without regard to form/grip/follow through distance/etc.  However, long term, would I be better off with some "keys" to follow for the putting stroke vs. just going by feel?

I hope that makes sense.  Thanks in advance!

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Hi all,

Newer to the forum and sorry if this has been discussed before.  This is my first year taking golf seriously (taking lessons, playing at least weekly, etc.).  I've learned a lot about the golf swing and made big strides.  I've ordered the 5SK dvds and am strongly considering evolvr lessons.  I feel the worst part of my game relative to others at my handicap level is putting.  Although all golf swings are unique, most here would agree that there's certain things about good swings that are common, weather that be the 5 simple keys or any other definition you look at.

My question is, is that also true for putting?  Is there certain traits all good putters have in common.  I seem to struggle when I think too much about things I've read about putting.  For example, the take back and follow through being the same length.  I start thinking about that, and then my distance control seems to suffer.  I seem to putt best when I don't think about anything except rolling it to the hole without regard to form/grip/follow through distance/etc.  However, long term, would I be better off with some "keys" to follow for the putting stroke vs. just going by feel?

I hope that makes sense.  Thanks in advance!

The trait all good putters have is the ability to get the ball to drop/dive/roll into the hole.
I seen all styles of putting work really well.

I have been paying more attention to the reading of the putt.

Taking an aimpoint express seem to help me most recently.

I think stroke mechanics depend on how you read the green.

for example on a downhill/sidehill breaking putt there is more "art " involved in that many paths to the hole depending on the speed, that will affect stroke mechanics.

on a straight uphill putt, there is just one line and optimal speed so its more precise and scientific.....

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My question is, is that also true for putting?  Is there certain traits all good putters have in common.  I seem to struggle when I think too much about things I've read about putting.  For example, the take back and follow through being the same length.  I start thinking about that, and then my distance control seems to suffer.  I seem to putt best when I don't think about anything except rolling it to the hole without regard to form/grip/follow through distance/etc.  However, long term, would I be better off with some "keys" to follow for the putting stroke vs. just going by feel?

I hope that makes sense.  Thanks in advance!

Good putters can read greens, start the ball on their intended line and hit the putt the distance they want.

As for the putting stroke. In terms of distance control the best putters do no accelerate through the putt.

See this thread ->

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Apologies if there's a thread on this, my phone Iis having trouble searching. Im looking for a putting alignment aid that can fit in my golf bag. I noticed in Bubba Watson's pre-routine video that was just put out, he was using one and I've always wanted one. Anyone have a fav?
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  • 6 months later...

This is a great thread, especially the first post.    Personally, I feel that all the green reading and distance control in the world won't help a bit if you can't actually hit the ball on the line you've chosen, so that's what I am working on right now.   I am especially working on my shorter putts, 7 feet or less. 

Currently, I feel like two things help me get my putts on line:

1) No head movement.   If I follow the ball with my eyes, somehow my head moves in anticipation and I usually pull my putt to the left.   So now I am trying to not follow the ball until it is well on its way.  Just look at the spot where the ball used to be.  (This seems to work with all my other shots, too.) 

2) Stand behind the ball, hold up my putter, and use the shaft to pick a spot within a foot or two of the ball, a spot that is exactly on line.   That way, when I stand over the putt, I don't have to swivel my head to get the correct line.   Just make sure the ball rolls over that spot.  

Then of course, square the putter blade. 

If anyone has any thoughts about this, I will appreciate it.   I've missed a lot of short putts lately, and I think it's because I have not been following these fundamentals. 

 

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 9:58 AM, Marty2019 said:

This is a great thread, especially the first post.    Personally, I feel that all the green reading and distance control in the world won't help a bit if you can't actually hit the ball on the line you've chosen, so that's what I am working on right now.   I am especially working on my shorter putts, 7 feet or less. 

Currently, I feel like two things help me get my putts on line:

1) No head movement.   If I follow the ball with my eyes, somehow my head moves in anticipation and I usually pull my putt to the left.   So now I am trying to not follow the ball until it is well on its way.  Just look at the spot where the ball used to be.  (This seems to work with all my other shots, too.) 

2) Stand behind the ball, hold up my putter, and use the shaft to pick a spot within a foot or two of the ball, a spot that is exactly on line.   That way, when I stand over the putt, I don't have to swivel my head to get the correct line.   Just make sure the ball rolls over that spot.  

Then of course, square the putter blade. 

If anyone has any thoughts about this, I will appreciate it.   I've missed a lot of short putts lately, and I think it's because I have not been following these fundamentals. 

 

 

 

Once I've read the putt and picked the line that I want to hit the putt, I visualize that line to the hole and back.  Say it's a 6 foot putt and the apex of the break is 1 ball outside the right edge. I set my putter down, take my stance, follow the line to hole, then the same line from the hole back to my putter and stroke it on my line. So, for me, I'm not trying to hit a spot, but roll it on a line that I see.

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On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2014 at 4:33 PM, iacas said:

I've said this a few times (well, more than a few…), but I didn't realize we didn't have a specific thread for it until now. Apologies for the brevity of this post, but the concepts - I think - are fairly simple and don't really need a lot of explanation.

Just as we have 5 Simple Keys for the full swing.....

The 5 Simple Keys for the full swing involve elements of body movement and the movement of the club during the stroke (steady head....weight forward....etc.). The putting keys involve only the results of the stroke (starting vector, speed of the putt, choice of starting vector). Have you found any "universal" aspects of great putting strokes, akin to something like "weight forward" in the full swing?

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On March 9, 2016 at 9:33 AM, Big Lex said:

The 5 Simple Keys for the full swing involve elements of body movement and the movement of the club during the stroke (steady head....weight forward....etc.). The putting keys involve only the results of the stroke (starting vector, speed of the putt, choice of starting vector). Have you found any "universal" aspects of great putting strokes, akin to something like "weight forward" in the full swing?

No. Very few rise to the level of the true "commonalities" like with 5SK®.

But some are close:

  • Good acceleration profiles - speaks directly to distance control (speed).
  • +1-2° loft, +2-3° rise angle - bead, speed.
  • Path 0-2° "out" - bead.
  • Face where it needs to be (0°) - bead.
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