Tips on PUTTING

By Milt Wallace and Michael P. O'Leary

To truly excel in the great game of golf, you have to master the short game. Many a golfer has hit a tremendous drive, and even a great second shot to be on the green in 2. Then he pulls the putter out of the bag, already congratulating himself on a fine hole, confirming that today is going to be a great round of golf, he proceeds to putt once, twice, damn, and a three putt.

What should have been a birdie, winds up a bogie.

This happens to golfers of all ranks, more often than you may know. But it doesn't have to.

If you haven't done the math for yourself yet, putting is more than half of each round of golf you play. On eighteen holes a scratch golfer is expected to putt the ball 36 times. I f you are not yet a scratch golfer, then chances are you yourself putt more than 36 strokes per round. Consider this, if the rest of your game remained exactly as it is today and you merely improved your putting to where you could easily two putt and often even one putt various holes, would that not help you to achieve the level of scoring that you have desired to obtain for some time now. I have good news...

The same fundamentals taught with The Triple Coil Power Swing that enable you to repeatedly gain tremendous accuracy and distance will also be used to help you sink those long putts where before you only hoped to be within range to make your second shot.

We will provide you with tips in three areas. They are;

  • Examining the Green
  • Lining Up The Putt
  • The Putting Stroke

Some would say that The Putting Stroke is the most complex aspect of the three listed above. This is true, only if the first two aspects have been examined accurately to determine the correct target line of travel for the golf ball. Without the correct target line, the very finest putting stroke is ominously worthless.

So, let's begin.

1). Examining the Green

As you approach a putting green, learn to examine the entire surface. Notice the slope of the green, is it a gentle or steep slope, and more specifically, how does that slope effect the distance between your lie and the cup. Be cautious here. Usually the greens that appear to be rather large and flat have more slope in them than you may realize at first glance. This is especially true if you are standing on the green as you survey the surface. For this reason, it is vital that you examine the surface of the green as you approach the green.

Also, as you stand upon the surface of the green, notice the direction of the grain of the grass, as this will also influence the direction and speed of your putt.

2). Lining up the Putt

Survey the green to determine the correct target line by standing directly behind your ball and looking towards the cup. Walk on the lower side of the target line to a position directly behind the cup and looking back through the same line to your ball. Return to your ball by walking on the high side of the target line.

Always putt with a new ball. At a minimum, clean your best ball before you begin your round and reserve that ball in your bag for putting only. When aligning your putt, use the lettering on the ball as an arrow pointing in the exact direction that you have determined to be the correct target line for the putt. Remember that all putts are straight putts and they only curve because of an uneven or rough putting surface.

Once you have your ball lined up with the letters pointed at your correct target line, kneel down directly behind your ball, hold the end of the shaft of your putter in your left hand, (based upon a right handed golfer) and lay the putter head flat on the ground while lining up your putter with the target line. The face of the putter should be perpendicular to the lettering on the ball and the target line. Once the positioning of the putter head is established, maintain gentle contact with the fingers of your left hand, stand up and begin to position yourself for the putting stroke, making certain not to allow the putter blade to change position, with the hands ahead of the putter blade, the blade will look closed. Don't alter it! Trust the position, it's just a visual illusion!



3). The Putting Stroke

STANCE
  • Like the Triple Coil Power Swing, begin with a balanced seated position. Stand up straight, push your hips back and flex your knees slightly as though you were sitting on the edge of a stool.
  • Once your stance is established, there should be absolutely no movement of the lower body! The lower body becomes a firmly fixed foundation that allows your shoulders and arms to work as a pendulum. Remember, to keep an upright posture, this allows the pendulum to work with greater ease.


ADDRESSING THE BALL
  • If you are more comfortable with a greater amount of your weight resting on your side, then line the ball up with the inside of your right or rear foot. If your weight is evenly distributed or balanced on both sides, then line the ball up in the middle of your stance.
  • If you are more comfortable with your weight slightly adjusted to the left side, then line the ball up on the front or left foot.
  • The first of these setups is preferred; this allows the left arm and putter shaft to become one, forming a straight line to the putter blade. This keeps connection of the left arm to the chest, or ribcage, and the hands always ahead of the ball throughout the putting stroke.
  • Do NOT break your wrists. Allowing the wrists to break will let the putter blade get ahead of the hands causing de-acceleration of the putter blade. This action will result in a lack of accuracy and consistency.
  • Contrary to the popular method of remaining directly perpendicular to the hole, your entire body is going to be in an open position towards the hole. Your left foot should be slightly open towards the hole; your right foot will be positioned slightly open towards the rear. You do not want your feet to be closed.
  • Your shoulders should be positioned square to the hole. Your front shoulder should be lined up directly at the cup.


PUTTING GRIP
  • Learn to grip the putter exactly the same on each and every putt. The palms should be facing each other with light and equal pressure from both hands.


THE LEFT HAND
  • The thumb is the dominant pressure point for the left hand and should be on the top of the shaft (grip) pointing directly down the shaft with only light pressure on all the other four fingers. The left index finger overlaps the fingers of the right hand after the right hand assumes the correct grip.


THE RIGHT HAND
  • The ring finger is the dominant pressure point for the right hand, with only light pressure received from all other fingers. The thumb overlaps the thumb of the left hand and also points directly down the shaft.
  • There is a slight forward pressure or cocking of the right wrist, keeping a constant angle.


THE STROKE
  • The lower body must remain stationary. If the lower body moves, it will cause the head to move which will cause sway, and the putt will stray off line. The hands overlap to form one single unit and the shoulders initiate all movement... not the hands. Remember; maintain an upright posture, allowing for a smooth pendulum motion.
  • Do not look up. Looking up will cause sway and reduce the energy in the putt, leaving the lie short of the hole. Keep your head down until you hear the ball drop in the cup.
  • The initial goal is to get the ball rolling without bouncing or skipping off line. Use a slow rhythm or tempo and move the club at the same speed back and through.
  • The upper body works like a pendulum. Backswing is initiated with the shoulders and the left shoulder moves underneath. The face of the putt moves back, under and slightly inside. Left arm should remain in contact with the chest or ribcage. If the chest and left arm lose contact the putt will usually come up short.
  • As you follow through, again the hands should remain in front of the putter blade. This causes you to strike the ball with top spin which will provide a bit of extra roll. (You'll like the results.) As you make contact with the same rhythm or tempo used in the backswing, your right hand should be open towards the hole as though it were steering the ball into the cup. You should putt to sink the putt on every shot. You should never putt just to get close. Always putt... to win.
  • All putts should stop no less than 12 inches past the hole. Keep in mind that you will never make a putt, even one following the accurate target line, if you leave it short.


AN OVERVIEW

It's important to develop a pre-putt routine that you go through every time you putt. By performing the same pre-shot overview of your thoughts and observations you can cement the skills discussed here and learned on the practice greens.

A popular practice technique employed by students learning the Triple Coil Power Swing and the accompanying putting skill is to take a mental picture by visualizing the line from the bottom of the cup, back to the ball. They take a mental picture, move their head back to the normal putting position, close their eyes... and putt.

As with the Triple Coil Power Swing, when you first begin learning new or perhaps just different skills, your mind may become cluttered with all the different things you're supposed to remember as you go through the "comfortable" swing procedure. Rest assured that your muscle memory patterns can retain far more than your mind can concentrate on at one given time.

As always, with practice you will find yourself easily dropping puts from 10.15 and even 25 feet or more... and doing so with consistency. Most important, the consistency and accuracy of your putting game will bring you more joy and fun from the great game of Golf!


"I've made it my mission in life to provide golfers -- especially high handicappers -- the BEST information they can get to quickly start hitting with more power, authority and confidence for gorgeous long drives!"
-Doc O'Leary    
Get Your 4-Day
Golf Swing
Course NOW!
Discover the simple secrets to hitting with raw "natural" power for longer, straighter, more accurate drives. You'll receive:
Your First Name:

Your Email Address:



Copyright 2007, 2008 BiggerDrives.com, All Rights Reserved