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Tips for better putting

Tips for better putting

Nothing is more irritating than hitting a great drive, positioning the approach shot on the green and missing a par putt and walking away with bogey or worse, a double bogey.  Below are a few tips for better putting inorder to help you achieve or just maintain those par putts.

Putters and the importance of their weight and design

Tips for better putting
Photo by Tyler Hendy

There are three main types of putters available: traditional blade putter, heel-toe or peripheral weighted putters, and mallet putters (small and large). The traditional blade putters have a relatively small head with the majority of the weight at the toe.  These putters are designed for golfers with a straight putting stroke.  Traditional blade putters are also suited for harder and faster greens which require a softer touch.  The heel-toe putters are a natural expansion of the blade putter.  Heel-toe putters have their weight on each end of the blade adding more consistency and forgiveness.  Mallet putters have the weight balanced evenly across the face.  Adding alignment aids and shapes on the rear of the head helps the golfer align his/her putts better. The best way to see what category a putter falls into is to simply balance it on your finger and see which direction the putter head comes to rest.

Stance and Grip

First, you need to make sure your putter is not too long for you.  Your hands and arms should hang down relaxed and in a neutral position, gripping right at the bottom of the grip.  Next, the conventional putting stance is shoulder-width or hip-width, feet parallel to your aim line with your toes pointing straight ahead.  Putting stances do vary from golfer to golfer.  The golf ball should be positioned barely ahead of the center of your stance.  When resting the putter on the ground, position your hands slightly above the golf ball and a little towards your left hip.  You should have a firm hold, but not super tight.  All of your fingers on your left hand should be in contact with the grip.  Don’t be stiff, be in control by swinging naturally always using the same amount of pressure for every putt you make.

Weather and maintenance affect the greens

Weather and environment conditions such as temperature, moisture, the sun, humidity, time of day, soil, etc. all affect how the ball will roll on the green.  I have spent many early mornings on the course when dew is present on the fairways and greens, the ball will roll slow on the greens.  As the day goes on and the temperature rises, the greens will dry out and the speed of the ball will increase.

How the grounds staff maintains the green affects how the ball will roll.  Depending on how much aerating and topdressing (known as sand or prepared soil mix applied to the green) will affect the roll of the ball.  Same with mowing height and rain or irrigation on the greens.

Tips for better putting
Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash

Making the time to practice on the practice green before your round helps you to get a feel for the speed of the greens. You can play the same course multiple times in one week and the green speed is likely to change.   If your ball goes soaring past the hole, then the greens are quick.  If your ball doesn’t make it to the hole than you know the greens are slow.  Either way, by practicing you know how to adjust your stroke accordingly.  And remember the greens can also change throughout your round of golf on a given day.

Practice, Practice, Practice – Tip for better putting

Lastly, practice, practice, and practice.  As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!  Like most individuals you probably spend most of you practice time for the long putts instead of practicing for the short ones. You should be practicing your short putts just as much so you have a more consistent game every single time. Every golf course has a practice green, it is there for a reason.  Practicing makes perfect and most of the strokes you make for a game of golf will consist of trying to roll that ball into the hole at a short distance.

Tips for better putting
Photo by Tyler Hendy

If you do your best to knowledge yourself and follow some of the tips above, no doubt your putting game will improve!