Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Putt 4 Dough
Drain Putts From All Over The Green
WE'RE LUCKY to play golf in the 21st century. Think about it. A modern hybrid is about the same size as an old persimmon driver. Putters have grown too, from light offerings with small faces, to expertly weighted wide faces. The game has gotten a lot more forgiving...for some.
Still, for most of us, the game is a challenge. In particular, putting. This “toe” drill is meant to challenge your practice sessions and improve your feel.
Simply putt with the toe of your putter. Using a small clubface area helps you concentrate more and forces you to hit it solid to make the putt. After making a few strokes, flip your putter back the normal way and stroke away. You’ll hit the ball in the center of the face every time.
DURING PLAY LESSONS with my students, I often see them take practice strokes that don’t match up to the shot at hand. Usually, if they have a short putt, their practice swing is too long. Or if they’re going to lag a putt close to the hole, their stroke is better off for a three-footer.
Whatever the case, when they stroke their putt, it often doesn’t match what they’ve just rehearsed. It’s a bit like a runner doing sprints when he’s going to run in a marathon.
It’s important to keep in mind that the point of a practice stroke is to get a feel for your putt’s distance. Don’t just “warm up” with your practice putts; rehearse as if you were making the putt. It’ll be a lot easier to walk up to your ball and make the correct stroke once you’ve “felt it” a few times.
PUTTING WITH ONLY your right arm helps you feel the putter through the ball and generate a smooth, end-over-end roll. Why? Often, it’s easy to manipulate the club with two hands and make jabbing or decelerating strokes. With one arm, however, you have to allow your arm to work as a lever back and forth.
Putting with your right arm also promotes a pendulum-like stroke, which improves accuracy and consistency. When you stroke it with just one arm, you have to let the club go down the target line because it’s hard to stop the momentum of the putterhead with only one hand.
The third benefit of one-armed putting is better distance control and touch. Your wrist must be steady through the putt or you’ll mis-hit it badly. When you get wristy in your stroke, you add flash speed, which makes it hard to judge the distance.
If you hit the putt solid with one arm, your wrist was in a good position.
Finally, one-armed putting creates confidence. When your consistency, distance control and accuracy increase, so will your belief that you can make anything you look at.
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